Alaska Native Veteran Land Allotment Program reaching out
James hart, Public Affairs Specialist
Up to 160 acres of land are available for each qualifying Alaska Native veteran who served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1971). That’s a lot of land, and there are a lot of vets who have been predetermined eligible. The challenge is reaching them all and making sure they understand the steps in the process, which can be complex and lengthy.
That’s why the folks with the BLM Alaska’s Native Veteran Land Allotment Program jump at the chance to join partner agencies and organizations in outreach events located where the veterans live, like the one held recently in Tulalip, Washington.
“We met with 27 people that day, including seven new applicants,” said Candy Grimes, ANVLAP program lead. “It’s always wonderful to sit with a vet and help them through the process. It means a lot to me and my teammates.”
Mike Everett is a BLM employee with Alaska Native Veteran Land Allotment Program and a veteran of the Marine Corps.
“I want them to feel appreciated and respected,” said Everett. “Meeting and working with the vets motivates me. I understand from personal experience that navigating and working through the process with the different veteran or federal agencies can be daunting at times, so my goal when working with the veterans is to be as helpful and understanding as possible.”
From the program’s beginning in December 2020, the Bureau of Land Management along with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration determined there were more than 2,000 eligible veterans. Since that time, the number of known eligible veterans has increased, not always because of new findings by government agencies, but because veterans or their heirs came forward with new information and applied.
“This is why we need this kind of outreach,” said Grimes. “We especially need people to reach out to Alaska Native veterans who they know served during this period, because there are others out there who are eligible, and they just need to apply.”
So far, Grimes and her team have participated in nine outreach events in the following Alaska communities: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Dillingham, Juneau, Glennallen and Kodiak. They have been in one-on-one contact with several veterans or their families throughout the life of the program.
The next event will be May 16 in Nome at the Kawerak Office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Grimes is coordinating with several Alaska Native organizations for more in-person events this summer.
There are approximately 27 million acres of federal land available for selection under the program. To see the lands available or to get an application, go to the BLM Alaska website’s ANVLAP page and look under “Quick Links” for the map and application instructions. The final day to apply is December 29, 2025.