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State land auction scheduled
03/10/2009
 
For immediate release                                                                 09-06
 
More information:   Clara Taylor – 503-986-5276
                             John Lilly – 503-986-5281
 
 
16 parcels in NE Oregon include a range of opportunities and locations 
 
La Grande – Tracts of rangeland and timberland, ranging from one to 160 acres in Baker, Union, Umatilla and Wallowa counties, will be sold by public auction on March 26, 2009. The oral auction starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Blue Mountain Conference Center in La Grande, Oregon.
 
“Our Asset Management Plan directs us to dispose of lands that are not actively managed, and to reinvest sale proceeds in other real estate activities,” said John Lilly, Asset Manager for the Department of State Lands (DSL), the agency who is offering the properties. “The relatively isolated location of these 17 parcels makes them candidates for other agencies or property owners to manage more effectively,” he said.
 
The properties include one parcel with frontage and visibility on I-84 near Meacham; timber-dominant properties near Baker City, Cove and La Grande; potential farm type properties in Umatilla County, and properties with spectacular views of the Grande Ronde Valley. Some parcels have recreation potential and many parcels are land locked.
 
All DSL land assets are part of the agency’s real estate portfolio managed to generate revenue for Oregon’s Common School Fund, a trust fund established at statehood to benefit schools.
Twice a year, the Department of Education distributes earnings from the fund to the state’s 198 K-12 public school districts; in 2008, distributions totaled $55.4 million. Distributions in the four counties where the state properties are located (Baker, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa) totaled over $1.87 million.
 
“Our goal over the next five-plus years is to consolidate our land holdings and make strategic real estate investments to increase the Common School Fund,” said Lilly. “We have a responsibility to the more than half a million school-aged children in this state – and to future generations of Oregon schoolchildren – to do all we can to ensure the fund is healthy and growing.”
 
More information, including detailed descriptions of the parcels and the auction process, is available on the DSL Web site: www.oregonstatelands.us, or by calling the DSL Salem office: 503-986-5200.
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ben Westlund. 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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