The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Southeast Region Office is working through the logistics of enabling an unleased trust parcel to generate revenue for the Common School trust for a long period of time.
In 2011, the Quincy-Columbia Basin Irrigation District offered DNR a new water service contract which will enable the department to develop and irrigate a previously undeveloped parcel, called the Sand Hollow property. The water source would be the Sand Hollow Wasteway which carries run-off water, which is considered non-natural water created from the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project managed by United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBOR). To access the wasteway water, DNR proposes to build a small portion of the project on USBOR lands.
After obtaining the Water Service Contract, DNR has been actively marketing the parcel to find qualified bidders interested in a “development lease,” where permits, permissions, land preparation, and an irrigation infrastructure could be pursued. In February 2013, DNR signed a lease with MTA Farms, who is currently working through the process of designing and building a system with assistance from the department’s Southeast Region. The system (see concept map) will serve State trust-lands in this area for a long time to come.
After being developed, this parcel, relatively valued at $1,000 per acre, will likely increase in value by six to eight times in the current market. In addition, this previously unused parcel will begin to produce yearly revenues – another trust land success story for K-12 education.
DNR Southeast Region