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The State Land Board issues surface leases for grazing, dry land crop production and irrigated farming. Agriculture leases generate consistent and sustainable revenue while managing state trust land in a manner that protects and enhances the long-term value of the assets. Agriculture leases are managed by Staff in the agency’s district offices.
For questions or assistance, please refer to the
the district office that handles your county.
Projects and Information
Click here to view an interactive map of expiring Agricultural leases
I want to lease state trust land. What is available?
Call or visit the district office for the area you are interested in. Expiring leases are posted on the State Land Board website on a quarterly basis. Vacant parcels available for lease are on the website as well.
How do I find out who the current lessee is on a particular piece of state trust land?
Call or visit the district office for the area in which you are interested, or you may access the online map server.
I am interested in submitting an application on an agricultural lease that is expiring and is currently leased to someone else. What is the process?
Contact the district office to obtain information regarding the lease. Staff will provide a summary of improvements on the property. The successful bidder must purchase any lessee-owned improvements (fence, tanks, etc.) on the property prior to assuming the lease. Follow the Instructions for Competitive Application-Agricultural Use.
Can I assign my agricultural lease to another party? Are there fees involved?
Leases can be assigned to other parties for a variety of reasons and are approved or denied at the discretion of the District Manager. Please refer to Guidelines for Agricultural Lease Assignments and the Application for Assignment form. Fees for assignments vary and quotes are available from the district office.
I received a bill for rent due on my lease. Why did the rent go up?
The Land Board tracks grazing rates through a statewide survey of private leases. This survey is typically conducted every three years. Using this data, the Board may adjust rates to reflect the changes in private rates. The Board adopted a tiered grazing rate structure effective January 1, 2016. See the 2016 Grazing Rate Chart for current rates.
Your grazing leases are billed by the AUM. What is an AUM?
An Animal Unit Month (AUM) is the tenure of one animal unit (1,000 lb cow and her calf) for a period of one month. For example: If you pasture 20 pairs on a pasture for 5 months, you have utilized 100 AUMs. Please refer to the AUM Equivalent Table.
I received a tax bill for “possessory interest” for my state lease. Why do I have to pay this?
A taxable possessory interest is defined as a private property interest in government-owned property or the right to the occupancy and use of any benefit in government-owned property that has been granted under lease, permit, license, concession, contract or other agreement. The use of the property must be in connection with a business conducted for profit. Agricultural use is considered a business.
The State Land Board has no control over this tax, but rather it is a result of a legislative action that enables the County Assessor’s office to charge a tax on leased lands. The only role that the State Land Board plays in this process is to provide an annual report to the Division of Property Taxation listing a record of our state lease data.
There are “No Trespassing” signs posted on state trust land I want to access. Isn’t this public land?
The Federal Government endowed the state trust lands to Colorado in 1876. Because these lands are held in trust, they are virtually private. As such, they are closed to the public.
Is there a Board Policy to reference?
Yes, there are a few policies adopted by the Board for this type of leasing:
. Please note, other
may be applicable as well.
What are the fees associated with Agriculture leases?
See the State Land Board’s
Fees & Payment Considerations schedule
Forms and Instructions