The Montana Board of Land Commissioners

2022 Fire Situation Update - September 19

Wildland Fire Map

2015-2020 Fire Summary

State trust lands are managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) 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. The Board consists of Montana's five top elected officials.

The current Commissioners are:

  • Chair: Governor Greg Gianforte
  • Vice-Chair: State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen
  • Attorney General Austin Knudsen
  • Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen
  • State Auditor Troy Downing


The Land Board Working for Montana's Public Schools

State Trust Lands are overseen by the Board of Land Commissioners and the day-to-day management is carried out by Montana's Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.  State Trust Lands generate money for Montana's K-12 public schools, universities, youth correctional programs, the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, and the Montana Veterans Home.  In 2020, State Trust Lands produced over $41 million for Montana's K-12 public schools!  Trust Lands also provide public access to recreation.  An interactive map of Montana's Trust Lands can be found here.

State Trust Lands:

The Agriculture and Grazing Management Program is responsible for leasing and managing approximately 9,000 agreements for crop and rangeland uses on 4.76 million acres of school trust lands throughout the state.  Administrative staff and specialists in the department's Helena office and staff in field offices statewide manage the program. 

The Forest Management Bureau manages Montana's forested trust lands to maximize long-term revenue while promoting healthy and diverse forests on over 780,000 acres.  Revenue from forested trust lands is mainly derived from the sale of forest products. 

The Minerals Management Bureau, (MMB), is responsible for leasing, permitting, and managing approximately 5,301 oil and gas, metalliferous and non-metalliferous, coal, sand and gravel agreements on 2.1 million acres of the available 6.2 million acres of school trust lands and approximately 5,632 acres of other state-owned land throughout Montana.

The Real Estate Management Bureau manages all activity on trust lands not classified as grazing, agriculture, or timber.  These "other" surface tracts are administered for the benefit the trust through leasing, short-term licenses, land exchanges and sales, and through issuing right-of-way agreements.

Trust Land
Program Highlights

Get Involved in Your Land Board

Land Board meetings are open and public comment is welcome!  Meetings can be streamed online or attended in person.

Land Board Meetings (Archived and Scheduled Meetings): 

Land Board meetings occur monthly.  They take place in the Old Supreme Court Chambers in Montana's Capitol.   

Contact Your Commission:

You can email all five of the Commissioners:

Vice-Chair Arntzen can be reached via email: Superintendent Elsie Arntzen