Idaho's State Endowment Fund:
A Boon to Public Schools

    Idaho Endowment Trust 2014  (pdf, 48kb)
    Idaho Endowment Trust 2013  (pdf, 174kb)
    Idaho Endowment Trust 2012

    Distribution statement from the Idaho Endowment Trust for public schools and institutions by school and/or district for a total of $48,844,800 in FY 2014. Distributions are made from the earnings reserve fund on revenues earned on Idaho endowment lands, the bulk of which come from state forest timber sales.

    More information about the endowment can be found at http://www.idl.idaho.gov/LandBoard/index_lb.html#bene.



    When Idaho was admitted to the Union as the 43rd state in 1890, it was granted approximately 3,672,000 acres of land for the support of state institutions. The land was granted under the condition that it be managed in perpetuity as a trust for the beneficiary institutions. This mandate was codified in Article IX Section 8 of the Idaho Constitution, which states that the lands are to be managed, "...in such manner as will secure the maximum long term financial return to the institution to which granted." Chief among the beneficiaries are the public schools, which received two sections of every township in the state (1/18 of the total land base). Other institutions include the University of Idaho , the Agricultural College , the Normal Schools, Penitentiary, Charitable Institutions, State Hospital South, School of Science and Public Buildings (now Capitol).

    Management activities on state endowment trust land are not intended to benefit the general public, but are directed solely to the good of the beneficiaries of the original land grants. Money generated from the management of these lands is deposited into the earnings reserve fund from which the costs of management and payments to the beneficiaries are made. Revenue from mineral royalties is deposited into the permanent endowment fund. Both the earnings reserve and permanent fund are invested by the Endowment Fund Investment Board (visit the Endowment Fund Investment Board web page at http://www.efib.idaho.gov). The investment return is distributed to the beneficiaries. Land sale revenue is deposited into the land bank and is available to purchase other land. If not expended for that purpose within five years, the land sale revenue is deposited into the permanent fund.

    Management of endowment trust lands is entrusted to the State Board of Land Commissioners. The Idaho Department of Lands is the administrative arm of the Board and carries out the executive directives of the Board to meet the constitutional trust mandate.

    The state of Idaho owns almost 2.5 million acres of land, held in trust for the benefit of public schools and other endowment beneficiaries. The Idaho Department of Lands manages the endowment lands to accomplish the constitutional mandate of securing maximum long term financial return to the institutions to which the land is granted. To learn about the history of endowment lands, the State board of Land Commissioners and the Idaho Department of Lands, refer to the University of Idaho , College of Natural Resources publication, Idaho's Endowment Lands: A Matter of Sacred Trust. Jay O'Laughlin, Stanley F. Hamilton, and Philip S. Cook (August 2011). Full report in pdf format. (1.8Mb)

    Idaho's state-owned forestland -- also known as "endowment land" -- is a significant source of revenue for public schools and other public institutions. The State Board of Land Commissioners and the Idaho Department of Lands share the responsibility for managing the state's endowment lands.

 

Idaho Forest Products Commission
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