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FAQs

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FAQs: State-Owned Land
FAQs: Waterways & Wetlands
FAQs: Unclaimed Money & Estates
Yes. Holders may report property valued at less than $50 per owner in aggregate. If detailed information is available for aggregate accounts, please attach it to the report so we can better serve claimants with small amounts of property.
Yes, on a leash. Please remember to pick up after them.
Most of state-owned rangelands in eastern Oregon are currently leased (about 90 percent). For more information about the leasing program, see the Rangeland web page.
Yes. Depending on the proposed area, there may be opportunities for alternative energy development on state lands. Contact DSL’s office in Bend – 541-388-6112 – for more information.
No. If the securities do become transferable or gain value, report and remit the shares to our office at that time. You will not be penalized for late reporting in these situations.
Yes, the public may use the waterway if it has the capacity in terms of length, width and depth, to enable boaters to make successful progress through its waters. Under the Public Use Doctrine, the public has the right to use waterways for navigation, commerce, recreation and fisheries, even where the bed is privately owned, and to make “reasonable, incidental use of the bed and banks.” The public may use adjacent land only if it necessary for the lawful use of waterway. However, it is clear that river users have no right to trespass on privately owned uplands – that is, land above the ordinary high water mark.
Yes - the Education Program staff offer a wide variety of educational field trip experiences for classes, as well as in-classroom training. Check the website for current offerings. All field trips are offered at no charge.
The closest heirs of the decedent or those heirs listed in a probate proceeding are entitled to claim the asset. Submit a copy of a death certificate or will. If a probate proceeding is currently being administered, send court-certified copies of the letters of administration or affidavit of claiming successor (also known as a small estates affidavit) to support your claim. If the probate proceeding is closed, submit a court-certified copy of the final decree of distribution or final order listing the heirs entitled to the decedent’s assets. Personal papers and photographs from safe deposit boxes are stored for five years before being destroyed.
For Oregon holders, you may report incidental unclaimed property for other states to Oregon unless you have received specific instructions to report from the other state. Oregon transfers incidental property for other states in June following the reporting cycle. If you report another state’s property to Oregon: 1) Report the items using that state’s abandonment period for the property; and 2) Note that you may be charged penalties and/or interest by the other state.
Yes - The South Slough Reserve has a robust volunteer program, overseen by the Public Involvement Coordinator who works with community partners, Reserve staff and the Friends of Sough Slough to raise awareness of public involvement opportunities. There are many ways to become involved: • Trail guide • Visitor services • Program publicity • Education • Field work • Clerical tasks • Trail maintenance Volunteers contribute more than 4,463 hours annually, which translates to approximately $102,961. Contact the Public Involvement Coordinator to get involved.
DSL offers a free service to landowners to evaluate the likelihood of wetlands on your property. To request this service, use the Off-Site Determination Request Form [link]. Please note that this service only provides a preliminary assessment; if wetland mapping (delineation) is needed, e.g., to apply for a removal-fill permit, the services of a wetland delineation consultant will be required.
Owners are not entitled to receive interest after the property is sent to the State of Oregon. The Common School Fund receives interest earnings from all unclaimed property.
No. We encourage holders to report the details for all property. Aggregates were developed decades ago to simplify reporting when most reports were hand-written or typed.
The removal-fill permit application requires that you provide certain technical information about the wetland or waterway involved with your project. If mitigation is required, a detailed mitigation plan involving numerous technical elements is required. An experienced consultant can help prepare the application materials and provide you technical support though the permit process to help avoid unnecessary delays.
If the stream is designated Essential Salmon Habitat you may collect up to one cubic yard of material per year using non-motorized equipment without needing a removal-fill permit. If the stream is a designated State Scenic Waterway, you will need a scenic waterway removal-fill permit for collecting materials. For all other waterways, you may collect up to 50 cubic yards of material per year without needing a removal-fill permit.
A federal Clean Water Act permit is usually required from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Some local jurisdictions also require a permit for work in a wetland or waterway. Contact your local planning department for more information.
If you are clearing vegetation that does not involve digging, grubbing or plowing the ground surface, you do not need a Removal-Fill Permit. It’s always a good idea to contact your local planning department for any local ordinances that might regulate this activity. If clearing vegetation will involve digging, grubbing or plowing the ground, contact the DSL permit coordinator for your county.
Contact the Oregon Health Authority or the Oregon Mortuary Board. DSL cannot pay for funeral expenses when the estate has no funds.
If the owner cannot be contacted by the business or entity holding the funds (the “holder”) within a period of time, generally three years, the holder must send the unclaimed money to the state. Holding periods are defined in the brochure, “complying with Oregon’s Unclaimed Property Law.”
The Department of State Lands handles estate administration only for those who die without a will and known heirs. Questions regarding probate should be directed to your legal professional. The Oregon State Bar website has additional information on the probate process.
Many public agencies – including the Department of State Lands – have staff that will notarize documents for free or a small fee. You may also check with your bank or credit union, investment firm or insurance company.
The Reserve has a robust community education program that offers classes, workshops and hikes for all ages. Check the website often for upcoming events, and for the summer camp schedule.
For questions regarding claims or possible claims with the Department of Human Services please call 1-800-826-5675.
Please submit documents such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or other court documents that show any name changes.
Private uses and smaller structures on state-owned waterways require a registration, which is a lower-cost, simplified authorization.
Contact any of the Estates staff by phone or email. If possible, include name of decedent, date of birth, date of death, Social Security number, last known address, any known heirs (family), and any known assets (bank accounts, vehicles, etc.).
If you know the owner is deceased, you may show (DECD) after the last name, but this is not required. If you only have circumstantial evidence of death, report it as normal. If the funds relate to an estate, use the relationship code ES. If you also have the executor’s name, use the relationship code EX.
If you have never reported safe keeping items before, call or email us before reporting. Some situations are not subject to reporting and are covered under the chattel lien laws.
Checks must be payable to the Department of State Lands. If you have questions, email holder@state.or.us. Please send reports with payment to: Oregon Department of State Lands, Unclaimed Property Section; 775 Summer St. NE; Suite 100;Salem, OR 97301-1279
Oregon Administrative Rule 141-040-0213 outlines specific requirements for claims submitted on behalf of businesses and government agencies. Be sure all power of attorney forms and other authorizations are dated within one year of the date of inquiry.
State lease agreements require the lessee to control noxious weeds on their leasehold. DSL works cooperatively with lessees on weed control where it can be most effective. The agency’s own efforts include participation in three cooperative weed management areas (CWMAs) through contract ground spraying along roads, and initiating efforts to control some larger patches of noxious weeds. DSL contributes funds to the CWMAs, which enables their weed coordinators to better treat across ownership boundaries between state and private lands.
The State Land Board has exclusive jurisdiction to assert title to the submerged and submersible lands within the state. However, only after state ownership has been confirmed through litigation or upon completion of a navigability study by the Department of State Lands, is a waterway deemed “navigable.”
Most property is abandoned after three years. Depending on your organization and the type of property, there are different abandonment periods. See the Report Year Conversion Table​.
It depends on which type of permit you are applying for. General Authorizations are reviewed within 30 days. Most General Permits are issued within 40 days of application submittal. Individual Permits typically take up to 120 days but may be longer if there are issues that delay the review process.
The Department reviews claims in the order received. In busy months, it may take up to 90 days or more from the date you mail the inquiry. State law requires the Department to return funds in 120 days, unless there are complications with the claim.
Keep unclaimed property reports and related records including due diligence efforts for three years after reporting. Unclaimed property records are considered confidential beginning 12 months before and for 24 months after reporting.
Keeping all documents confidential is our highest priority. Staff are trained in procedures to ensure personal information is safeguarded; that is why we do not accept proof of identification via email.
It depends on the scope and scale of the improvement work. Some work can be done without needing a permit, .e.g., weed removal and planting native species. If you will be digging, grubbing or plowing in the wetland or below the ordinary high water line, then some form of approval from DSL will likely be needed.
You may submit all the claim forms in one envelope, and you do not need to send multiple copies of the same proof of identification. You should sign all of the claim inquiries but you only need to notarize the top one.
Yes, if your project involves removing or filling more than 50 cubic yards of material in the wetland or waterway (or any amount of material in Essential Salmon Habitat waters or State Scenic Waterways). Check with the permit coordinator for your county before doing any work in the wetland or waterway on your property.
In most cases you may still need to get information from them to submit a report. Unless your contract specifically notes that they take possession of the funds and the responsibility to file any unclaimed property reports required, you would still be considered the holder for unclaimed property purposes. In many cases, the vendor may already be filing required reporting on your behalf. The first step is to contact them to find out how they are handling unclaimed checks or inactive accounts.
No. Sunset Bay and Bullards Beach State Parks and Bastendorff Beach County Park all provide public camping facilities.
Yes. Electronic reports must be in the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators’ (NAUPA) format, and sent on a DVD or CD. We encourage you to use our free reporting too, or HRS Pro provided by Xerox: www.wagers.net.
Yes, there are hiking and water trails at the South Slough, as well as a Visitor Center with exhibit space and a bookstore. Trails are for foot traffic only, no bikes, ATVs or horses. Trails are open every day from sunrise to sunset, and the center is open Tuesday Through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Yes, but if you plan to use what you find for commercial purposes or if the value is over $500, you will need an authorization from DSL.
It depends on what you intend to do and where. On land where the Department of State Lands owns both the surface and underlying mineral rights, you may take an occasional hand-sized sample and geologically map an area without obtaining an authorization. However, if you intend to dig holes or trenches, or conduct exploratory drilling, you will need to contact DSL. If the surface is owned by someone other than DSL or under lease to another entity, you’ll need to obtain permission from the owner or lessee.
The general policy of the State Land Board is to retain all mineral and geothermal resource rights unless they are determined to be of no significant value, in which case they may be sold upon approval by the Board.
Foreign addresses, unknown owners, unknown addresses, and properties are reported to the holder's state of incorporation or domicile if the company is not incorporated.
You may submit written confirmation that you lived at the reported address, and provide the approximate timeframe you lived there.
If you have an active account with the State of Oregon, send a negative (zero) report to help us maintain your account information. Inactive accounts do not need to send a negative report, but you will not receive our annual newsletter and reminders. If you have never sent a report to Oregon, you do not need to submit a negative report.
The word “navigable” is a legal term that means a waterway has been determined to have enough depth, width and length for passage, and that it was used “in its natural and ordinary condition” at statehood for purposes of travel and trade. The public has certain rights associated with the use of navigable waterways.
Regardless of who owns the submerged and submersible land of a waterway, one thing is clear: certain misbehaviors (such as offensive littering, reckless burning, etc.) are crimes no matter where they occur. If you observe criminal acts being done on the submerged and submersible land of a waterway, and want to end those activities, contact your local law enforcement agency.
Deeds sometimes describe property that could not be legally conveyed. Although title companies work hard to ensure that the buyer is legally entitled to all of the property described on a deed, their research relies in large part on verifying the “chain of ownership” contained in historical records. If a transfer of property many years or even generations ago was erroneous, and has not been contested over time, the mistake may go uncorrected. If the submerged and submersible land underlying a waterway is determined by the courts, or through the navigability study process, to be state-owned, the state has what is termed a “prior existing right” to the land in that waterway. Since a deed can only convey interests actually owned by the seller, and since the submerged and submersible land underlying all navigable rivers was given to the state at statehood in 1859, there will be situations where the state is the true owner of the submerged and submersible land regardless of what a deed may say. These issues depend on the facts of the particular situation, property, waterway or deed.
You must send in the original stock certificates, or a surety bond may be required if the asset you are claiming involves a corporate action such as a merger or buy-out. Stock and mutual funds are liquidated on a specific schedule, so you may be entitled only to the sale proceeds.
If the emergency involves an immediate threat to public health, safety or substantial property, DSL can issue you an emergency permit within five days, or if absolutely necessary, can approve the emergency work by phone. It is important to remember that emergency permits only authorize the minimum amount of work necessary to reduce or eliminate the threat.
Holders must make a diligent effort to locate owners of property valued at $100 or more. This should be done as soon as the account is dormant or unclaimed, and must be completed at least 60 days before remitting to the state. You must document your effort.
The 5,900-acre Reserve, the first established in the United States, is a joint partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Oregon Department of State Lands. Its main functions are research, stewardship and education.
Full-time science staff work with visiting scientists and student interns on a wide range of topics, including water quality and weather monitoring, climate change research, species and habitat research and monitoring, and restoration and stewardship projects.
See the State Land Sales web page for information on any current land being offered for sale.
Between October 1 and November 1 for property abandoned as of June 30 of the report year. Property received early may be returned unless you have written approval from DSL to remit early.
No, unless you have a written contract with the owner that permits this charge.
Funds for missing heirs should be remitted to the Unclaimed Property Unit in the Department of State Lands, 775 Summer Street NE, Salem, OR 97301. Please include copies of final judgments with court-approved distributive shares. More information is available from the lead reports coordinator: 503-986-5290.
The people of Oregon own the submerged and submersible land underlying all navigable streams, rivers, and lakes in most cases up to the ordinary high water line. In addition, the people of Oregon also own portions of waterways that are subject to tidal influence. Exceptions to this public ownership are those parcels the state may have sold since statehood or that the federal government reserved or granted before statehood.
DSL uses criteria and direction provided in the Real Estate Asset Management Plan to evaluate difficult-to-manage and/or isolated parcels that are not generating money for the Common School Fund. All land sales and exchanges are processed through rules established in OAR 141-067. Parcels are carefully evaluated for financial, natural, cultural and recreational impacts before sales. Adjacent property owners, interested parties, and federal, state and local agencies are notified during the evaluation. The Land Board approves all final transactions and sale methods, such as public auction.​

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