School lands have supported public education in Oregon since statehood, when Congress provided sections 16 and 36 of every township “for use of schools.” Today, the Oregon Department of State Lands manages Oregon's 775,000 acres of school lands to generate revenue for the Common School Fund. DSL is updating the asset management plan that guides state stewardship of school lands to create a new framework for strategic initiatives and day-to-day management in the coming decade.
Why does the plan need to be updated?
This 10-year plan is the key policy document for managing and evaluating Oregon’s school lands – and much has changed since the last update in 2012. DSL is seeking to achieve the best and most effective mix of revenue-generating opportunities using sound natural resource management and conservation principles while considering:
- Current land management science and best practices from across the country.
- Lessons learned from the past decade of managing Oregon's school lands. See the Real Estate Asset Management Plan: Achievements Report (2012 - 2021).
- Economic and environmental factors.
- DSL’s overall strategic direction.
- Community needs, as well as new and innovative ideas from stakeholders and the public that offer additional benefits for Oregonians.
The metrics that demonstrate how successful DSL is in meeting plan goals will also be re-examined.
Who is developing the updated plan?
DSL staff, particularly a Real Property Program working group, are leading the plan update. In addition to talking with a wide variety of stakeholders, DSL will be seeking public comments on a draft plan in 2023. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates on this project.
What new and innovative ideas will be explored?
DSL hopes to incorporate new ideas for how school lands can continue to generate revenue for education while also contributing additional public benefit. This could be:
- Solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects or carbon sequestration projects.
- Collaboration to meet community needs through land use planning of School Lands within urban growth boundaries.
- Lease and use of school lands to support local economies.
- Demonstration projects for wildfire risk reduction, invasive species management, or other climate resilience efforts.
- Conservation partnerships.
- Enhanced recreational opportunities.