Statement regarding next steps on Alaska Public Lands Orders review
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced next steps today in its review of several Public Lands Orders signed at the end of the previous Administration. Please see below for a quote from BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs Nada Culver:
"The BLM will undertake government-to-government Tribal consultation as the first step in its review of five Public Lands Orders signed in January 2021. Consultation with Alaska Native Tribes will give us the best understanding of Tribes' interests and equities in these lands as we begin our work, and will help inform our efforts to prioritize land selections by Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans. We are committed to moving forward expeditiously with our review, and will issue formal consultation notices within two weeks."
On January 11, 15 and 16, 2021, five Public Lands Orders were signed that would open 28 million acres of BLM lands in Alaska to mineral development, as well as for selection by the State and Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans.
On April 15, 2021, the Department of the Interior announced that it was delaying by two years the effective date of draft Public Lands Orders to determine whether to release all 28 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land in Alaska and open it to mining and mineral development. During this time, the BLM will work to correct defects associated with initial analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act, including inadequate review of potential impacts on subsistence hunting and fishing.
The Dingell Conservation, Management and Recreation Act of 2019 made lands available to Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans until 2025. The Department is committed to honoring those land selections, as well as land selections made by the State of Alaska, on eligible lands.
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.