State trust lands are managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Trust Lands Management Division.
Timber, surface, and mineral resources are managed for the benefit of the common schools and the other endowed institutions in Montana, under the direction of the State Board of Land Commissioners.
State Auditor Troy Downing is on the Land Board
One of the Land Board members is State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing further explained the purpose of the board.
“The Board of Land Commissioners is actually in the Montana Constitution, and it was created very specifically to manage state trust lands to fund education,” said Downing. “If you go back to where those state trust lands came from, which was the Enabling Act, basically it was it was a federal act that granted land to rural states to fund education.”
One of the methods used to raise funds is the sale of some lands that will go into the ‘land banking program’ that purchases land from which income is derived to fund education.
Downing looked at the revenue from the sale of cabin leases.
Downing said one aspect of the sales concerns cabin leases that were not bringing in the kind of value that the current market might