Permanent improvements on School Trust Lands are managed in accordance with NDCC 15-08-26.  Permanent improvements may not be constructed on school trust lands without a permit.

The cost of completing a permanent improvement on School Trust Lands is the expense of the lessee.  However, cost share and depreciation may be available from the Department for permanent improvements. Specific terms and conditions for the approved site are included in the granted development permit.

Early first contact and application submission are important for timely processing. Requests may require an onsite review and/or additional documentation. NDDTL understands some applications are immediate as there are times when contractors move into an area without notice and stay for only a short time. Please note such cases on the application so that NDDTL can prioritize the application for immediate attention. Email is the preferred form of communication, but you may call NDDTL and request the Surface Division.

Accordion Section Title
Ownership of Improvements
  • Permanent Improvements (dugouts, dams, buried pipelines, and wells (well hole and casing only)) on School Trust Lands are/become property of the State.
  • Nonpermanent improvements (submersible pumps, windmills, solar panels, and water tanks) are considered property of the lessee and may be removed within 120 days after lease expiration. 
Accordion Section Title
Cost Share

Cost Share & Rent Credits

  • Up to 100% of the development cost of permanent improvements is eligible for cost share including the following maximum payments​​​​​     
    • Dugouts: $4,900.00
    • Dams: $5,900.00
    • Wells: $11,800.00
    • Well Decommissioning: $4,000.00
    • Rural Water Pasture Drops: $3,100.00
    • Livestock Water Pipelines: $11,200.00
  • Livestock water pipelines may receive cost share if the water source originates on school trust land.