New manager hired to look over school trust lands

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has hired an attorney and real estate expert to fill a new job overseeing school trust lands.

Aaron Vande Linde was hired recently as the DNR’s School Trust Land administrator. He will provide the DNR with strategic direction and oversight of the agency’s management of 2.5 million acres of school trust lands, and 1 million acres of state-owned severed mineral rights.

School trust lands, located mostly in the state’s northern half, are not DNR lands and their primary purpose is different from other state-owned public lands. School trust lands are managed as a source of income for the state’s Permanent School Trust Fund, which generates interest and dividends for the state’s public schools.

The history of school trust lands goes back to Minnesota statehood in 1858. That is when the federal government granted land to the state to generate income for public schools. Since then, the Legislature has delegated management of school trust lands to the DNR.