Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
Assets & Beneficiaries

School Trust Funds
    Common School Fund
    Normal School Fund
    University Fund
    Agricultural College Fund

BCPL State Trust Fund Loan Program
    Application Process
    Current Interest Rates
    Loan Application Request Forms
    Sample Documents

School Trust Lands
    Timber Management
    Land Transactions
    Public Access
    Submerged Logging

Land Records
    Record Types
    Public Access
    Online Records

    Board and Meetings
    Staff Directory
    Public Records Policy Statement
    AA/EEO Policy Statement

    2011 - 2013 Biennial Report
    2015 - 2017 Biennial Budget Request


State of Wisconsin
Board of Commissioners
Public Lands

Who we are and what we do

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), Wisconsin’s oldest state agency, is comprised of Secretary of State Douglas La Follette, State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, and Attorney General Brad Schimel. We proudly carry on the pioneering commitment of our state’s early leaders to a constitutionally protected form of public education financing that originated with millions of acres of land granted by the federal government.

Nearly all of the School Trust Lands were sold over 100 years ago. The proceeds were used to establish the School Trust Funds, which continue to grow with revenue from unclaimed property, clear proceeds of civil and criminal fees, fines and forfeitures, and timber production on School Trust Lands.

We manage these Funds and the remaining School Trust Lands for the benefit of public school libraries, the University of Wisconsin, and the state’s citizens. See our Common School Fund Brochure and our Normal School Fund Brochure for details.

We also maintain a rich archive of historical records related to the agency’s past and present land holdings.

We do all of this with only ten full-time employees and not one penny of general-purpose tax revenue.

How you benefit

This small state agency is an integral part of Wisconsin’s history and economy. Our financial investments, land management practices, and archive benefit every citizen of the state.

  • We generate investment income for distribution as public school library aid— a total of $30.2 million during fiscal year 2014.  See what your school received by clicking here.
  • We loan money to municipalities and school districts for public purpose projects— nearly $122 million approved during that same time period.
  • We contribute to Wisconsin’s sustainable timber economy, combat forest fragmentation, protect unique natural areas, and secure public access to large blocks of northern forests.
  • We manage an extensive archive consulted by land owners, surveyors, researchers, and others interested in this rich source of historical information about the state’s land and early settlers.

We are grateful for this opportunity to serve as stewards of the lands, moneys, and records we hold in trust for all of Wisconsin’s citizens.


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Quick Links
    Board Members
    Scheduled Board Meetings
    Press Releases
    BCPL Ownership Maps

What's New
    2014 Public School Library Aid Distribution List
    Everything You Wanted to Know About the Common School Fund

Wisconsin.Gov Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands
(608) 266-1370 Madison   •  (715) 277-3366 Lake Tomahawk
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