Our Agency and Mission
SITLA serves as fiduciary of Utah’s 3.4 million acres of trust lands. Unlike public lands that are held in public domain, trust lands are parcels of land held in trust to support 12 state institutions, but primarily the K-12 public education system. SITLA is constitutionally mandated to generate revenue from trust lands to build and grow permanent endowments for these institutions, which were designated by Congress in 1894. Utah’s public school system is the largest beneficiary, holding 96% of all Utah trust lands.
- Public schools
- Public buildings
- Miners Hospital at the University of Utah Medical Center
- College of Mines and Earth Sciences at the University of Utah
- Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
- Utah State Hospital
- University of Utah
- Utah State University
- Juvenile Justice Services
- Teaching colleges at the University of Utah, and Dixie State, Southern Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley, and Weber State universities
TRUST LAND MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
The agency manages a land portfolio for each beneficiary, generating revenue through all types of development, including: real estate development and sales; oil, gas, and mineral leases, rents, and royalties; renewable energy projects and surface estate sales, leases, and easements.
TRUST FUND INVESTMENT
SITLA deposits all proceeds into 12 individual permanent endowments, which are invested by a separate agency, the School and Institutional Trust Funds Office. Annual interest income from each permanent fund is distributed annually to these state institutions.
In addition to generating substantial revenue, the Administration has been involved in numerous transactions and projects that have preserved and protected more than 560,000 acres of land in Utah, an area equivalent to the combined acreage of Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks.
LAND EXCHANGE DISTRIBUTION ACCOUNT (LEDA)
The agency also administers the Land Exchange Distribution Account, managing the complex disbursement of development royalties from federal lands, which serve as compensation to the 27 counties that acquired or exchanged lands at the time of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument designation. This responsibility will continue to grow as the Administration collaborates on several land exchanges with the federal government.
MISSION: Administering trust lands prudently and profitably for Utah’s schoolchildren and other trust beneficiaries.