Department of State Lands Records Guide
Agency History - Current Organization
The Department of State Lands is the administrative agency of the State Land Board handling the routine work of the board in managing the land and other resources dedicated to the Common School Fund. The agency is comprised of four divisions: Director’s Office including the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Finance and Administration, Land Management and Wetlands and Waterways Conservation.
The Director’s Office oversees administrative responsibilities for the State Land Board and directs the operations of DSL. The director provides overall leadership to DSL staff; makes recommendations to the Land Board and Legislature; approves policies and plans; and oversees DSL’s budget, grants and contracts. Moreover, the director serves as the chair of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR) Management Commission and participates as a member of the Economic Revitalization Team, Department of Administrative Services and Natural Resources Cabinets, and serves on the Ocean Policy Advisory Council as a non-voting member. The Human Resources, Communications and Internal Auditing programs are also located in the Director’s Office.
Finance and Administration Division
This division is responsible for DSL’s agency-wide systems administration, as well as oversight of the Common School Fund and other DSL-managed funds, audits and properties. It includes the following sections: Unclaimed Property, which holds property such as dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks and abandoned safety deposit box contents in trust until the rightful owner can be found; Information Systems, which provides maintenance, support and protection of DSL’s computer information and GIS systems and supports a variety of database systems; and Fiscal Services which includes the administration of estates that have no known will or heir. The assistant director serves as the agency’s legislative coordinator and oversees the administrative rule process.
Land Management Division
The Land Management Division administers all programs and activities that generate revenue for the Common School Fund from trust and statutory lands. This includes land granted to Oregon upon statehood and the submerged and submersible lands underlying navigable waterways. In addition, the division manages mineral rights on all state-owned lands, including property owned
by other agencies. The division issues leases, easements, rights of way, and licenses for use of state owned uplands and waterways. Furthermore, the division is responsible for implementing DSL ’s Asset Management Plan, which guides the work of the State Land Board in managing state land assets. The division’s assistant director manages the Western Region land management staff and DSL’s headquarters building which includes state agency tenants. The division maintains an Eastern Region Office for all land management activities east of the Cascades.
Wetlands and Waterways Conservation Division
The Wetlands and Waterways Conservation Division’s primary duty is to conserve and protect state waters and wetlands for their contribution to public navigation, fisheries and recreational uses of waters through the Removal-Fill and Wetlands programs. The division is responsible for three core functions: Implementing the Removal-Fill Law by assisting landowners and consultants in obtaining permits for removal-fill activities on Oregon’s waterways, wetlands, the Pacific Ocean and other waters of the state. Staff also monitor permits for compliance with conditions; Providing assistance for and review of wetland delineation reports, an important component of the removal-fill permitting process; and assisting with state requirements to replace lost wetlands by helping establish wetland mitigation banks and monitoring the development of wetland mitigation sites. The division’s assistant director oversees the Western and Eastern Operations sections and the Wetlands Program, as well as DSL’s liaison to the Economic Revitalization Team. The assistant director also represents the agency on the Oregon Plan Core Team.
Boards and Programs
State Land Board
The board leases state lands and other resources to public and private interests for a variety of business activities. Rangeland is leased to ranchers for grazing; timber is sold; and waterway areas are leased for uses such as sand and gravel removal, houseboat moorages, marinas and log storage. The board is also the trustee of the Common School Fund.
South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
DSL serves as the state-agency partner for the SSNERR which is comprised of 1,000 acres of open water and tidelands plus 3,800 acres of uplands in the Charleston area near Coos Bay. The Reserve was established in 1974 as a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Staff conducts research and monitoring on estuaries in the region, and provides training and education for thousands of schoolchildren, coastal residents and visitors. The SSNERR is a key player in developing local tsunami preparedness. Also, a 6,500 square foot interpretive center serves as a facility for visitor information, workshops and administrative offices. SSNERR scientists share administrative resources and laboratory facilities with the University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston.