Celebrating the milestones...
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BLM land transfer specialist Dina Torres provides patent documents for signature by BLM Deputy State Director Ron Dunton, as officials from Huna Totem Corporation prepare to accept patent.
L-R: Officials from BLM and Huna Totem Corporation celebrate the patent signing ceremony on July 31, 2013.
Another Alaska Native village "closed!"
No, it doesn't mean they're turned off the lights and walked away from the village. Quite the opposite, in fact. As of July 31, 2013, the Huna Totem Corporation, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) village corporation established for the Village of Hoonah, received patent to just over 23,040 acres. This fulfills the corporation's entitlement under ANCSA and allows BLM-Alaska to close out the casefiles and check the village off the "to do" list. It's a significant event for any village corporation. Huna Totem representatives flew hundreds of miles from southeast Alaska for the occasion. more>>
What is the Alaska Land Transfer Program?
In Alaska, the Bureau of Land Management has been tasked with the largest land transfer effort ever taken in the United States. For more than 30 years, the BLM has been involved with the survey and conveyance of lands in Alaska under three statutes: the Native Allotment Act of 1906; the Alaska Statehood Act, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The work being done to implement these laws is collectively called the Alaska Land Transfer Program. The Alaska Land Transfer Program has three distinct phases: preliminary adjudication and application approval; cadastral survey; and conveyance of lands and entitlements.
When Alaska became the 49th state in 1959, nearly all of its 365 million acres were under federal ownership. Since then, Alaskans have witnessed dramatic changes in land ownership. As the Secretary of the Interior’s designated survey and land transfer agent, the BLM surveys and conveys land to individual Alaskan Natives, and Native corporations.
When the work is completed, over 150 million acres, approximately 42% of the land area in Alaska, will have been transferred from federal to state and private ownership.