State trust lands are managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to benefit specific beneficiaries. Just prior to Washington becoming a state in 1889, Congress passed the Omnibus Enabling Act of 1889 and granted more than 3 million acres of land to Washington to support various public institutions important for the new state. Washington, more than most other western states, has retained ownership of these trust lands over the years to serve as an ongoing source of land-based financial support to the various beneficiaries – including the Common School Trust to support construction of public schools for Kindergarten through Grade 12.
In December 2008, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the
Commissioner of Public Lands reported to the Legislature on options for using
existing state lands in high growth areas of the state for potential future
school sites. The report found that any school district in the state, whether in
a high growth area or not, can approach the DNR and discuss the availability of
any parcel of trust land within its district for school sites or other related
For more information:
Options to Acquire or
Lease State Trust Lands Memorandum (Word)
Trust Land Transaction Fact Sheet (PDF)
Potential School Sites State Trust Land Study (PDF, 120 pages)
None at this time.
For questions on proposed transactions or to contact DNR’s Asset and
Property Management Division please call (360) 902-1600 or e-mail
OSPI contact: Christine Thomas,
firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 725-6267.