State Board of Land Commissioners and the Office of State Lands
and Investments manage a State Trust land portfolio of roughly
3.50 million acres of surface estate and approximately 4.23
million acres of subsurface estate throughout the State of
Wyoming. The distribution of property assets are widely
scattered throughout Wyoming. Their distribution is largely a
reflection of the manner in which land grants were previously
selected and granted by the U.S. Government to the State of
Wyoming upon admission.
The Wyoming Office of State Lands
and Investment retained Pedersen Planning Consultants (PPC) to
establish a more effective planning process that that could be
applied to future land exchange, sales, and long-term lease
proposals. The intent was to establish a process that
recognizes the constitutional and statutory responsibilities of
OSLI and the State Board of Land Commissioners to the State
Trust and its beneficiaries. It was also important to OSLI that
any future evaluation and decision-making process reflect
substantive opportunities to consult with various federal,
state, county and municipal agencies, adjoining landowners, as
well as the general public. It was envisioned that a new
recommended evaluation and decision-making process would enable
the Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners to make more informed
decisions concerning the future use and management of State
trust surface lands and minerals.
To accomplish this project, PPC
completed the following tasks:
- Identified relevant
planning issues via interviews of the OSLI staff, the State
Land Board, and various State Trust beneficiaries.
- Developed a planning process
that incorporates asset management objectives, review and
evaluation of procedures associated with land use exchanges,
sales, and leasing of larger land tracts, agency and
inter-agency responsibilities, time frames for agency
actions, as well as coordination with appropriate local
governmental agencies and quasi-public organizations.
legislation needed at municipal, county, State, and/or
federal levels to facilitate implementation of the
recommended planning process.
- Identified specific
planning tools and related technologies that are necessary
to support the recommended planning processes.
PPC concluded, in part, that
constitutional, statutory and legislative mandates, as well as
the size and distribution of property assets, essentially
require that future decisions associated with long-term leases,
exchanges, acquisitions, and sales are considered in a regional,
community, and site context. The evaluation of available
information concerning the resident population, the economy, and
natural resources can facilitate a more comprehensive evaluation
and decision-making process.