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About Us

The Department of State Lands is the administrative agency of the State Land Board.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of State Lands is to ensure a legacy for Oregonians and their public schools through sound stewardship of lands, wetlands, waterways, unclaimed property, estates and the Common School Fund.

The Department of State Lands is the administrative agency of the State Land Board, handling the day-to-day work of the board in managing the land and other resources dedicated to the Common School Fund. 
First established in 1878 as the Office of the Clerk of the Land Board, DSL is one of Oregon´s oldest state agencies. It was renamed and elevated to Executive Agency status by the 1967 State Legislature. The 2003 Legislature changed the agency name from Division of State Lands to Department of State Lands. 
The agency is comprised of four divisions: Director's Office, Aquatic Resource Management, Common School Fund Property, Business Operations and Support Services; and the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Natural & Fiscal Resources
Protecting Oregon´s Resources 
The Department of State Lands manages more than 600,000 acres of grazing and agricultural land; 125,000 acres of forestland, including the Elliott State Forest in Coos and Douglas counties; 800,000 acres of off-shore land, estuarine tidelands, and submerged and submersible lands of the state's extensive navigable waterway system; 7,000 acres of industrial/commercial/residential land; and 4,900 acres of special stewardship land. 
The State Land Board appoints the DSL Director. Proceeds from management of lands and waterways and other activities of the department and the Land Board become part of the Common School Fund principle.
The Fund´s market value is worth over $1 billion as of February, 2006. Earnings from fund investments are distributed twice a year to Oregon's 197 K-12 public school districts. The funds are distributed based on the school-age population of each county.
In addition to its land and fiscal management functions, the department provides other public services.
It is responsible for administering the state´s removal-fill la​w, which protects Oregon´s waterways and wetlands from uncontrolled alteration.
Under the Unclaimed Property Act, the DSL Director also acts as trust agent for "abandoned funds" such as bank accounts, safe deposit box contents and unca​shed checks.
Additionally, Oregon´s probate law designates the director of the Department of State Lands as the personal representative in the probate of an estate of a deceased person who has left neither a will nor known heirs.
Other department responsibilities include: leasing state-owned mineral rights for exploration and production of oil, gas, hard minerals and geothermal energy; providing opportunities to lease or buy state land; maintenance of historical records related to early land transactions, including deeds, leases and plats; management oversight and performance of administrative services for the South Slough National Estuarine Reserve; lead state agency for the protection and maintenance of Oregon´s unique wetlands resources; and management of coastal resources seaward of the mean high tide line.
   Annual Performance Measures 
   2012 Customer Service Survey Results​ 
​  ​ Common School Fund Graphic​
   DSL by the Numbers
   DSL brochure - provides a quick overview of the agency
   DSL Logo - gif format (200 x 200)
Administrative Overview
See the Administrative Overview for more details about the history of the agency and the current organization.