In the US, the land owner owns the sub-soil mineral rights. However, the federal government is a substantial land owner. The federal government distributes some of its royalties to the County. The Mesa County Federal Mining Lease District Board of Directors explains why it is setting up a Permanent Fund, in contrast with the state of Colorado:
“In Colorado all these one-time monies are spent just as fast as industry produces them. This short sightedness stands in contrast to forward looking states like Texas, Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyoming all that choose to save a portion of their royalties for the permanent benefit of their citizens.
The Mesa County Federal Mineral Least District hopes to replicate this wisdom and fiscal responsibility by investing a portion of the royalties we receive each year into a permanent endowment fund while also continuing to provide ongoing funding for projects with a more immediate need.
The saved royalties will serve future generations by funding projects forever instead of just once.“