I am not all that educated on the Montana Land Board, but as a neighbor of some school trust land I do know about land. In the middle 70's farm land took a jump in value, (the value of the dollar dropped). At the time banks were encouraging farmers to take out loans against the value of the land. Thus the "get big or get out" mentality.

The land will only produce so many bushels of grain or run so many cattle. If the land board raised the rent on school lands to meet the estimated value, the land would go begging for renters. If the farmer or rancher is not going to get a break-even point on his investment over several years he will not be in business. One can barrow on the appreciated value of land or stocks and bonds but if the market takes a tumble or the production is not there to pay off the loan, who is there to bail anyone out?


There may be over five million acres of land but what type of land is it? Farm land, timber, rangelands is the land even accessible? What is the best use of the land? Are you trying to say the land board should open business on the state lands to harvest its wealth and leave it barron for the next generation?

The question you should be asking is, how did the land board get the revenue from that land? Who paid for the land use? I would say it is rent from farmers and ranchers, just trying to find the break-even point.

Lauris Byxbe

3147 Anita Dam Rd.

Pompey's Pillar, MT 59064

Market Update

1 DOW 20,701.50
+150.52 (0.73%)    
2 S&P 2,358.57
+16.98 (0.73%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,875.14
+34.77 (0.60%)    
4 MDU 26.98
-0.16 (-0.59%)    
5 SWC 17.46
+0.06 (0.37%)    
6 EBMT 20.00
+0.15 (0.76%)    
7 FIBK 39.35
+0.55 (1.42%)    
8 GBCI 32.88
+0.41 (1.26%)