PUBLIC LANDS ADMINISTRATION
Definitions and classification.
In chs. 23
, unless the context requires otherwise or unless otherwise defined:
“Agricultural college lands" embraces all lands granted to the state by an act of congress entitled “An act donating public lands to the several states and territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts," approved July 2, 1862, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm)
in exchange for such land.
“Board" means the board of commissioners of public lands, except that this definition does not apply to ch. 25
“Department" means department of natural resources.
“Marathon County lands" embraces all lands acquired by the state pursuant to chapter 22 of the general laws of 1867, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm)
in exchange for such land.
“Normal school lands" embraces all parcels of said “swamp lands" which the legislature has declared or otherwise decided, or may hereafter declare or otherwise decide, were not or are not needed for the drainage or reclamation of the same or other lands, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm)
in exchange for such land.
“Public lands" embraces all lands and all interests in lands owned by the state either as proprietor or as trustee which constitute any part of the lands defined or specified in this section.
“Secretary" means secretary of natural resources.
“Swamp lands" embraces all lands which have been or may be transferred to the state pursuant to an act of congress entitled “An act to enable the state of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits," approved September 28, 1850, or pursuant to an act of congress entitled “An act for the relief of purchasers and locators of swamp and overflowed lands," approved March 2, 1855, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm)
in exchange for such land.
“University lands" embraces all lands the proceeds of which are denominated “the university fund" by article X, section 6
, of the constitution, as well as any land received under s. 24.09 (1) (bm)
in exchange for such land.
“Warden" means conservation warden, and includes county, special and deputy conservation wardens.
Addition to the public lands.
Addition to any class of lands specified in s. 24.01
, except lands purchased for forest reserve and Marathon County lands, may be effected by grant, conveyance or devise made as a donation to the state for the purpose of the fund to which such class belongs. But no such proffered donation shall be accepted until the title of the donor has been examined and approved by the attorney general.
The board of commissioners of public lands shall, whenever it shall have reason to believe that any lands have escheated to the state for defect of heirs, cause due inquiry to be made to ascertain the rights of the state, and the attorney general shall bring any suit or action or take any requisite proceeding necessary to protect and secure the rights of the state. The board may either take possession of, or cause to be sued for and recovered as aforesaid when necessary, any real estate believed to have escheated to the state, or may proceed directly to sell all the right, title and interest of the state therein, without first obtaining possession thereof and without establishing title thereto by action.
Administrative receipts and disbursements. 24.04(1)(1)
The board shall collect from purchasers of land a fee of $5 for every certificate and $5 for every patent issued by it. The board shall pay the moneys collected, together with all moneys for expenses of advertising, damages and costs received either by redemption or resale of any public lands forfeited after being sold by the state, into the state treasury to the credit of the common school fund. The executive secretary of the board may take the acknowledgments of the board to all certificates and patents, and no fees may be charged therefor.
All expenses necessarily incurred in caring for and selling public lands shall be deducted from the gross receipts of the fund to which the proceeds of the sale of the land will be added. Expenses necessarily incurred in caring for public lands may include expenses for reforestation, erosion and insect control, submerged log monitoring, surveys, appraisals, soil surveys and soil mapping activities and other land management practices that serve to protect or enhance the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust funds.
Survey of lands.
Whenever it appears necessary to the board that surveys should be made in order to ascertain the true boundaries of any tract or portion of the public lands, or to enable the board to describe and dispose of any tract or portion of the public lands in suitable and convenient lots, the board may cause all necessary surveys to be made.
History: 2005 a. 149
Plat of lands.
The board may subdivide any parcel of public lands into smaller parcels or village lots, with streets and alleys if necessary, whenever it believes a larger net price can be obtained by selling the land in smaller parcels or lots. A survey and plat of the subdivision, verified by its maker as true and correct, shall be returned and recorded in the office of the board, and the parcels or lots designated on the survey and plat shall be appraised before the parcels or lots are offered for sale. The subdivision shall be ordered, the proceedings for the subdivision governed, and the appraisal made in substantial compliance with s. 24.08
History: 2005 a. 149
Sale of land with water power.
Whenever a water power exists upon any public lands offered for sale the board may sell together all the tracts or lots upon which such water power is situated and such other tracts or lots as are necessary for the use and enjoyment of the same, not exceeding 160 acres, or it may sell each tract or lot separately, as in its opinion the larger proceeds may be derived from such sale.
Minimum price. 24.08(1)(1)
Every parcel of public land that was never appraised, every parcel of public land forfeited to the state under s. 24.28
and every parcel of land mortgaged to secure any loan of trust funds and bid in by the state at a sale of that land under the mortgage shall be appraised under this section before it is offered or reoffered for sale at public auction, at private sale or exchanged for other lands. These lands may be reappraised whenever necessary.
The board may make and enter in its minutes an order that any parcel or parcels of the public lands be appraised, describing the lands, appointing an appraiser and stating the reasons why the appraisal is deemed necessary. So far as practical the appraiser shall be a person in the employ of the board, of good character, approved integrity, sound judgment and well acquainted with the public lands; but the board may employ under contract any competent appraiser if it deems it necessary.
The appraisal shall be made from actual view and at cash value. It shall be in writing and be verified by the affidavit of the appraiser who shall testify that the appraisal is just and was made as required by law. The appraisal shall be filed with the executive secretary of the board and recorded.
(4) Appraised value, minimum price, government minimum.
Such appraised value shall be the minimum price of the land until sold or reappraised. Until an appraisal under this section, the appraisal last heretofore made of any parcel of public land, if any has been made, shall fix the minimum price thereof. Notwithstanding this section no parcel of public land having a minimum price for the sale thereof fixed by the act of congress granting the same to the state, shall be sold for a lesser price than that so fixed.
Procedure before sale or exchange; withdrawal; resale. 24.09(1)(a)
Except as provided under par. (c)
, the board may not sell or exchange any public lands which were not appraised or appraised under s. 24.08
. Except as provided under pars. (b)
, the board may not sell or exchange any public lands except at public auction or by sealed bid.
Lands required for federal, state, county, city, village, town, or school district use may be sold at the appraised value to, or exchanged for land of approximately equivalent value with, the federal government, other state departments, boards or commissions, counties, cities, villages, towns, or school districts.
The board may sell public lands belonging to a trust fund, as defined under s. 24.60 (5)
, to another trust fund, as defined under s. 24.60 (5)
, at the appraised value of the land. The board shall remit the proceeds of a sale under this paragraph to the secretary of administration for deposit in the appropriate trust fund.
The board may exchange part or all of any parcel of public lands for any other land of approximately equal value if the board determines that the exchange will contribute to the consolidation or completion of a block of land, enhance conservation of lands or otherwise be in the public interest. Under this paragraph, an exchange is of “approximately equal value" if the difference in value between the more highly valued land and the less highly valued land does not exceed 10 percent of the value of the more highly valued land. All expenses necessarily incurred in making an exchange under this paragraph shall be deducted from the gross receipts of the fund to which the proceeds of the sale of the exchanged land will be added.
Lands located within the federally recognized exterior boundaries of Indian reservations or located adjacent to the federally recognized boundaries of Indian reservations may be sold to or exchanged with the Indian tribe or tribes located on those reservations or sold to or exchanged with the federal government for the benefit and use of such tribe or tribes upon prices, terms and conditions agreeable to the board and without being subject to the restrictions and procedure otherwise provided by law for the sale of public lands.
All sales other than sales under par. (b)
shall be made at the times and public places by sealed bid or public sale as the board designates. Prior to any sale, the board shall publish a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
, specifying the time and place and describing the lands to be sold in a newspaper published in the county where the lands are situated.
The board may, whenever it believes the public interest will be served thereby, withdraw and withhold from sale all or such portions of the public lands as in its opinion it may not be advantageous to sell, for so long a time as in its opinion will be most beneficial to the state; but when reoffered the lands so withdrawn shall first be offered at public sale in the manner prescribed by law.
Procedure at sale. 24.10(1)(1)
If the sale is to be by public auction, at the time and place specified in the notice under s. 24.09 (1) (d)
, the board shall commence the sale of the lands described in the notice and thereafter continue the same from day to day, Sundays excepted, between 9 a.m. and the setting of the sun, until all lands described in the notice have been offered. The order of the sale shall be to begin at the lowest number of the sections, townships, and ranges in each county and proceed regularly to the highest, until all then to be sold are offered for sale. Except for lands withheld from sale under s. 24.09 (2)
, each lot, tract of lands, or collection of tracts of lands to be sold shall be offered at the minimum price fixed by law and shall be cried at public auction long enough to enable every one present to bid. If the minimum price or more is bid, the lot or tract shall be struck off to the highest bidder, but if the minimum price is not bid the tract shall be set down unsold.
If the sale is to be by sealed bid, the highest bid for any lot, tract of lands, or collection of tracts of lands shall be accepted, unless the highest bid is below the minimum price fixed by law. If the highest bid is below the minimum price fixed by law, then all bids may be rejected. If all bids are rejected or if no bid is received, the board may readvertise the sale, adjourn the sale to a definite date, or withhold the lands from sale pursuant to s. 24.09 (2)
History: 1999 a. 83
; 2005 a. 352
Terms of sales. 24.11(1)(a)
Except as provided under sub. (4)
, public lands may be sold for cash to be paid at the time of the sale or according to the terms specified under par. (b)
The first payment shall be not less than 15 percent of the purchase price, and shall be made at the time of the sale together with interest on the deferred payments in advance to February 1 of the following year. However, the first payment may not be less than the value of the timber, if any, on the lands sold. Annual payments of principal and interest shall be made for a maximum of 20 years after the date of the sale, with interest on the principal at the rate of 7 percent per year, payable annually in advance on February 1 of each year.
Except as provided under s. 24.09 (1) (bg)
and unless otherwise required by law to be deposited into a fund other than any of the trust funds, as defined in s. 24.60 (5)
, all moneys received from the sale of public lands on or after May 3, 2006, shall be credited to the appropriate trust fund in an account specified in s. 24.605
(2) Purchaser to pay taxes.
The board shall insert in every contract or certificate of sale of public land a clause providing that the vendee, and the vendee's heirs, personal representatives, or assigns shall pay or cause to be paid all taxes that are or that may be assessed against the land from the date of the contract or certificate of sale.
Every contract, certificate of sale, or grant hereunder of public lands shall reserve to the people the right of access to such lands and to any meandered or nonmeandered stream, river, pond or lake navigable in fact for any purpose whatsoever, bordered by such lands and all rights necessary to the full enjoyment of such waters, and of all minerals in said lands, and all mining rights therein, and shall also be subject to continued ownership by the state of all waterpower rights on such lands or in any manner appurtenant thereto. Such conveyance shall also be subject to a continuing easement in the state and its assigns to enter and occupy such lands in any manner necessary and convenient to the removal of such mineral from such lands and to the proper exercise of such mineral rights, and shall be further subject to the continuing easement in the state and its assigns to enter and occupy such lands in any manner necessary and convenient to the development, maintenance and use of any such water rights. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to provide for the continued ownership in the state of any stone used for building purposes nor of any sand or gravel.
(4) Special terms for escheated lands.
Upon the sale of any escheated lands the entire purchase price shall be paid at the time of the sale. The board shall then execute and deliver to the purchaser a quitclaim deed of conveyance that vests in the grantee all the right, title, and interest of the state in or to the land, and every right of action that the state has respecting the land. No covenant or warranty of title, of continued enjoyment, or against encumbrances, shall be expressed in or implied from the quitclaim deed or any words in the quitclaim deed. If by virtue of a better title, any other person or party recovers the land within 20 years after a purchase under this subsection, the state shall refund to the purchaser, or to the purchaser's assigns or legal representatives, the amount paid by the purchaser for the land, together with interest on the amount paid by the purchaser at the rate of 6 percent per year from the date of the purchase until the date of recovery, and also the amount of all taxes on the land actually paid by the purchaser with like interest on each payment from the time of payment to the date of the recovery.
State reservation of land and interests in lands under ch. 452, laws of 1911, s. 24.11 (3) and Art. X, s. 8 are discussed. 65 Atty. Gen. 207.
Forfeit for failure to pay.
Every purchaser of any lot or tract at any sale under s. 24.11
shall pay the amount of the purchase money required by the terms of sale to be paid as provided in s. 24.11 (1)
. If the purchaser refuses or neglects to so pay, the lot or tract bid off by the purchaser shall again be offered for sale. The purchaser shall, for refusing or neglecting to pay, forfeit $25 for each lot or tract bid off by the purchaser, which the board shall, in the name of the state, cause to be immediately sued for and collected, and, when collected, paid into the school fund.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 2005 a. 149
Rights of swampland purchasers. 24.14(1)(1)
In this section, “subject lands" means lands patented to this state as swamp and overflowed lands, or lands patented in lieu of swamp and overflowed lands.
Any person who has purchased from the United States or entered any subject lands prior to the execution of United States patents to this state for the subject lands, may whenever those entries have been canceled by the United States on account of a conflict with the right and title of this state to the subject lands, purchase the subject lands from this state, prior to the date fixed for the public sale of the subject lands, upon making satisfactory proof to the board that the person is the identical person, or the heir, legal representative, or assign of the person, who purchased or entered the subject lands as provided in this subsection, and upon paying to this state for the subject lands the same price at which the purchase or entries were made from the United States. Nothing contained in this chapter impairs the rights acquired by any person who has preempted any subject lands under the laws of this state.
State-owned swamplands; proceeds; disposition. 24.145(1)(1)
It is declared that none of the swamp and overflowed lands granted to this state pursuant to an act of congress entitled “An Act to enable the state of Arkansas and other states to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits", approved September 28, 1850, and the proceeds derived from the sale of those lands that have not been actually applied for reclamation of those lands, are necessary for the purpose of reclaiming any such swamp and overflowed lands by construction of levees and drains or otherwise.
All swamp and overflowed lands described in sub. (1)
and the proceeds derived from the sale of those lands including those placed and being in the drainage fund pursuant to chapter 537, laws of 1865
, that have not been actually applied for the purpose of reclaiming those lands, shall be a part of the normal school fund. This section controls over any inconsistent act or statute.
History: 2005 a. 149
All public lands, including forfeited lands and mortgaged lands bid in by the state, which have once been offered or reoffered at public sale and remain unsold, shall be subject to private sale at the minimum price fixed for the sale of the land by law to the person first making application for the purchase of the lands, if the person immediately complies with the term of sale. If 2 or more persons apply at the same time to purchase the same lands under this section, the lands shall be offered to the highest bidder, and the applicant who will pay the highest price shall be the purchaser.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 2005 a. 149
Applications for private sale.
Every person making application under s. 24.15
for the purchase at private sale of any public lands shall file in the office of the board an application in writing, describing the lot or tract that the person proposes to purchase by the proper number of the section, township and range, and the subdivision of the section, with the person's name subscribed to the application. The board shall, if the land applied for may then be sold, do all of the following:
Enter on books kept for that purpose a note of the application, specifying the day when made, the name of the applicant, and the description of the land applied for.
Give to the applicant a memorandum signed by the executive secretary of the board, stating the application, describing the lot or tract applied for, and stating the price at which the lot or tract may be sold and the amount to be paid at the time of the sale.
Receipt and certificate. 24.17(1)(1)
When the purchaser of any public lands makes payment to the secretary of administration of the amount required to be paid on the sale and, in case of a private sale, produces the memorandum described in s. 24.16
, the secretary of administration shall give a receipt to the purchaser for the amount paid, and, unless the sale is wholly for cash, the board shall execute and deliver to the purchaser a duplicate certificate of sale, in which the board shall certify all of the following:
The sum paid and the amount remaining due.
The times, place, and terms of payments.
That if the payments are made in accordance with the terms stated in the certificate of sale, the purchaser, or the purchaser's assigns or other legal representatives, shall be entitled to a patent for the land.
That in case of the nonpayment into the state treasury of any of the following, the certificate of sale from the time of the nonpayment shall be void and the board may take possession of and resell the land described in the certificate:
The interest on the purchase money by the first day of February in each year or on or before the next following June 30th.
Any taxes lawfully assessed on the lands described in the certificate and then remaining unpaid by the purchaser or purchasers or by any person claiming under the purchaser or purchasers.
When the sale of public lands under sub. (1)
is wholly for cash, upon payment of the full purchase price to the secretary of administration, the secretary of administration shall immediately give to the purchaser a receipt stating the amount paid, giving a description of the lot or tract of land sold, and stating that the purchaser is entitled to receive a patent according to law.
Entry of sale and patent.
When any sale of public lands is made, the board shall make a note of the sale in the book of entries, entering the day of sale, the name of the purchaser, the number of the certificate or patent, the sum paid, the amount of purchase money unpaid, if any, and a description of the lot or tract sold. If the sale is wholly for cash, the board shall immediately execute and deliver to the purchaser a patent for the lot or tract of land so sold. If the land is sold at public auction, the board shall note that fact.
History: 2005 a. 149
Certificate of sale.
All original and duplicate certificates of sale issued under s. 24.17
shall be properly numbered, and the original shall be filed in the office of the board. As many distinct lots or tracts of land purchased by one person in one section at the same time as that person requests shall be included in one certificate or one patent, as the case may be. Certificates of sale may be acknowledged and recorded in the same manner as deeds. Certificates of sale may be assigned in writing. The assignment may be acknowledged and recorded in the same manner as deeds, and the assignee shall have the same rights and remedies under the certificate as the original purchaser would have had.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 2005 a. 149