The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration has requested formal purchase proposals from five parties interested in buying trust land in Professor Valley, about 40 miles northeast of Moab.
Earlier, SITLA sold three parcels in the area. Approximately 1,400 acres were sold to The Nature Conservancy at $640 per acre for a total purchase price of some $910,000. The conservancy hopes to retain the land's scenic, wildlife and other natural values, said SITLA spokesman Dave Hebertson. The group also expressed interest in three more parcels in the same area, but no sale was made at the time.
Subsequently, another party showed interest in one of the remaining three parcels, Hebertson said.
In January, the administration advertised for proposals on the remaining Professor Valley tracts and received 15 responses, with five expressing interest in purchasing some or all of the property.
The responses were from both private interests and conservation organizations. Hebertson said the details of what prospective buyers want to do with the land have not yet been shared with the agency.
The interested parties are now being asked to formalize their offers. Responses are due by April 18 and the administration will then determine which, if any, of the proposals will be accepted.
SITLA manages some 3.4 million acres of trust land around the state, including the Professor Valley acreages. Income from the lands, including sales and leases, goes into a permanent fund that generates earnings for the beneficiaries, primarily public schools. The permanent fund now is approximately $400 million and about $40 million is being added annually.