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Oregon’s School Lands: Asset Management Plan

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, DSL manages Oregon's 772,600 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. 
  • Economic and environmental factors.
  • DSL’s overall strategic direction.
  • Community needs, as well as new and innovative ideas that offer additional public benefits. 
The metrics that demonstrate how successful DSL is in meeting plan goals will also be re-examined.

This preliminary timeline may change. 

  • Summer 2022: Project team evaluated a decade of best practices and lessons learned. Presented the Real Estate Asset Management Plan: Achievements Report (2012 - 21) to the Land Board. 
  • November 2022 - April 2023: Early input from stakeholders and industry research. 
  • April - October 2023: Draft plan development. 
  • (anticipated) November 2023: Draft plan available for an open comment period. 
  • December 2023 - January 2024: Revisions of the draft plan. 
  • February 2024: Plan presented to the State Land Board for review and potential approval.​
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.​​
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: 
  • Renewable energy projects in solar, wind, geothermal and others, as well as carbon sequestration projects. 
  • Supporting community needs and local economies through land use planning of school lands within urban growth boundaries, and leasing and use of school lands.
  • Demonstration projects for wildfire risk reduction, invasive species management, or other climate resilience efforts. 
  • Partnering with local organizations to support projects in habitat improvements, enhanced recreational opportunities, and more.​

In the summer of 2022, the project team reviewed the previous plan's strategies, objectives, and achievements from the past decade, as well as lessons learned​. The previous plan focused on:

  • A​ppreciation and performance. ​
  • Increasing school land revenue and value. 
  • Developing​ tools for consistent, accountable management of lands.
In pursuit of those strategies and objectives, the project team identified ​five lessons learned that will be considered in the development of the new plan:
  • ​Better performance measures are needed. 
  • Sale of low-performing lands has little potential to produce significant revenue.
  • Undertaking land use planning has great potential to produce significant revenue.
  • Management of occupied buildings is unlikely to be a good fit for the portfolio.
  • ​​External factors can significantly affect the Department’s ability to maximize land potential and appreciation (for example, wildfires).

Ways to Engage

We'll be sending out more frequent updates when we get closer to having a draft plan to share for an open comment period. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates on this project.

On Wednesday, April 5th we held an online information session on the development of a new school lands management plan for Oregon—a ​ guiding framework for the coming decade. The team shared: ​
  • ​DSL's role in managing land for the Common School Fund. 
  • Lessons learned from the previous plan.
  • Looking ahead to new priorities and current best practices in land management.
  • The project timeline and how you can give feedback. 

You can watch a recording of the presentation here.​

​The new asset management plan for Oregon's school lands is currently being drafted, and will be sent out through public notice for an open comment period later this summer (anticipated in November 2023). Stay tuned for more information, and subscribe to our mailing list to receive email notifications on the project here​.

 If you've got ideas or feedback to inform the development of the plan, we'd invite you to fill out this form.​