The Hattiesburg American, 2/3/9

Mississippi needs to do a better job of managing its school-owned land, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Monday.

Hosemann told the Forrest-Lamar County Forestry Association he wants make bids and other financial information on 16th Section land more transparent.

Land management and transparency need to be top priorities for school boards that lease 16th Section land, Hosemann said.

There are 640,000 acres of 16th Section land across the state, Hosemann said, with an income of $54 million in 2007. That makes the average yield per acre $25, far less than what it should be, Hosemann said.

“We have a phenomenal resource in 16th Section land,” Hosemann said. “With good management and people on the ground, we can do better.”