Land Sales Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:131-139)
Land sales is a sub-program that has not been emphasized in the past, but holds great potential for future revenue generation. There are three types of land which can be sold:
- State public lands to which title was never severed from the state (La. R.S. 41:131-139)
- Tax adjudicated lands (La. R.S. 47:2189)
- Lands designated as "non-essential" by any state agency (La. R.S. 41:140)
Non-severed lands are limited in number and the selection is restricted to those parcels having little public use and a very limited capability for producing recurring revenues. These parcels require an executive order from the Governor prior to being sold. Sales of tax adjudicated lands are hindered by very vague title descriptions and chains of title which are, more often than not, defective. Sales of surplus non-essential land are limited by both the decision of the controlling agency to declare properties under its jurisdiction "non-essential" and also the extremely poor condition of these properties.
- Land Sales - Rates for Sales of State Lands is governed by La. R.S. 41:134
- Land Leasing - Rates for Leasing State Lands is governed by La. R.S. 41:1214
Rights-of-Way and Surface Leases Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:1173; 1211; 1221)
The rights-of-way program provides for the issuance of rights-of-way across public lands and waterbottoms to individuals and corporations doing business in the state. The surface leasing program has been updated and expanded. This sub-program is one that is most appreciated by the public and is generally not dependent on the oil and gas industry for recurring revenue. Presently these are the largest revenue producing sub-programs.
Waterbottom Permits and Leases Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:1701-1714)
This sub-program provides for the permitting and leasing of structures on non-eroded waterways and for reclamation and fill of eroded areas. It also provides for permits and leases for the construction and maintenance of wharves, piers, docks and other commercial structures on navigable waterbottoms. Presently there exist numerous commercial restaurants, buildings and landfills on public waters. Rates for waterbottom leases are governed by Title 43 Section 27.
Timber Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:1001-1009)
Sale and management of timber on State public lands is a sub-program that was implemented in 1985. Timber represents a significant source of recurring revenues which the state has only recently begun to develop. Office of State Lands foresters continually prepare forest management plans for small tracts of state public timberland scattered throughout the state in order to maximize economic returns from timber products while considering ecological effects to the land and the recreational needs for the public. Due to these diverse demands imposed on state public lands, it has become critical that forest management plans reflect public views while utilizing sound forestry practices to accomplish the desired results. The overall forest management plan for state timberland is to provide the public an opportunity to use the recreational aspects associated with the public forests while maximizing economic potentials from timber products. Historically, small farmers throughout Louisiana used their land to provide for the needs of their families. They have attempted to keep the land productive and unharmed so that they can pass it on to the next generation. Using this same philosophy and a conservative approach to management, OSL is able to protect the forests and insure future generations the use of public forest lands.
This section of the office can trace its history to the original creation of the State Land Office in 1844 - whose function was to sell state-owned lands and maintain the records, documents, and plats of said sales. These records and maps provide the evidence of state ownership which is used to develop revenues from surface leasing and permitting for the State Land Office and mineral leasing for the Department of Natural Resources. Additional duties have been added over the years to include the following sub-programs:
State Immovable Property Inventory Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 39:11-14; 41:1; 41:2B; 41:7; 41:13; 41:16B; 41:140F; 41:151H)
This sub-program maintains a centralized inventory of immovable property owned or leased by the state or any of its departments and agencies. The land and conveyance information for each property is maintained by this office, while information regarding any state owned or insured buildings/structures situated upon these lands is maintained by the Division of Administration's Office of Risk Management - Loss Prevention Unit. Currently, the state's immovable property inventory contains information for 9,694 buildings across 1,149 sites (referred to as Business Entities) comprising nearly 1.3 million acres of land in which the state has an interest. Most state-owned/leased lands in this inventory, as well as many of the lands in which the state has only a mineral interest can be viewed on our interactive map by going to the "GIS & Data" portion of the OSL website.
Historical Land Title Records Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:1-6)
This sub-program maintains all Official U.S. and state historical land title information - including original land claims pursuant to Spanish, British, and French Land Grants; all severance documents of U.S. and state public lands; all U.S. Official Township Survey plats and field notes; the U.S. and State Tract Books - which are an index of all the other documents mentioned; Section 16 School Lands; State Patents; and numerous related documents. These records make up the source of title for every acre of land in Louisiana, whether privately or publicly owned. We have scanned a major portion of these records for retrieval, viewing, and copying. You can access these records from "Document Access", then "Historical Records" portion of the OSL website.
This section is a vital component of the day-to-day operations of the Office of State Lands and also acts as title consultant to the Office of the Attorney General, the State Mineral Board, the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and other agencies directly or indirectly involved with state public lands.
Title and Boundaries Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 41:1131 et seq)
Pursuant to the statutory responsibility of the Commissioner of Administration to make title determinations and boundary settlements, this sub-program serves as his technical consultant to obtain the necessary field survey information and title abstract data. Because the beds and bottoms of all navigable rivers, streams and lakes, the banks or shores of bay, arms of the sea and a portion of the Gulf of Mexico, belong to the state of Louisiana, this technical assistance becomes most apparent in the evaluation of waterways to determine navigability at the time of statehood. These waterbottom investigations assist the State Mineral Board in the evaluation of oil and gas mineral lease applications as well as insuring the collection of all royalty revenues which may be due the state of Louisiana. Waterbottom investigations performed at the request of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assists them in insuring that oyster leases are issued on state waterbottoms. Title investigations at the request of the Department of Justice as well as a review of Corps of Engineers Permit applications prevent unauthorized construction of impediments on navigable streams and lakes and insures that the proper permits and rights-of-way are obtained before initiating work on state public lands and waterbottoms. Title investigations performed at the request of the Lands and Waterbottoms Management Section of the Office of State Lands aids in the selection of non-controversial areas to be developed for campsites. Many times these title investigations also permit the Lands and Waterbottoms Management Section to proceed with timber cruises and timber sales on state public lands which otherwise may be subject to title dispute.
Field Surveys Sub-Program: (La. R.S. 50:121 et seq)
This sub-program gathers all of the field data necessary for the title and boundary determinations mentioned above, as well as to provide assistance to the Public Lands Utilization Manager when requested. The State Land Office has a field survey crew that is capable of surveying and locating property lines on state properties using conventional and GPS surveying technology. This is an invaluable aid in determining the boundary of state lands and important to maintaining the title to most of our state public lands. These surveys are one of the highest priorities of this office due to the fact that state public lands, once properly identified, can be managed to maximize revenues from them. A statewide GIS using computerized mapping for all state property is presently being developed.