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Can agriculture leases be issued for longer than 10 years?
The maximum term is 10 years per the Arizona Constitution. Most leases carry a 10-year term, however, lands that are close to being developed to higher and better uses may be limited to five-year terms at the Land Department’s discretion.
Are dwellings allowed on agriculture leases?
Generally, no. In certain circumstances a non-permanent dwelling may be allowed under a separate permit instrument. Although not encouraged, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
When are agriculture lease payments due?
All agriculture lease rents are due in advance on February 15 each year. Late payments are subject to penalty and interest per statute and cannot be waived. Invoices will be mailed at least 30 days in advance of the due date.
Are improvements allowed on agriculture leases?
Generally, yes. Improvements, such as wells, irrigation systems, etc., associated with the production of crops (wells, irrigation systems, etc.) are allowed with consultation and approval from ASLD. Improvements may be classified as reimbursable or non-reimbursable depending on their type. An Application to Place Improvement must be filed and approved prior to starting any work.
Where can I apply for a recreation permit?
Purchase an Individual or Family Permit Online or Learn more about recreating on Arizona's State Trust Land.
Are all applications available online?
In support of the Governor's vision for Arizona's Agencies to move at the speed of business, Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) is converting from a paper application process to an electronic application processing system. More information on applications may be found here.
I have not used the online system to apply for an application or permit before. Where do I start?
ASLD's online application system is easy to use and very secure. More information on applications may be found here.
I forgot the password to my account. How do I reset it?
Access ASLD's Online Application Portal with a Current Login and then select "Forgot Password".
Am I only able to complete an application electronically, or can I still complete the paper application?
Once ASLD has completed the conversion to electronic applications, paper applications will no longer be accepted. The applications are accessible online from any computer with internet access. In addition, an electronic kiosk is available at the ASLD Public Counter at 1616 West Adams Street in Phoenix for public use.
How do I report unlawful activities on state trust land?
Any activity on Trust land requires permission, generally in the form of a permit or lease, and to be on Trust land without a permit is a violation of various laws and statutes. Any activity not expressly approved by ASLD via a permit or a lease is unlawful.
If a person knows or suspects that illegal activity is occurring on State Trust land, they should call their local law enforcement agency (city or county) and report the incident. City, County and State law enforcement agencies have authority to enforce laws on State Trust land. ASLD does not have a law enforcement branch and relies on local authorities to enforce the law. If the local law enforcement agency is unable to assist, please reach out to us for resolution.
Boat Docks and Launch Ramps on Colorado River
Have land on or near the Colorado River? Have a boat dock or boat launch on the Colorado River?
Construction of boat docks and boat launch ramps are likely encroaching onto state sovereign land.
What is State Sovereign Land?
Arizona state sovereign land is that part of the bed of the river from its centerline to the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) on the Arizona shore. The OHWM is the highest level at which the river rises during periods of normal flow, as opposed to the higher flood levels attained following a major storm event. The Arizona State Land Department (Department) has been mandated to manage the state’s sovereign land in order to preserve it for use by the public for fishing, commerce, and recreation. While the Department manages the riverbed, it is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which regulates the water in the river and keeps it free of obstruction for navigation. Therefore, any landowner who wishes to construct a dock or ramp on the Colorado River will have to acquire both a construction permit from the USACE, and a Special Land Use Permit from the Department. The landowner may apply for both permits concurrently, but the Department will not issue its permit until the USACE permit process is completed and a copy of the permit has been submitted to the Department.
What Boat Dock or Launch Ramp do you own?
Review the docks and ramps below. If you have or know of one of these, please notify the owner or apply for a Permit or Lease.
A boat dock, launch ramp or other marine use of sovereign land is considered a commercial use if a fee is charged to the public by the owner of the facilities in order to make a profit., or if the use is associated with any other non-residential activity (i.e., the use is included with an entertainment package as part of a resort use). Examples include gas fill-up docks, private marinas, and government and municipal entities. This type of use requires a Commercial Special Land Use Permit. Permit fees vary depending on the type of enterprise, activity level, and degree of impact. Please contact the Sales and Leasing Section of the Department for more information.
Any not-for-profit entity which offers marine services exclusively to three or more residents of adjacent lands, such as a homeowner’s association or condominium association, is deemed to be a community use. A Commercial Special Land Use Permit or lease is required. Please contact the Sales and Leasing Section of the Department for more information.
An upland owner who wishes to construct a private boat dock for personal recreational use must apply for a permit on the form entitled Non-Commercial Sovereign Land Boat Dock / Launch Ramp Permit Application. The cost of the application is $100, non-refundable. If the applicant meets all of the Department’s requirements, a Permit is issued at a cost of $50 per year for a period of 10 years. A metal decal will be issued with the Permit and should be hung on the boat dock or near the ramp where it can be seen from the river.
Non-Commercial Sovereign Land Boat Dock/ Launch Ramp Permit Application
Where can I find more information on operating Off-Highway Vehicles on State Trust Land?
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation is one of the most popular recreational activities taking place on state lands in Arizona. For more information, please visit the State of Arizona Agencies responsible for management of this program.
How is trust property planned?
Trust properties can be planned by using internal staff or by contacting with consultants using appropriated monies from the legislature. In some cases, the Department will grant the developer permission to include Trust land in a planning project at the developer's expense. And in other cases, the Department may allow applicants for the sale and or lease of Trust property to do additional planning that would enhance the marketability of the property.
What is sovereign land?
The land within the bed of navigable rivers at the time of statehood is sovereign land. Arizona is mandated by the legislature to manage the land from the centerline of the Colorado riverbed to the Ordinary High-Water Mark (OHWM) on the Arizona riverbank. Sovereign land is held in trust for the benefit of the people of Arizona for travel, commerce, fishing, and other forms of recreation
I own property on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. Is my property impacted by Arizona sovereign lands?
It may be, depending on the location of your property and whether a study has been completed on that reach of the river. Beginning in 2000, and each year since then, the Land Department has commissioned intensive studies of the sovereign boundary. Because these studies are expensive and time consuming, the river has been subdivided into 5 reaches, from Davis Dam north of Bullhead City, to the Northern International Boundary between California and Arizona, near Yuma. (The Southern International Boundary is where Arizona dips further south than California and forms a boundary with Mexico.) Most of these reaches have been field surveyed, and official plat maps of the sovereign boundary location have been printed. Copies of these maps reside at the respective County Recorder’s office, and at the Land Department. Contact the Department’s Planning & Engineering Division to determine if a study has been completed for your area. Providing the Township, Range and Section numbers for your property is helpful, but not necessary. If your property lies within a reach of the river that has not yet been studied and surveyed, you have the option of hiring a registered land surveyor or riparian boundary expert to perform a sovereign boundary investigation. Those results will have to be reviewed and approved by ASLD.
What can I do about drainage that is entering my property from State Trust land?
All property owners are responsible for accepting the historic location and volume of drainage flows onto their property and discharging drainage from their property to downstream properties in its historic location and volume. Changes in drainage flow locations or volume can occur for various reasons, many of which may not be apparent to observers. Because of the potential hazards and liability involved in impounding or redirecting drainage flows that may impact surrounding properties, it’s important that the situation is reviewed and diagnosed by your local government’s Floodplain Administrator. All cities and counties are required to have a designated Floodplain Administrator on staff and ASLD recommends that a call to your local jurisdiction’s Floodplain Administrator be your first stop in resolving drainage issues. Your local Floodplain Administrator can review the situation, determine the cause, and recommend actions to resolve. If necessary, your local Floodplain Administrator can also serve as a point-of-contact with ASLD. Floodplain Administrators are typically found in local government departments that deal with matters such as engineering, public works, community development, planning, or similar disciplines.
I'm interested in buying property adjacent to State Trust land. How can I find out what will be built there in the future?
If you are purchasing property adjacent to undeveloped State Trust land, the safest assumption to make is that it will eventually be developed at a future date. Undeveloped State Trust land is often confused with local natural preserves or Federal public lands, such as US Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management holdings. However, State Trust land is not public land.
What is "Open Range"?
This question is frequently asked by motorists involved in automobile accidents with livestock on a roadway, or by owners of private land in rural subdivisions whose ornamental plants are eaten by livestock from adjoining State Trust grazing land.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture's Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 3, Article 8 (No-Fence Districts), contains nine separate statutes that comprise the open range laws of the State. A motorist who has been involved in an accident and wants to know if a location is "open range" should contact the County Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors is the entity that has the authority to designate No-Fence Districts. If an area is not within a No-Fence District, it is open range. The Board of Supervisors keeps the records for such designations (ARS § 3-1421 and ARS § 3-1422). The landowner who is concerned with livestock damaging plants and other private property, has an obligation to fence his/her private land with a lawful fence to keep animals out. Having a lawful fence is necessary in any action to recover damages due to trespassing animals (ARS § 3-1427).
What are the different types of Recreational Permits and how do I obtain them?
Individual & Family Permits:
Individual Permits are available for $15 and for one individual.
Family Permits are available for $20 are are for a family unit of two (2) adults plus children residing in the same household who are under the age of 18 years.
Purchase an Individual or Family Recreational Permit Online
Small Group Permits (19 People or Less):
Small Group Permits are available for $15 and are intended for small groups or clubs consisting of 19 people or less who will participate in non-competitive and non-commercial activities during their time on State Trust land. Small Group Permits are valid for less than 5 days. Participants under a small group permit are not required to obtain individual recreation permits; however, the group must submit a complete roster of all individuals to be covered by the Small Group Permit.
Print & Mail-In an Application for a Recreational Use Group Permit for 19 People or Less
Large Group Permits (20 People or More) and/or Competitive Event Permits:
Large Group Permits and/or Competitive Event Permit Applications are more complex and require a Special Land Use Permit. The intention of Individual, Family, and Small Group Recreation Permits are to provide an accommodation to casual, non-consumptive users. However, due their consumptive impact on the land, other authorized users, and lessees, the process for applying for a permit is detailed and an application for a permit must be formally approved by Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) through a Special Land Use Permit (SLUP). The non-refundable application filing fee for this type of SLUP is $300. If approved, the permit may cost significantly more and is dependent upon the level of impact to the land, the location, type of event or activities proposed, and the number of participants. If approved, a SLUP extends the same privileges and responsibilities as individual, family or group permits for non-competitive, non-commercial events, but allows for groups of 20 or more participants, and/or competitive, and/or for-profit events.
To begin the application process for a Special Land Use Permit, either Request first-time access to the Online Application Portal or Access ASLD's Online Application Portal with a Current Login.
Why do I need a permit to go on State Trust land for recreation purposes?
Arizona State Trust Lands are not "public lands", as are Federal lands under the management of the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. Federal "public lands" are managed for the benefit and use of the public, while State Trust lands are managed for the benefit of 13 Trust beneficiaries, which include the public schools and prisons. The Land Department's Trust management responsibilities include requiring a permit or lease and charging a fee for use of Trust land. Exceptions to this requirement are licensed hunters and anglers, actively pursuing game or fish, in-season. A ‘Recreational Use Permit’ is temporary and revocable and does not permit commercial, competitive or group events. In most cases, lands leased for agriculture, mining, commercial, or military purposes are not open to recreational use. Other State Trust Lands may be closed to some or all recreational uses due to hazardous conditions, dust abatement, in coordination with the Arizona Game & Fish Department or based on certain State, County or Local laws or ordinances. A Recreational Permit allows the signatory limited privileges to use State Trust Land for some recreation. Recreation under this permit is limited to geocaching, hiking, horseback riding, picnics, bicycling, photography, sightseeing, and bird watching. Camping is restricted to no more than 14 days per year. Off-Highway Vehicular travel on State Trust Land is not permitted without proper licensing, and is only allowed on existing roads or trails.
What does my recreational permit allow me to do on State Trust land?
Recreational Permits allow the authorized permittee to enjoy non-consumptive recreational activities including: geocaching, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, picnics, photography, bird watching, sightseeing, camping (limited to 14 days per year), and limited off highway vehicle use (restricted to designated roads and trails), for non-commercial and non-competitive purposes. A Trust Land Recreation Permit DOES NOT permit target shooting, paintball, airsoft, recreational flying (i.e. ultralite aircraft), vehicular 'rock hopping', sand railing, fireworks, or congregating in groups larger than 19 people. Visiting prehistoric and historic cultural or archaeological sites, collecting or removing natural products (rocks, stone, soil, fossils, mineral specimens, cacti, saguaro or cholla skeletons, plants (live or dead), or firewood for personal use, are all prohibited. Additionally, it does not permit any activity that would otherwise be illegal or conflict with local laws or ordinances. A Recreational Permit does not authorize use of non-state lands such as military, federal, Tribal, or private lands.
Can I operate a drone or State Trust land?
Yes, any remote-controlled aircraft may be operated on State Trust land with a Recreational Permit and in conjunction with applicable local, state, and federal regulations. Manned aircraft may not land on State Trust land.
Can I obtain a State Trust land recreation permit from BLM, the Forest Service or the National Parks?
No. The BLM, National & State Parks are not authorized to grant access or recreation permits for Trust Land. However, you may purchase an Individual or Family Recreational Permit Online.
Does my Off-Highway Vehicle decal allow me to engage in recreational activities on State Trust land?
ASLD is presently working to identify potential routes that may be designated for OHV travel. The designation of an OHV route and decal purchase does not permit holders of an OHV Decal to recreate, stage or park on Trust Land without a Recreation Permit. The OHV decal authorizes users to traverse State Trust land on existing roads and trails. Visit the Arizona Game & Fish Department website for more information on the OHV program.
How do I know if I am on State Trust land? Are there signs?
The Arizona State Land Department manages over 9 million acres of land and roughly 8 million acres are available for some form of recreation. While the Department makes every effort to ensure that signage is well placed on Trust Land, limited resources make it impossible to place signs on every trail or parcel.
What is the penalty for trespassing on trust land without a valid recreation permit?
Failure to obtain a valid Recreation Permit before entering or violating the terms and conditions of your Recreation Permit while on Arizona State Trust land may result in criminal misdemeanor charges for trespassing on Trust land. Remember, your Recreation Permit is only valid if you fully comply with all terms and conditions of your permit.
Which law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction while I am on State Trust land?
Law Enforcement authority may include, but is not limited to State, County, City or Town Law Enforcement Officers who have jurisdictional authority. As a reminder, permittees must comply with all lawful orders of a Law Enforcement Officer, given in performance of their official duties, while on Trust land. Further, a recreational permit is conditional on compliance with the directives of Arizona State Land Department staff, while given in performance of their official duties. Failure to do so will automatically invalidate a recreational permit and may be cause for a trespass violation on Trust Land.
Why is some State Trust land closed?
Lands leased for agriculture, mining, commercial, or military purposes are not open to recreational use. Other Trust Lands may be closed to some or all recreational uses due to hazardous conditions, dust abatement, in coordination with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, or based on certain State, County or Local laws or ordinances.
Does the department sell land without an applicant?
Yes, the Department may bring land to auction through the PCI (Per Commissioner’s Initiative) process. In these sales the Department acts as the Applicant, performing due diligence work, which includes ordering and paying for due diligence reports. As with other auctions the due diligence reports are available for review by prospective bidders. Upon completion of the auction, the successful bidder reimburses the Department for due diligence report costs.
How are the auctions conducted?
Interested bidders must refer to the official auction notice regarding the terms of the sale or lease. Auctions may be live verbal auctions conducted by an auctioneer, or sealed bid, as stated in the auction notice. A cashier’s check for the amount specified in the auction notice must be presented to the designated real estate staff before the auction begins. The successful bidder must pay the amount specified in the auction notice by a cashier's check. The auction notice sets forth the terms and conditions of sale or lease, broker registration information, reimbursements, etc. The minimum bid is the appraised land value and the minimum bidding increments are set forth in the auction notice. Bidding continues until a successful bidder is declared.
How do I determine if there is legal access through state trust land to either my private land or a State Trust parcel?
Most title companies will research this information for a fee.
How is State Trust land planned?
Trust properties can be planned by using internal staff, or by contracting with consultants using appropriated monies from the legislature. In some cases, the Department will grant a developer permission to include Trust land in a planning project at the developer's expense. In some cases, the Department may allow applicants for the sale and or lease of Trust property to do additional planning that would enhance the marketability of the property.
Is it necessary to contact ASLD when developing land adjacent to State Trust land?
ASLD is not a development permitting agency; however, as a landowner and manager of over 9 million acres statewide, we always appreciate receiving a courtesy review copy of any development plans or engineering reports for neighboring property that may impact drainage, access or provision of utilities to State Trust land.