Frequently Asked Questions
The Agricultural Lease Program maintains the administration of leases and permits for Agricultural uses on State Trust lands.
What is the length of an agriculture lease? Are lease agreements available for more than 10 years?
State Trust land can be leased for agriculture (farming) for a maximum of ten years, per the Arizona Constitution. There are certain instances where a lease may be limited to five-year terms due to possible development of the land.
When are lease payments due?
Agriculture lease payments are due in advance, by February 15th of 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 and/or dwellings allowed on leased agriculture land?
Generally, improvements associated with the production of crops such as wells, irrigation systems, etc., are allowed with prior consultation and approval from ASLD. Improvements may be classified as reimbursable or non-reimbursable, depending on the type of improvement. An Application to Place Improvement must be filed and approved prior to beginning any work.
Permanent dwellings are generally not allowed on State Trust land.
Applications & Permits
ASLD Applications and Permits are available here.
Where can I purchase a Recreational Permit?
Individual and Family Recreational Permits are available here. More information on Recreational Permits is available here.
Commercial Real Estate
How are auctions conducted?
Interested bidders may 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 a 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 for 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.
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.
I own or am thinking of purchasing land that is adjacent to State Trust land. How can I find out the future plans for the development of the State Trust property?
Arizona State Trust lands are managed to obtain their highest and best use and to maximize their financial return to the State Trust beneficiaries. This means that individual parcels may remain undeveloped, sold for development, leased for commercial, agricultural, grazing or mineral uses, or be open for approved activities under a recreational or special use permit. To see if lands are leased, you can visit ASLD's Parcel Viewer and click on the parcel in question. Parcels shown in the Parcel Viewer's default "Trust Parcels" layer are designated with a solid color fill if they are currently under lease. Additional land use information, including mineral leases, is available by clicking on the layers box on the upper right corner.
State Trust lands that are ready for development, as evidenced by adjacent urban or suburban-density development and the planned or existing extension of water and wastewater facilities, can be subject to an application to sell or commercially leased and must be disposed via a public auction. Those parcels can be found on our auction schedule.
The eventual development of State Trust land is subject to planning and zoning regulations of the local jurisdiction. To better understand the long-term outlook for any undeveloped land around your property, it is best to consult your city or town's General Plan, or in unincorporated areas, your county's Comprehensive Plan to learn what land uses are anticipated. Your city, town, or county planning or community development department may also have staff that can assist you with their General or Comprehensive Plan or similar long-range planning documents.
Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV)
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. All OHVs designed by the manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and that weigh 2,500 pounds or less are required by law to display a valid OHV decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona. This includes "street legal" vehicles that meet these two requirements.
Resident OHV Decal
Arizona residents can purchase an OHV decal for $25 (plus a processing fee) through the Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) offices statewide, an authorized third-party MVD service provider or online at www.servicearizona.com.
Non-Resident OHV Decal
As of September 1, 2019, the State of Arizona requires non-residents wanting to operate their OHV within the state to purchase a non-resident OHV decal. The decal must be purchased prior to riding an OHV within the state. The non-resident OHV decal costs $25 (plus a processing fee) and is valid one year from the date of purchase. This decal can only be purchased online through an Arizona Game and Fish Department portal account. The decal will not be sold at Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.
Arizona Game & Fish Department, Arizona State Parks & Trails, and Arizona Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division are our sister agencies responsible for the management of this program. Please refer to their websites, linked below, for information including trails & places to ride, decal requirements, rules & regulations, and much more.
Arizona Game & Fish Department OHV Information Page
Arizona State Parks & Trails OHV Program Information Page
Arizona Department of Transportation - Motor Vehicle Division OHV Decal Page
Do I need a Recreational Permit to operate an OHV on State Trust land?
While the OHV Decal authorizes users to traverse State Trust land on existing roads and trails, it does NOT permit holders of an OHV Decal to recreate, stage or park on Trust land without a Recreational Permit. Learn more about Recreational Permits here.
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.
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.
What are the different types of Recreational Permits & how do I obtain them?
Individual Permits are $15 and can be purchased here. They are provided to one individual and expire one year from the date they are issued. Permit holders are allowed day use access on State Trust land for an unlimited number of days throughout the duration of their permit. However, overnight camping is limited to a total of 14 cumulative days per calendar year. Please note: Recreational Permits purchased online will be charged an additional $1 convenience fee. Alternatively, Recreational Permits may be purchased in person with check, cash, or money order at the Arizona State Land Department Office, located at 1616 West Adams Street in Phoenix.
Family Permits are $20 and can be purchased here. They are provided for two adults plus any children residing in the same household who are under 18 years of age and expire one year from the date they are issued. Permit holders are allowed day use access on State Trust land for an unlimited number of days throughout the duration of their permit. However, overnight camping is limited to a total of 14 cumulative days per calendar year. Please note: Recreational Permits purchased online will be charged an additional $1 convenience fee. Alternatively, Recreational Permits may be purchased in person with check, cash, or money order at the Arizona State Land Department Office, located at 1616 West Adams Street in Phoenix.
Small Group Permits are $15 and can be purchased here. They are provided for groups of 19 people or less who complete the Small Group Permit application and provide names of all individuals covered under the permit. They expire 5 days after the date of the small group's gathering. This permit does not allow any competitive or commercial activities on State Trust land.
Please note: Recreational Permits purchased online will be charged an additional $1 convenience fee. Alternatively, Recreational Permits may be purchased in person with check, cash, or money order at the Arizona State Land Department Office, located at 1616 West Adams Street in Phoenix.
Large Group Permit Applications may be submitted for review with a non-refundable application fee of $300 and can be accessed here. Please note that this is an application process which will require Agency approval prior to a permit being issued. The application process is for groups of 20 or more, or for smaller groups who wish to engage in commercial or competitive activities on State Trust land. Applicants must receive approval from ASLD's Commercial Lease Section. This process is complex and may take up to 90 days for decision to approve or deny. An additional Permit Fee will be required, should the application be approved. It is advisable to speak with the Commercial Leasing Section prior to submitting an application. You may contact them directly through our Public Inquiry Page, located here.
Why do I need a Recreational Permit to be on State Trust land?
Arizona State Trust lands are different than "public lands" which are common within State Parks and Federal lands. State Parks and Federal lands are managed for the benefit and use of the public, while Arizona State Trust lands are managed for the benefit of the 13 Trust beneficiaries. The Land Department's Trust management responsibilities include requiring a permit or lease and charging a fee for the use of Trust land. Exceptions to this requirement are licensed hunters and anglers, actively pursuing game or fish, in season.
What does my Recreational Permit allow me to do on State Trust land?
A Recreational Permit allows the authorized permittee 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. Overnight camping is restricted to no more than 14 cumulative days per year. Remote-controlled aircraft (drones) may be operated on State Trust land with a Recreational Permit and in conjunction with applicable local, state, and federal regulations.
Off-Highway Vehicular (OHV) travel on State Trust land is permitted with proper licensing, and is only allowed on existing roads or trails. The OHV Decal authorizes users to traverse State Trust land on existing roads and trails, however it does NOT permit holders of an OHV Decal to recreate, stage or park on Trust land without a Recreational Permit. For more information on Off-Highway Vehicle Recreating, please visit our sister agency's website: Arizona Game & Fish Department OHV Information Page.
A "Recreational Use Permit" is temporary and revocable and does not permit commercial, competitive or large 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 local, state, and federal laws or ordinances.
What is the penalty for trespassing on State Trust lands without a valid recreational permit?
Failure to obtain a valid Recreation Permit before entering State Trust land, or violating the terms and conditions of an issued Recreational Permit, may result in criminal misdemeanor charges for trespassing on Trust land.
Which law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction while I'm 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, permit holders 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 would some State Trust land be closed for access?
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.
What is a water auction?
A water auction is the process to obtain an agreement allowing the pumping of water from State Trust land to be used off State Trust land. Additional instruments such as a Right of Way, Commercial Lease, etc., may be required in addition to the water agreement to move water off State Trust land.
How do I apply for a water auction?
You may apply for a water auction here.
Can I use groundwater withdrawn from State Trust land off State Trust land?
Yes, if you have a water agreement with ASLD. To obtain a water agreement, you must be the successful bidder at a water auction. Water auctions are held through an application process. You will have to complete a water auction application to begin the process.
Rain/flood water is flowing onto my property from adjacent State Trust lands. What can you do to help fix this problem?
Downstream properties are responsible for accepting historic offisite drainage onto their property in their historic location and flow. This is the case for private properties that are adjacent to undeveloped State Trust land. Generally, rain or floodwater issues are best addressed by contacting your city, town, or county engineer or floodplain administrator. General information is also available from the Arizona Department of Water Resources. They can be contacted via email at [email protected], by calling 602.771.8657, or through their website.