The Secretary of State serves as supervisory Trustee overseeing management and leasing of more than 640,000 acres of 16th section public school trust lands by 101 local school districts. The Secretary of State and Mississippi Forestry Commission work cooperatively with the local school districts to manage their timber lands.
Since taking office in 2008, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has implemented the following new programs to improve management and increase public access to information about 16th section lands:
- Within 90 days of taking office, published 16th section lease information on the agency’s website;
- Published standard lease forms for use by school districts;
- Provided re-leasing review and approval of all 16th section leases by the Secretary of State to ensure all leases are for fair market rental and that lease terms are in compliance with the law;
- Initiated publication on the agency website of notices of public bids for hunting and fishing leases, agricultural leases and mineral leases;
- Signed an historic agreement with the Mississippi Forestry Commission designed to bring modern forest management practices to timber production on 16th section land;
- Retained forestry experts to advise the Secretary of State on timber management;
- Published on the agency website forest management plans for all 16th section timber lands.
For assistance or information call 601-359-6377.