Endowment lands fund public schools
More than $1 billion to public schools and institutions since 1951
In 2020, the Idaho Department of Lands and the Idaho Endowment Fund Investment Board provided Idaho public schools with more than $52.5 million from the trust. The money comes from timber sales and leases on endowment lands and earnings from invested funds.
FOREST FACT: There are 998,281 acres of endowment timberland in Idaho in 2018.
FOREST FACT: Nearly 50,000 truckloads of forest products were hauled from endowment lands in 2018.
History of Endowment Lands in Idaho
As it was deliberating the Idaho Admissions Act in 1889, the United States Congress displayed uncommon wisdom by granting Idaho approximately 3,600,000 acres of land for the sole purpose of funding specified beneficiaries. The Idaho Constitution includes a mandate that the lands will be managed “…in such manner as will secure the maximum long-term financial return to the institution to which [it is] granted.”
Chief among the beneficiaries of endowment funds are Idaho public schools, which received two sections of every township in the state (1/18 of the total land base). Beneficiaries of the other funds include the University of Idaho, State hospitals for the mentally ill, Lewis-Clark State College, State veterans homes, Idaho State University, the Capitol Commission, Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, and Idaho’s juvenile corrections system and prison system.
The Endowment Fund Investment Board is charged with managing the invested revenues from the endowment lands.