Oregon Department of State Lands

Oregon Department Of State Lands

Oregon Department of State Lands

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The Department of State Lands (DSL), one of the oldest agencies of government of the U.S. state of Oregon, is principally responsible for the management of lands under state ownership, as its name implies. Unlike most other department-level state agencies, it is not headed by a sole elected official, but is the administrative arm of the Oregon State Land Board. Although established by the Constitution, subsequent statutes have added to its duties and authority, and include some provisions relating to its conduct. In addition to managing state-owned lands, the Board through the Department is responsible for the Common School Fund, off-shore lands and coastal estuarine tidelands, submerged and submersible lands of the navigable waterways, unclaimed property, estates with no heirs, and additional functions assigned by the Oregon Legislative Assembly from time to time. The Board decides cases, adopts rules, issues policy statements, and approves DSL recommendations.


The State Land Board was established in 1859 as the "Board of Commissioners for the sale of school, and University lands, and for the investment of the funds arising therefrom." It has been composed of the same three constitutional officers from its inception. Upon Oregon's admission to the union, the federal government ceded to the state two sections of each township to generate revenues for a Common School Fund, a trust fund for support and...
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