In the event that the sale of any public lands are made by mistake or not in accordance with law, or are obtained by fraud, or in the event that the state had no title to the lands sold, or the state's title has failed, the sale of the lands shall be void and no contract, certificate of purchase, or patent issued on the lands sold shall be of any effect, but the person named as vendee, or that person's successor in interest, may furnish to the board any proof that will satisfy the board of the facts. Except as provided in s. 24.341
, upon receipt of satisfactory proof of the facts asserted by the vendee, the board shall order all amounts, either of principal or interest, paid for the lands described in the contract, certificate, or patent, together with the interest on the amounts so paid from the time of each such payment, at the rate of 6 percent per year, simple interest, to be refunded and paid out of the state treasury, from the fund to which it has been credited, to the person entitled to the refund. Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, no money shall be paid to any person participating in any fraud in obtaining the land, as provided in this section.
Offset to refund on void sales.
Whenever any claim is made for a refund on a void land sale under s. 24.34
, the board shall make an investigation and determination, and offset the value of the use of the land, property removed from the land, and damage or injury to the land by the claimant, together with interest thereon, against the amounts actually paid to the state and to any other persons on account of the purchase, possession, use, damage, or injury to the lands by the claimants. The refund or payment to be made under s. 24.34
shall in no case be more than the excess, if any, of the amounts paid out by the claimant, with interest, over the offset determined under this section.
History: 2005 a. 149
Annulment of certificates and patents.
Whenever the board has erroneously or improperly issued any certificate or patent for any public lands whereby wrong or injustice has been or may be done, including cases in which the state had no title to the lands, or its title has failed, the board may, upon the written application of the purchaser, or the purchaser's successor in interest, revoke and annul the certificate or patent by its order, which, with the application, shall be filed and recorded in the board's office. A certified copy of the board's order may be recorded in the office of the register of deeds for the county where the lands lie, and upon the recording of the order, the certificate or patent shall be void. When the board's order is so recorded there shall be paid out of the state treasury, from the fund to which it has been credited, to the purchaser, or the purchaser's successor in interest, the amounts in the manner and as provided in s. 24.34
History: 1991 a. 316
; 2005 a. 149
Limitation of actions.
All claims under s. 24.34
shall be barred, unless application for a payment refund is made within 5 years from the time of the payment, or, in cases in which the state never had title, from the time when the invalidity of the title of the state was established.
History: 2005 a. 149
Lost certificates and patents.
Whenever any duplicate certificate of sale has been lost or destroyed before the patent has been issued, or whenever any patent has been lost or destroyed, the board, upon satisfactory proof of the fact, established by affidavit filed with the board, may issue a certified copy of the original certificate of sale or of the record in the board's office of the patent, or a quitclaim deed in place of the missing patent, to the person entitled to the copy of the certificate or record of the patent, or quitclaim deed, which shall have the same force and effect as the original duplicate certificate or patent. The board's certificate to the copy and quitclaim deed shall recite the loss or destruction of the original.
History: 2005 a. 149
If any person holds or continues in possession of any public lands without written permission from the board, or contrary to the conditions or covenants of any lease or written agreement, or after the lands have been forfeited to the state, that person shall be liable to an action by the state or any purchaser from the state for an unlawful detainer or other proper action to recover possession of the lands and for damages for the detention of the lands.
The lines, boundaries, and descriptions of the swamp lands as exhibited by the plats and field notes of the United States survey are adopted and deemed conclusively to be the true lines, boundaries, and descriptions of those swamp lands.
History: 2005 a. 149
Leases of public lands. 24.39(1)(1)
The board of commissioners of public lands may grant leases of parts or parcels of any public lands except state park lands and state forest lands; grant easements, leases to enter upon any of said lands to flow the same or to prospect for and to dig and remove therefrom ore, minerals and other deposits, and sell therefrom such timber as the board shall find necessary to prevent future loss or damage. All sales of standing live timber shall be on a selective cutting basis in line with federal forest practices. Such easements, leases, licenses and sales shall be made only for a full and fair consideration paid or to be paid to the state, the amount and terms whereof shall be fixed by said board, and such easements, leases, licenses and sales shall conform to the requirements, so far as applicable, prescribed by ch. 26
for the exercise by the department of natural resources of similar powers affecting state park lands and state forest lands.
In negotiating for such leases, licenses or sales, and in exercising the other powers conferred by this section the board of commissioners of public lands shall, so far as it finds it desirable and practicable, request and make proper use of such services and information as the department of natural resources may be able to furnish.
All moneys received by the board from the leasing of land under the U.S. flood control act of 1954 and subsequent amendments thereto, shall be paid into the general fund of the state within one week and are appropriated therefrom to the board to be paid to the county clerk of the county in which the leased land is located for the benefit of the general fund of such county within 30 days of its receipt by the board.
Subject to pars. (c)
the board of commissioners of public lands may:
Lease to riparian owners rights to the beds of lakes and rights to fill in beds of lakes or navigable streams, held by the state in trust for the public, when the purpose of the lease is for the improvement of navigation or for the improvement or construction of harbor facilities as defined in s. 30.01
Lease such rights to municipalities as defined in s. 30.01
and in locations where the municipality is the riparian owner, when the purpose of the lease is for the improvement or provision of recreational facilities related to navigation for public use.
All revenues from such leases shall be paid into the general fund.
No leases under par. (a)
may be executed without a prior finding of the department of natural resources under s. 30.11 (5)
that any proposed physical change in the area contemplated as the result of the execution of any term lease is consistent with the public interest in the navigable waters involved.
This subsection applies only to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, the Fox River from Green Bay upstream to the point where it meets the Wolf River, and to the segments of all other bodies of water in which the U.S. army corps of engineers provides and maintains commercial navigation channels.
Such lease shall be for a term not to exceed 50 years, and shall include therein any and all conditions and terms the board of commissioners of public lands believes to be necessary in the public interest. A lessee or the lessee's heirs, successors or assigns of a lease which has reached the end of its term shall have first opportunity to contract with the board of commissioners of public lands for a new lease.
A municipality may sublease rights leased to it under par. (a) 1.
to corporations or private persons. A municipality may also make physical improvements on and above the bottoms to which rights were leased from the board of commissioners of public lands and may sublease these improvements to corporations or private persons. Any subleases under this paragraph shall be consistent with this subsection and with whatever standards or restrictions the department of natural resources, acting under s. 30.11 (5)
, may have found at the time of execution of the original lease by the board of commissioners of public lands to the municipality.
The lease may be terminated for nonuse or for a nonconforming use any time after 5 years from date of issue, or such shorter period of time as may be specified in the lease. It may also be terminated for any other ground recognized at law for termination of a lease.
All rights to submerged lands and rights above submerged lands ceded, granted, or leased to municipalities, or other persons by acts of the state that were effective prior to October 10, 1961, shall not be affected by this subsection or by s. 30.11 (5)
All leases entered into by the board of commissioners of public lands under this subsection and s. 30.11
shall be deemed to be subject to this section and any other applicable laws of this state or of the United States.
Easements; annexation. 24.40(1r)
Every board, commission, department and agency of the state having real estate belonging to the state under its control may grant easements in said property for public utility or telecommunications service through, over, under, along or to said property, including without limitation by enumeration the necessary poles, wires, structures, lines, fiber, conduits, pipes or pipe lines for heat, light, water, gas, sewer, power, telecommunications service, telegraph and transmission of messages.
Every such board, commission, department and agency may petition or join in a petition for and on behalf of the state as the owner of such property to annex or detach the same or any part or parts thereof to or from an adjoining municipality.
Notwithstanding s. 28.02 (5)
or any contrary rule promulgated by the department, if the department grants an easement under sub. (1r)
for the construction of broadband infrastructure in underserved areas, as designated under s. 196.504 (2) (d)
, the department may not require any appraisal or the payment of any fee to grant the easement.
History: 1985 a. 297
; 2017 a. 59
; 2017 a. 364
The state is specifically authorized to petition for annexation by sub. (2), which would be rendered meaningless if the petition had to be rejected or an annexation ordinance declared invalid on the grounds that the city could establish no commercial, residential, or mercantile need for the land. Some demonstrable need must be shown or the annexation is of necessity arbitrary and capricious. In cases of direct annexation a showing of benefits to the annexed land can be considered in the overall question of need under the rule of reason. The benefits to the state were abundant in this case where city recreational facilities and better quality fire, emergency police, and rescue service would be provided to the annexed land. Town of Lafayette v. City of Chippewa Falls, 70 Wis. 2d 610
, 235 N.W.2d 435
The board created by article X, section 7
, of the constitution may be styled in any law or any action or proceeding in court as “The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands".
History: 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.51; 1983 a. 192
Together with the power and duty of selling the school and university lands and investing the funds arising therefrom, prescribed for the board by article X, section 7
, of the constitution, it is invested with power to dispose of all other public lands and all interests in lands held by the state for sale, and with such further powers as may be necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise the functions and perform the duties imposed upon it by law.
History: 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.52; 1983 a. 192
Investigate land claims; deduct expenses.
The board of commissioners of public lands shall investigate the rights of the state to school lands, normal school lands, university lands and agricultural college lands. The expenses incurred in making these investigations and taking necessary steps to protect common school lands, normal school lands, university lands and agricultural college lands and timber on those lands, as well as the expense of necessary surveys, records, appraisals and sales, upon the approval of the board, shall be deducted from the gross receipts of the fund to which the proceeds from the sale of the land or timber will be added.
History: 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.53.
Records; copies as evidence. 24.54(1)(1)
The department of administration shall provide an office for the board. The board shall conveniently arrange and preserve in that office all records, books, reports, surveys, maps, field notes, plats and other papers pertaining to the public lands owned by the state, including all public lands that have been or shall be received from the United States or any officer of the United States. The board may perfect the records, books, reports, surveys, maps, field notes, plats and other papers when incomplete, and cause copies of those documents to be made when from injury, loss, use or accident it shall become necessary. Any copy, when certified to be a correct copy by the executive secretary of the board under the executive secretary's signature and the official seal of the office to have been made for any of the causes specified in this subsection, shall have the same force and effect in all courts and places as the original. Any copy from the original records, books, reports, surveys, maps, field notes, plats or other papers, or from any record or paper required by law to be kept in the office, or any copy from a certified copy of one of those documents, when certified by the executive secretary of the board or any member of the board of commissioners of public lands under the official seal of the board, shall be received in evidence with the same effect as the original.
All records, books and files kept by the board shall at all business hours be open, under proper regulations made by it, to the inspection of any person, free of charge. The board also may in like manner make, perfect, and complete proper records, books, reports and other papers pertaining to the lands of which the state has been or is trustee for the United States.
History: 1979 c. 34
; 1979 c. 176
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.54; 1989 a. 31
; 1993 a. 16
Executive secretary; deputy; staff; appointments; duties; oath.
The board shall appoint an executive secretary outside the classified service. The executive secretary shall appoint a deputy who shall, during the absence of the executive secretary, have all of the authority given by law to the executive secretary. The executive secretary and deputy shall take and file the official oath.
History: 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.55; 1993 a. 16
Not to buy lands.
The board, and all persons employed by it or about any of its respective offices, are prohibited from purchasing any of the public lands, directly or indirectly, either in their own name or in the name of any other person in trust for them or either of them; and for every tract or parcel of land purchased in violation hereof each such person offending shall forfeit not more than $250.
History: 1975 c. 365
; 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.56; 1993 a. 16
Report of board.
The board shall include in any report submitted under s. 15.07 (6)
a report of its official proceedings for the period since the proceedings reported in the most recent report, showing the quantity of land sold or leased and the amount received therefor, the amount of interest moneys accrued or received and a specific account of the several investments made by them, stating in all cases of loans, the name of each borrower, the sum borrowed and a description of the property mortgaged. The report also shall include such other matters as it thinks proper to communicate or as the legislature requires.
History: 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.57; 1983 a. 27
The board may select employees of the department to appraise lands or perform other services in field and forest. The board shall reimburse the department under a contract with the department for the performance of public land management services.
History: 1975 c. 94
; 1979 c. 34
; Stats. 1979 s. 24.58; 1993 a. 16
Sale of public lands to state under Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship 2000 program. 24.59(1)(1)
Notwithstanding ss. 24.09
, and 24.32
, but subject to subs. (2)
, the board may sell to the state public lands that the board identifies as available for sale to the state. Notwithstanding s. 24.08 (4)
, the public lands shall be sold at the appraised value determined under sub. (2)
The board shall have all of the public lands specified under sub. (1)
independently appraised under s. 24.08 (2)
after May 3, 2006, but before sale under sub. (1)
Notwithstanding s. 24.11
, public lands sold under sub. (1)
may not be paid for in installments.
History: 2005 a. 352
; 2015 a. 55
In this subchapter, unless the context indicates otherwise:
“Consortium" means an association of 2 or more of any of the following entities for the purpose of implementing, expanding or participating in a distance education or educational technology project:
A county, if the county acts on behalf of a county library board that has adopted a resolution under s. 24.66 (3m)
A city, village or town, if the city, village or town acts on behalf of a municipal library board that has adopted a resolution under s. 24.66 (3m)
“Distance education" means instruction that takes place, regardless of the location of a teacher or student, by means of telecommunications or other means of communication, including cable, instructional television fixed service, microwave, radio, satellite, computer, telephone or television.
“Educational technology" means technology used in the education or training of any person or in the administration of an elementary or secondary school or a public library.
“Federated public library system" means a federated public library system whose territory lies within 2 or more counties.
“General obligation trust fund loan" means a state trust fund loan that is the general obligation of the borrower.
“Municipality" means a town, village, city, county, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, town sanitary district created under s. 60.71
, metropolitan sewerage district created under s. 200.05
, joint sewerage system created under s. 281.43 (4)
, school district or technical college district.
“Revenue obligation trust fund loan" means a state trust fund loan to which any of the following applies:
It is made to a municipality for the purpose of financing or refinancing a project, as defined in s. 67.04 (1) (ar)
, and is secured by a pledge and assignment of the revenue that the municipality will receive from moneys generated by that project.
It is made to a city or village for the purpose of financing or refinancing project costs, as defined in s. 66.1105 (2) (f)
, and is secured by a pledge and assignment of the tax increments that will be allocated to the city or village for those project costs by the department of revenue under s. 66.1105 (6)
It is made to a county for the purpose of financing or refinancing project costs, as defined in s. 66.1105 (2) (f)
, and is secured by a pledge and assignment of the tax increments that will be allocated to the county for those project costs by the department of revenue under s. 59.57 (3)
It is made to a town for the purpose of financing or refinancing project costs, as defined in s. 60.85 (1) (h) 1.
, and is secured by a pledge and assignment of the tax increments that will be allocated to the town for those project costs by the department of revenue under s. 60.85 (6)
It is made to a local exposition district created under subch. II of ch. 229
for the purpose of financing acquisition, construction, and equipment costs for sports and entertainment arena facilities, as defined in s. 229.41 (11g)
, and is secured by district revenues.
“Trust funds" means the common school fund, the normal school fund, the university fund and the agricultural college fund.
Accounts in trust funds for deposit of proceeds from sale of certain lands.
The board shall establish in each of the trust funds an account to which are credited the proceeds from the sale of any public lands, except sales under s. 24.09 (1) (bg)
, on or after May 3, 2006, that are required by law to be deposited in the funds. Moneys credited to the accounts in the funds may only be used to invest in land under s. 24.61 (2) (a)
and for the payment of expenses necessarily related to investing in land under s. 24.61 (2) (a)
Authorized investments and loans. 24.61(1)(1)
Investments and loans; separate accounts.
The board shall loan or invest moneys belonging to the trust funds as those moneys accumulate in the treasury. The board shall keep a separate account of all investments and loans from each fund.