A Relationship of Trust: Are State School Trust Lands Being Prudently
Managed for the Beneficiary?
Mark A. Sunderman
University of Wyoming - College of Business - Department of Economics and Finance
Ronald W. Spahr
University of Memphis - Finance
University of Wyoming
Journal of Real Estate Research Vol. 26, No. 4, 2004
Every state entering the Union in the United States since 1803 received land grants from the federal government for the support of their public schools. Inherent in this federal grant is the fiduciary duty to prudently and effectively manage trust assets for the beneficiary, their school systems. This paper addresses the question of whether managers of trust lands are meeting their fiduciary responsibilities of maximum economic benefit for their beneficiaries. Realized market value-based economic returns from grazing lease revenues and capital appreciation for
all twenty-three counties in Wyoming are compared with returns that may have been generated from alternative investment policy alternatives. Market values and capital appreciation for school trust lands in Wyoming are estimated from hedonic models formulated from ranch sales data and grazing revenue data.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: land grant, fiduciary duty, trust land, grazing lease, ranch sale, grazing
JEL Classification: D61, C42, C33, G32,G38,H30,K11,K23,O13,O18,O21,R11
Accepted Paper Series