The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) is the administrative arm of the State Land Board, Oregon’s longest-serving board. Established by the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Land Board has been composed of the Governor (chair), Secretary of State and State Treasurer throughout its history.
At statehood, the federal government granted Oregon 3.4 million acres – about 6 percent – of the new state’s land to finance public education. Though only about 1/5 of the original acreage remains, DSL continues to manage land and other resources dedicated to the Common School Fund for K-12 education. The Land Board is trustee of the fund.
Over time, the agency has been given other duties by the Oregon Legislature, including:
- Administering the state’s Unclaimed Property Law (1957)
- Administering the state’s Removal-Fill Law (1967) and implementing the Wetlands Conservation Act (1989)
- Serving as the state partner for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston (1974)
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.