The General Land Office is the state agency responsible for managing land and natural resources in the state’s public domain, which totals 20.3 million acres of land and mineral-rights properties. It includes beaches, bays, estuaries and other "submerged" lands out to 10.3 miles in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as grazing lands in West Texas, timberlands in East Texas and commercial sites in urban areas throughout the state.
Established in 1836 by the Republic of Texas, the GLO is the oldest state agency in Texas. The agency’s historic duties included “collecting and keeping records, providing maps and surveys and issuing land titles.” Today, in addition to its land management responsibilities, the GLO also holds archives of original Spanish, Mexican, and Republic of Texas land grants.
According to the Handbook of Texas Online, a publication of the Texas State Historical Association, “Texas is the only public-land state with complete control over its public lands and over the proceeds resulting from the administration and sale of lands.”