Board of Land Commissioners
Secretary of State Corey Stapleton is a member of the state Board of Land Commissioners, which oversees the management of 5.2 million acres of school trust land across Montana. The federal government ceded the land to the state in 1889, under the Enabling Act that granted statehood. Congress expressly mandated that the land be used to generate money for the support of public schools. In 2002, the school trust produced more than $45 million for its beneficiaries: Montana students and classrooms.
The Land Board is responsible for deciding how best to generate revenue for the trust from school trust lands. It considers such options as:
- Grazing and farming leases.
- Leases for oil, gas, and mining operations.
- Easements for such projects as power lines, roads, and private driveways.
- Fees for recreational use.
- Cabin-site leases.
- Land sales and exchanges.
The state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation carries out the management decisions of the Land Board through its Trust Land Management Division.
If you have a question about issues relating to school trust lands, contact or write Secretary of State Corey Stapleton's office at P.O. Box 202801, Helena, MT 59620-2801.
Other members of the Land Board are Governor Steve Bullock, Attorney General Tim Fox, Auditor Matt Rosendale, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen.
The Land Board Meetings have been scheduled in Room 303 in the State Capitol Building. All meetings are on the third Monday of each month, except in January and February when there is an official state holiday on Monday. All meetings begin at 9:00 a.m.