BLM takes next steps to prioritize public land order selection for Alaska Native Vietnam-era Vets

ANCHORAGE – The Bureau of Land Management is announcing next steps in the implementation of the Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veterans Land Allotment Program. While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska reviews the previous Administration’s broad Public Lands Orders (PLOs), the bureau is seeking public comments to support an environmental assessment that will consider the effects of opening certain lands to selection by eligible Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veterans. The lands to be analyzed are associated with 28 million acres identified in five public land orders signed in January 2021.  

“It is a priority for the BLM to move forward expeditiously to ensure that Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans are able to select the land allotments they are owed, with an expansive selection area. Public input on the review of these lands for selection by eligible Alaska Native individuals is vital in the development of our analysis,” said Nada Culver, BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs.   

The Dingell Act made lands available to Alaska Native Vietnam-Era Veterans until 2025. The Department of the Interior is committed to honoring those land selections, as well as land selections made by the State of Alaska, on eligible lands. 

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 established the Alaska Native Vietnam-Era Veterans Land Allotment Program. Through this program, the BLM can provide eligible individuals the opportunity to select an allotment of up to 160 acres from vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved Federal lands in Alaska. The public land orders under review revoked land withdrawals made pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Section 17(d)(1) and when final would open 28 million acres of federal lands for development as well as selection by Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans. The BLM held government to government consultation on these issues on May 26 and 27 and June 14 and 15. 

The Notice of Intent will publish in the Federal Register tomorrow and the 60-day public comment period ends on Sept. 21, 2021. Comments may be submitted on the BLM’s National NEPA Register at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2014748/510 or by mail to: 

 

Bureau of Land Management  
Alaska Native Veteran Allotment/EA  
222 W. 7th Ave., Stop 13  
Anchorage, Alaska 99513  
  

Maps and other planning documents associated with the project are available on the BLM’s National NEPA Register at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2014748/510 and can be reviewed at the BLM Alaska Public Information Center.  Please phone ahead to make an appointment.   

   

BLM Alaska Public Information Center   
James M. Fitzgerald Federal Building  
222 West 7th Avenue   
Anchorage, AK 99513   
(907) 271-5960  
  

For additional information on the environmental assessment development, contact project lead Serena Sweet at ssweet@blm.gov. For questions on the Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veteran Allotment Program of 2019 visit https://www.blm.gov/alaska/2019AKNativeVetsLand or contact Paul Krabacher at pkrabach@blm.gov.   

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Organization

Bureau of Land Management

Office

Alaska State Office

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