July 16, 2010
CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch Addresses
Energy Development on State Lands In Keynote for
Western States Land Commissioners Association Regional Conference
KALISPELL, MT – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch this week addressed energy development on state lands in her opening keynote at the Western States Land Commissioners Association (WSLCA) Regional Conference in Kalispell, Montana.
McCulloch, who serves as one of five state Land Board members, discussed how revenue generated on state lands by hydro-electric river bed rent, oil and gas notification changes, recent wind farm leases and the development of the State of Montana Otter Creek coal tracts benefits the state’s public education system.
“It is my constitutional and fiduciary duty as a Land Board trustee to maximize school revenues for the present and the future,” Secretary McCulloch said. “The money not only directly benefits the kids, it protects services, prevents layoffs and improves the bottom line of the state’s budget.”
McCulloch said those involved with energy-related issues must work toward a sustainable future that supports the underlying philosophy about state lands.
“During my almost ten years on the Land Board, we’ve received nearly $600 million to benefit education,” McCulloch told the crowd. “For those of you from big states, this may be pocket change. But in Montana, it is real money for kids.”
The WSLCA consists of 23 states which manage 447 million acres of land, mineral rights and areas beneath navigable waterways. The association meets twice a year to discuss land management with leaders in both the public and private sectors.
Although energy development was the theme of this year’s conference, additional topics included forestry management, commercial real estate development, and land exchanges.
The conference was sponsored by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. For more information, visit dnrc.mt.gov/WSLCA