Time Machine Tuesday: The State Board of Land Commissioners

One of Colorado’s oldest state agencies is the State Board of Land Commissioners, known informally as the State Land Board. The Land Board was established in 1876 at the time of Colorado’s statehood. Its purpose is to manage lands granted to Colorado by the Federal Government in public trusts that financially benefit public schools and institutions. The Land Board is the second-largest landowner in Colorado, after the Federal Government itself. The money to fund schools and other public institutions is raised through leasing the land for agriculture, resource extraction, renewable energy, and recreational uses.

Our library has digitized the Land Board’s annual/biennial reports back to 1903. In these reports researchers can find detailed lists of land transactions, statistics on funding to schools and institutions, and data on mineral leases, timber sales, and other revenue-generating activity. (To see more recent reports up to the present day, click here.) For historical information on land laws, see another Land Board publication that has been digitized by our library, Colorado’s State Land Laws (1917). Finally, check out this fun interactive timeline that the Land Board has posted on their website.