Lower management costs, higher land income underpin record endowment disbursementsThursday September 9, 2021
(Boise, Idaho) Today the Idaho Department of Lands released its Fiscal Year 2021 Earnings Reserve Financial Performance report. This analysis underpins recent actions taken by the Idaho Board of Land Commissioners to increase annual endowment trust disbursements to a record $100 million.
“Central to the Land Board’s record-setting disbursement is the strong financial performance of land managed by the Idaho Department of Lands,” explained Director Dustin Miller. Across all asset classes, gross income from endowment land increased by more than $11.3 million over the prior year. Total expenses decreased by more than $1.5 million. “Overall, net income increased by more than $12.9 million,” Miller added.
The department manages nearly 2.5 million acres held in trust and deeded to Idaho at statehood for the financial support of endowment beneficiaries. Beneficiaries include Idaho’s public schools, colleges and universities, and veterans’ homes, among others. More than one million acres of this trust land is managed for timber production.
Timberland generated nearly 99% of the total net income from endowment land in Fiscal Year 2021. The revenue derived from sustainable timber management exceeded IDL’s five-year gross revenue average by more than $10 million, helping make possible the Land Board’s record disbursement. Timber is sold at auction to the highest bidder.
While overhead expenses increased slightly compared to the previous year, IDL held the line on other expenses which decreased by nearly 8%.
“Looking to the future, the increases in annual timber sale volume scheduled under IDL’s forest asset management plan will likely continue to contribute significant gains to the endowment’s bottom line and disbursable revenue,” concluded Miller.