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State Lands agency seeks members for rangeland advisory committee
02/11/2008
 
For immediate release                                                                                           08-04
 
More information:   Nancy Pustis – 541-388-6355 (Bend)
 
Group will focus on grazing fees and formulas
 
Bend – Industry, conservation, scientific, education and at-large public representatives are invited to submit their interest in serving on the Department of State Lands (DSL) Grazing Fee Advisory Committee.
 
The 2008 committee is charged with reviewing existing formulas for calculating lease rates on more than 630,000 acres of rangeland, located primarily in central and southeastern Oregon. 
 
State-owned rangelands are the largest block of land remaining from a grant of land by the U.S. Congress to support schools when Oregon became a state in 1859. Revenues from rangeland leases are deposited in the Common School Fund. Earnings from the fund are sent twice yearly to Oregon’s K-12 public school districts; nearly $50 million was distributed in 2007.
 
In 2004, the Secretary of State conducted an audit to determine if DSL was maximizing long-term income from rangeland assets. The audit report directed the agency to “review the grazing fee formula and factors at least once every three years as required by Oregon Administrative Rule.” 
 
An eight-member Grazing Fee Advisory Committee met between September 2004 and May 2006 to produce the 2004-2006 Grazing Fee Advisory Report, which recommended that fees remain stable until additional research on fair market value could be completed. 
 
DSL Director Louise Solliday will select the members of the committee, with the goal of balancing varied interests and ensuring long-range management of rangeland revenues for the Common School Fund.  
 
Anyone interested in participating as a committee member should contact the DSL Eastern Region Office, 1645 NE Forbes Road, Suite 112, Bend, OR 97701, 541-388-6112, by Feb. 29, 2008.
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards.  The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.
 
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