DNR Land Lease Termination Compensation Bill Passes House
A bill authored by Washington 14th District State Senator Chris Corry to provide compensation for ranchers and farmers whose land leases are terminated early by the Department of Natural Resources was unanimously approved in the House. House Bill 2498 would require the state to reimburse ranchers and farmers for some of their losses, including infrastructure investments made on the land such as fencing and other improvements. According to state law, DNR can use a non-default termination to replace a lessee with a higher-revenue tenant. Revenue generated from state trust lands provides funding for K-12 school construction and other projects throughout the state, so DNR has an interest in leasing to tenants who produce high revenues. The bill now heads to the Senate.