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Setting Legislative Priorities

The State Board of Land Commissioners, which includes Idaho’s Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and State Controller, is charged by Idaho’s Constitution with the direction, control and disposition of Idaho’s endowment lands under the regulations set by law.

The Idaho Department of Lands is the administrative arm of the Board. IDL is tasked with fulfilling the Board’s constitutional mandate of maximizing the revenue earned from endowment land for beneficiaries like our public schools, and carrying out the Board’s statutorily defined regulatory duties. 

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IDL Rulemaking

In general, the Legislature first sets broad policy mandates by passing statutes, then state agencies create more detailed administrative rules based on those statutes. Administrative rules are designed to facilitate the implementation of laws. This process allows for the public and more detailed scientific, economic, or industry expertise to help guide how statutes are implemented by state agencies.

The agency must have rulemaking authority in statute and must follow the Idaho Administrative Procedure Act, which outlines requirements for public participation in the rulemaking process. Idaho’s administrative rulemaking process involves multiple stages: negotiated, proposed, pending, and final.

In 2020, Governor Brad Little signed Executive Order 2020-01: Zero-Based Regulation. This executive order establishes an ongoing review process for existing rules. 

The Idaho Department of Lands administers IDAPA 20.03.03, Rules Governing Administration of the Reclamation Fund under the authority of Title 47, Chapter 18, Idaho Code.

IDAPA 20.03.03 provides consistent guidance in how Idaho’s Reclamation Fund (Fund) is implemented. The Fund is a type of state bond pool created in 2002 to provide an alternative form of performance bond or financial assurance as required by Idaho mining regulations. The Fund is to be used by the Department to complete reclamation in the event an operator is unable to so.

Learn More About this Pending Fee Rule

The Idaho Department of Lands manages the beds of navigable waterways to provide for their commercial, navigational, recreational or other public use. IDAPA 20.03.05, Riverbed Mineral Leasing in Idaho establishes a consistent process to authorize mineral exploration and extraction on state-owned navigable rivers and collect rents and royalties.

Learn More About this Pending Fee Rule

This is negotiated rulemaking for a new rule chapter: Rules Pertaining to the Recreational Use of Endowment Land (IDAPA 20.05.01).

Senate Bill 1049 was designed to curb the abuse or misuse of endowment land, preserving its revenue-generating potential for the beneficiaries. The legislation, which was signed into law, created a new section of Idaho Code that became effective on July 1, 2023.

The law requires rulemaking to specify prohibited activities that are subject to a warning ticket for minor first offenses, with second violations under the statute being punished with an infraction and $250 fine.

Learn More About this Pending Rule

Learn More About the Board, IDL and Endowment Land

State Board of Land Commissioners

Idaho's constitution charges the State Board of Land Commissioners with managing the endowment lands for the beneficiaries.

Idaho Department of Lands

IDL manages the land Idaho received at statehood to generate the maximum return for our public schools and other beneficiaries.

Understanding Endowment Land

Idaho manages 2.5 million acres of endowment land to generate revenue for our public schools and other beneficiaries. Learn why.
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It's All About the Mission

Idaho accepted endowment lands at statehood under the condition that they be managed, in perpetuity, to secure the maximum long-term financial return for the beneficiaries. Endowment lands are different than other public lands. Public land managed by the U.S. Forest Service serves a multiple-use mission. Endowment lands, on the other hand, serve a sole-use mission to earn money for the beneficiaries. Other uses of endowment lands are incidental to the mission.
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The Land Where Miracles Grow

The year 1889 saw a 28-day debate by leaders to frame Idaho’s new state constitution.  One of the central agreements written into it was that the 3.6 million acres of land offered to Idaho by Congress would be dedicated to nurturing the state's public education system. One has to wonder if our forefathers foresaw the legacy they would establish for our state's investment in education and what it would mean to future generations of Idahoans.

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This archive includes the most current and past editions of our Legislative Update Newsletter so you can stay informed about IDL's legislative priorities.
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