Our Agency's History

The Colorado State Land Board has an illustrious history. We are 143-years-old, but our history dates to America's founding in the 1700s.

In the 1780s America’s founders were preparing for westward expansion at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. Thomas Jefferson developed a system -- today often referred to as the Jeffersonian Grid -- to orderly track and divide land into 36-square-mile townships/ranges/sections.

Each state that joined the union after the war received a certain number of 1-mile sections to be held in a trust and used for public beneficiaries, usually public schools. Colorado received 2 sections per township totalling 4 million acres at statehood in 1876. These are Colorado's trust lands.

Today we still own 2.8 million acres of trust land and the Colorado State Land Board is the state agency that manages the trust and uses the land to help fund Colorado public schools. We've earned $1.4 billion for Colorado public schools in the past decade. 

Interactive Timeline

Check out this interactive timeline that illuminates our history. Click the arrow on the right to scroll through the full timeline. Or click on any date at the bottom to skip to a particular event. 

Do you have something to share? Did your great-great grandparent take part in a historic event on trust land as a lessee? Tell us about it so that we can include you on our timeline!

How else can we help you? Here are helpful links: