Endowment Lands Contribute More Than $500 Million to Idaho’s Economy
January 29, 2019
MOSCOW, Idaho – Jan. 29, 2019 — A new study reveals Idaho endowment lands contributed $531.3 million in gross state product (GSP) in 2017, including $315.4 million in wages from 7,641 jobs.
Using an input-output model, the University of Idaho Policy Analysis Group study examined three sources of economic effects: effects generated by inputs (timber, forage, minerals, etc.) from endowment lands to various industries; spending of distributions by beneficiaries; and expenditures by Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) and the Endowment Fund Investment Board (EFIB) for land and financial asset management, respectively.
Distributions to endowment beneficiaries are made annually. In fiscal year 2017, distributions totaled $63.7 million, with $36.7 million going to public schools. In fiscal year 2020, the distributions will total $80.9 million with nearly $51.3 million going to public schools.
Timberlands, accounting for 41 percent of endowment lands, provided the largest share of contributions. The timber sales and harvests, forest products manufacturing, and land management expenditures contributed over 6,000 jobs and more than $440 million in GSP to Idaho’s economy, including $248.5 million in wages.
“Endowment timberlands provide about 20 percent of the state’s timber supply. Timber sales from endowment lands netted almost $40.5 million in fiscal year 2017. These revenues go directly into the trust funds that benefit public schools and other state institutions,” said Dennis Becker, dean of the College of Natural Resources and one of the study’s authors.
“This study paints a picture of the commitment and dedication IDL employees have to the endowment mission and to being good stewards of the beneficiaries’ endowment assets,” said Dustin Miller, director of IDL. “Contributing more than a half-billion dollars into Idaho’s economy means greater prosperity for the state and Idaho families.”
Idaho owns approximately 2.4 million acres of endowment lands, managed as endowment trusts for the benefit of public schools and other beneficiary institutions. The Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners serves as the trustee for the nine endowment land trusts. Each trust consists of the land asset, managed by IDL, as well as a Permanent Fund and an Earnings Reserve Fund managed by the EFIB.
Endowment lands produce revenues for the beneficiaries in a variety of ways. Almost 1 million acres of endowment lands are timberlands, managed for timber that supplies the forest products industry with raw material. Over 1.4 million acres of endowment lands are rangelands, managed for grazing forage that supplies the livestock industry. Other endowment land uses include farming, residences, mineral and oil and gas exploration, communications sites and other commercial purposes.
The Policy Analysis Group was established by the Idaho Legislature in 1989 to provide objective analysis of the impacts of natural resource proposals. It is located at the University of Idaho in the College of Natural Resources.
About Idaho Department of Lands
The Idaho Department of Lands manages 2.4 million acres of Endowment Land under a Constitutional mandate to “secure the maximum long-term financial return” for the beneficiaries. There are nine specific funds and beneficiaries: Idaho Public Schools, University of Idaho, State hospitals for the mentally ill, Lewis-Clark State College, State veterans homes, Idaho State University, Capitol Commission, Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, and Idaho’s juvenile corrections system and prison system. This fiscal year (FY 2019) the distribution to beneficiaries is $78.2 million, with $50.3 million going to public schools. For more information about IDL and its accomplishments, please see the 2018 IDL Annual Report .
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu