Public Trust

Public Trust Statement

At its meeting on April 24, 2001, the California State Lands Commission requested information on the Public Trust Doctrine and the role the Commission plays in administering the Public Trust. The Commission also directed staff to prepare an informative statement that it could adopt that would guide Public Trust lands grantees, lease applicants and the public in understanding how the Public Trust Doctrine applies to granted and state-owned Public Trust lands.

At the September 17, 2001 meeting of the Commission, staff presented a policy statement setting forth a statement for administration of Public Trust lands and a paper prepared by the Attorney General's Office discussing Public Trust Law with particular emphasis on what the courts have found to be proper trust uses in the past and what can be gleaned from case law regarding proposals for new and different uses of Public Trust lands. The policy statement was adopted by a 3-0 vote.

The materials presented here are intended to assist in the understanding of the Commission's role in exercising its discretion as each factual situation arises and to provide assistance to potential Public Trust land users and grantees. In determining whether a proposed use is consistent with the Public Trust Doctrine and in the best interests of the state, the Commission will consider other legal requirements such as the Coastal Act and the California Environmental Quality Act as well as the views of various public groups, businesses or other relevant sectors of California society.

Public Trust Policy

Public Trust Doctrine