Frequently Asked Questions

Vietnam Service Ribbon

Alaska Veterans at presentation

Contact the BLM Native Allotment Section with additional questions at (907) 271-5998 or CGrimes@blm.gov.

Alaska Native Veterans Program of 2019 Status

What you can do now

Application process
Click for larger image. 

Eligibility, Applications and Notifications

Lands Selection


What can I do now?

Eligible veterans can apply through Dec. 29, 2025. Veterans previously notified of eligibility will receive application materials in the mail. Read the Final Rules for details. 

Those not notified can take the following actions and consult the Final Rules for instructions to apply. 

  1. Update your mailing address and phone number with your BIA Realty Tribal Service Provider and personal representative, (if applicable). Enrollment Verification: (907) 271-4506 | BIA Realty: (800) 645-8465
     
  2. Get a copy of your DD-214, or print a VA Service Verification Letter right from the US Department of Veterans Affairs website. The VA Service Verification Letter gives dates of service and the character of discharge. You can also:

    BY PHONE | You can also request the documents you need calling the VA benefits hotline at 800-827-1000.

    IN PERSON | Vets and family members can also book an appointment online for in-person meeting at the Anchorage Regional VA office to discuss getting a copy DD-214 copies or a VA Service Verification Letter.

    OTHER ONLINE | Visit the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Office of Veterans Affairs or the US Department of Veterans Affairs to request your DD-214. 
     
    * If VA does not have a copy of your DD-214 because you've never filed a claim with them, then request your DD-214 directly from the National Personnel Records Center.  This can be done by faxing an SF-180 to NPRC at 314-801-9195 or completing the form online at the eVetRecs site (https://vetrecs.archives.gov/VeteranRequest/home.html) and mailing or faxing the signature page as instructed on that website. Veterans can also print a Service Verification Letter right from the VA's website..

    *Your local VA office or a veteran service organization can help you navigate the process, if you need assistance. 
     
  3. Coordinate a personal representative appointed by an Alaska State Court, if needed.
     
  4. Review our interactive map of currently and potentially available lands for selection by eligible individuals. It will be updated regularly to account for changes as more lands become available and once allotments are applied for over the course of the program.

Once you update your contact information and receive your DD-214, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where are you keeping those documents?
  • Does anyone else know where to find them?
  • Who would you like to represent you & do they know you want them to?
    • Do they know what lands you want to select?
    • Did you list them in your will as a representative?

*You can also ask each agency if you meet the definition for Alaska Native (BIA) and Vietnam-era veteran (VA). The military service requirement can be met in several ways to qualify as a veteran per 38 USC 101.  Active duty for the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard clearly falls within the definition.  For service in the Reserves, National Guard, Public Health Service, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, we recommend contacting the VA or your State veteran services for help in determining if you qualify as a veteran.  In Alaska, you can contact the State of Alaska’s Office of Veteran Affairs at (888) 248-3682Back to top>

 

What else can I do?

Nearly 2,000 eligible Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans and family members can officially apply through Dec. 29, 2025 for up to 160 acres of federal land in the state! Final rules for the program were published in the Federal Register Nov. 27, giving applicants 30 days to prepare and submit applications before the opening day. Applications for the 5-year program were mailed to those who already received eligibility notices earlier this year. Downloadable applications are also available.  

Spread the word to other potential Native Veterans you may know or through organizations you participate in. We still need your help locating about 700 potentially eligible veterans and families nationwide and getting them to provide current addresses to the Bureau of Indian Affairs at (907) 271-4506. Please ask around for people who served between 1964 and 1971. We can’t give you their names due to Privacy Act concerns, but you can download and distribute our flyer to your community centers, shelters, veterans’ organizations, places of worship, and social services organizations.  

Back to top>

 

Where can I find application details in the Final Rules?

Following is a list of quick links to application topics covered in the Final Rules:

When can I apply for an allotment?

 

Do I need to fill out a special application form?

 

How do I obtain a copy of the application form?

 

What must I file with my application form?

 

What are the special provisions that apply to selections that include State or Native corporation selected land?

 

What are the rules about the number of parcels and size of the parcel for my selection?

 

Is there a limit to how much water frontage my selection can include?

 

Do I need to pay any fees when I file my application?

 

Where do I file my application?

 

What will the BLM do if it finds an error in my application?

 

When is my application considered received by the BLM?

 

Where can I go for help with filling out an application?

 

How will I receive Notices and Decisions?

 

May I request an extension of time to respond to Notices?

 

Back to top>

How do I get a personal representative?

Coordinate a personal representative appointed by an Alaska State Court, if needed. Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) provides assistance with coordinating personal representatives. You can find them online at https://www.alsc-law.org/. You can also contact them by email: Cameron Means at cmeans@alsc-law.org or Davyn Williams at dwilliams@alsc-law.org. Back to top>

 

How do I get a copy of my (or my relative’s) DD-214 and other service-related paperwork?

Get a copy of your (or your relative's) DD-214, or print a VA Service Verification Letter right from the US Department of Veterans Affairs website. Visit the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Office of Veterans Affairs or the US Department of Veterans Affairs to request your DD-214.  You can also request the documents you need calling the VA benefits hotline at  800-827-1000.

Your local VA office or a veteran service organization can help you navigate the process, if you need assistance. 

If VA does not have a copy of your DD-214 because you've never filed a claim with them, then request your DD-214 directly from the National Personnel Records Center.  This can be done by faxing an SF-180 to NPRC at 314-801-9195 or completing the form online at the eVetRecs site (https://vetrecs.archives.gov/VeteranRequest/home.html) and mailing or faxing the signature page as instructed on that website. 

Back to top>

 

Who is eligible to select an allotment of land?

Any Alaska Native who:

  1. Is an armed forces veteran who served between August 5, 1964, and December 31, 1971 with an other than dishonorable discharge; and
  2. Has not already received an allotment of land under another Alaska Native land allotment program.

A personal representative, acting on behalf of the heirs of a deceased Native veteran, may also apply for an allotment if the deceased veteran meets the eligibility requirements above.

Back to top>

 

Who certifies military service?

The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Back to top>

 

Who certifies Alaska Native status?

The Bureau of Indian Affairs. Back to top>

 

Do I qualify if I was dishonorably discharged?

No, the law requires that you were discharged or released from your service under conditions other than dishonorable.  However, you may want to talk to the US Department of Veterans Affairs or your State veteran services for help in determining whether your discharge can be upgraded.  In Alaska, you can contact the State of Alaska’s Office of Veteran Affairs at (888) 248-3682. Your local VA office or a veteran service organization can also help you navigate the process, if you need it.  Back to top>

Veterans can use the following resources to apply to have their discharge reviewed by their respective military service department: 

General Information | https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/correct-service-records.html

Air Force | https://www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Military-Personnel-Records/

Army | https://arba.army.pentagon.mil/

Coast Guard | https://www.uscg.mil/resources/legal/bcmr/

 

Navy and Marine Corps

https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/recordsmanagement/Pages/BCNR.aspx

https://www.secnav.navy.mil/mra/bcnr/Pages/default.aspx

 

If I am eligible, will I be notified? If I'm not notified, what do I need to do?

The BLM mailed letters to approximately 2,000 individuals between July and December 2020 notifying them that they are eligible to apply for a land allotment of up to 160 acres. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is still determining eligibility status for about 270 more Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans. The BLM will mail additional notifications as eligibility is confirmed.

  • If you do did not receive notification already, it means that the contact information the government has for you is incorrect or you were not ineligible.  
  • If your contact information is updated and you were not notified of eligibility, instructions for addressing your concerns is included in the Final Rules. 

 Back to top>

 

What land is available for selection?

To date, the Fortymile, Good News Bay, and Bering Glacier areas of the state have been affected by Public Land Orders revoking Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) 17(d)(1) withdrawals. These actions make about 1.6 million acres available under the statutory definition of ‘available lands’ in the Dingell Act, which authorized the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Program of 2019.

In addition the BLM added for selection about 28 million acres to its Available Lands Map as “Potentially Available after PLO Review" for lands covered by several public land orders under review by the Department of the Interior. It will review all applications for completeness and work with applicants to address any concerns. It will immediately begin processing any applications it receives to ensure that it can then complete processing as quickly as possible if the lands become available after the ongoing review. Applicants for areas under review will receive confirmation that their applications are being held until the department determines if the land will be open for selection. Lands selected within these areas will be indicated on the Available Lands Map to alert future applicants of potential conflicts.

See the Available Lands Map for currently and potentially available lands for selection. The map will be updated as more lands become available and as allotments are applied for over the course of the program.

The Act makes all vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved BLM-managed public lands available.  In general, reserved lands are those designated for a specific use like military bases, National Parks, or National Wildlife Refuge, or specific purposes like the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Appropriated lands include lands selected by the State or by Native corporations for conveyance. Although selected lands are considered appropriated lands, selected lands can be considered if the State or Native corporation agrees to a relinquishment of the selection.

 Back to top>

 

How will BLM handle applications filed for lands within areas withdrawn by Section 17(d)(1) of ANCSA under the PLOs currently under review? 

A: The BLM will send a letter to affected applicants explaining that their applications are being held while the Department determines if the land will be opened for selection.  The applicant will be given the option to file an alternate selection if they want their application fully processed immediately.  While holding the application, the BLM will review it for completeness and work with the applicant to address any concerns.  Areas of potentially available lands covered by complete applications will be indicated on the program’s Available Lands Map to alert future applicants of potential conflicts.

Back to top>

 

Do the allotment entries on the Alaska Native Veterans Allotment Program of 2019 Available Lands Map have a legal effect?

Noting an allotment to the live map does not have a legal effect.  The live map is for the sole purpose of making applicants aware of potential conflicts.

Back to top>

 

How large can the allotment be?

The allotment must be between 2.5 and 160 acres. Back to top>

 

What is the process for submitting a selection application?

Nearly 2,000 eligible Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans and family members can officially apply through Dec. 29, 2025 for up to 160 acres of federal land in the state! Final rules for the program were published in the Federal Register Nov. 27, giving applicants 30 days to prepare and submit applications before the opening day. Applications for the 5-year program were mailed to those who already received eligibility notices earlier this year. Downloadable applications are also available.

Use the Available Lands Map to find currently and potentially available lands for selection. BLM continues working with the State of Alaska and Alaska Native corporations to identify land that is available for selection.

If an individual meets all eligibility requirements, and the requested land is available for selection when the application is received, then a Certificate of Allotment  will be issued.  

Back to top>

 

Can selections be made in wildlife refuges?

No lands within wildlife refuges are currently available for selection.

However, as required by the Dingell Act, findings from the US Fish & Wildlife Service study Identification of National Wildlife Refuge System Lands in Alaska That Should Be Made Available for Allotment Selection by Eligible Alaska Native Vietnam Era Veterans were reported to Congress in November 2020 for consideration in future actions. Only Congress can make refuge lands available for selection, and identified lands in the US Fish & Wildlife Service study would require subsequent legislation to become available for selection. Back to top>

 

Can I select lands a Native corporation or the State of Alaska already owns? 

No. The Act only makes BLM-managed public lands available and does not authorize title recovery.  Back to top>

 

Will my allotment be subject to valid existing rights? 

Yes, any available Federal land conveyed under the Act will be subject to valid existing rights. Back to top>

 

Is land that is valuable for minerals available for selection? 

Yes, however any minerals not subject to valid existing rights will be reserved to the United States in your title document. Back to top>

 

Can I select land in two different areas?

No. The legislation limits an allotment to only one parcel of land.

Back to top>

 

If new land comes available after I apply, can I change my mind and reapply for an allotment on the newly available land?

Eligible Individuals may be allowed to amend their selections until 60 days after they receive the Notice of Survey. Amended selections will be considered as new applications for purposes of preference, but there is no need to resubmit any portions of the application other than the land description and map. If an applicant relinquishes his or her application more than 60 days after they receive the Notice of Survey, then the applicant will only be able to submit a new application for a new selection if their original selection is no longer available. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to change your selection except if lands you selected were applied for by another individual or if the lands were otherwise unavailable.

Back to top>

The land available for selection is not near me, not near the area my family is from, or it is not accessible to me. Can I opt for a cash payout?

No. The legislation does not include provisions for cash in lieu of land. However, the land eligible individuals receive through a certificate of allotment can be sold with approval of the BIA.

Back to top>

 

Why is there no land available in Southeast Alaska?

The Act does not include Federal land within a unit of the National Forest System or National Park System. 

Back to top>

 

Were public meetings held?

Yes. Four virtual meetings were held July 15 & 16, 2020 and streamed live on social media. Watch a recording of  a virtual meeting, if you'd like, or view the Public Meeting slide presentation from July 10, 2020. 


Back to top>

 

Do all the heirs of an eligible veteran qualify separately?

No, only the eligible veteran qualifies for an allotment, so there is only one allotment available for application. 

The only person who can apply on behalf of a deceased eligible veteran is the personal representative of his/her estate appointed by an Alaska State Court.   Even if a court has determined that you are an heir, you can only apply on behalf of the deceased eligible veteran if you have been appointed by the personal representative of his/her estate. Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) provides assistance with coordinating personal representatives. You can find them online at https://www.alsc-law.org/. You can also contact them by email: Cameron Means at cmeans@alsc-law.org or Davyn Williams at dwilliams@alsc-law.org.  Back to top>

 

 

Where is the BLM in the process of issuing allotments to eligible Alaska Natives?

PROGRAM UPDATE (May 26, 2021) | In addition to about 1.6 million acres "Currently Available" under the program, the BLM added for selection about 28 million acres to its Available Lands Map as “Potentially Available after PLO Review" for lands covered by several public land orders under review by the Department of the Interior.

The BLM encourages eligible individuals to submit applications for these areas under review. It will review all applications for completeness and work with applicants to address any concerns. It will immediately begin processing any applications it receives to ensure that it can then complete processing as quickly as possible if the lands become available after the ongoing review. 

Applicants for areas under review will receive confirmation that their applications are being held until the department determines if the land will be open for selection. Lands selected within these areas will be indicated on the Available Lands Map to alert future applicants of potential conflicts.

The BLM will initiate conditional relinquishment requests on behalf of veterans if the lands covered by their applications are selected by the State of Alaska or Alaska Native Corporations but have not yet been conveyed. 

The BLM continues to accept and process applications for the 1.6 million acres “Currently Available” in Interior's Fortymile area; near Goodnews Bay in western Alaska; and in the Bering Glacier area near Yakutat. BLM Alaska is currently processing nearly 80 applications in these areas.

 

Native Vet logo with the word "missing" across it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We still need your help locating more than 700 potentially eligible veterans and families nationwide and getting them to provide current addresses to the Bureau of Indian Affairs at (907) 271-4506. Please ask around for people who served between 1964 and 1971. We can’t give you their names due to Privacy Act concerns, but you can spread the word in your community centers, shelters, veterans’ organizations, places of worship, and social services organizations. 

Back to top>

 

Why does this program exist?

Alaska Natives served this country during Vietnam at rates among the highest ethnic groups in the country. However, the 2019 Dingell Act's Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans land allotment section is not a reward for service in the military. Instead, the law attempts to compensate for a time of intense advertising and publicity that may not have reached these men and women due to the fact that they were busy serving this nation, whether abroad or here in the United States. It provides a 5-year-long window for eligible veterans and their heirs to apply for up to 160 acres of federal land in Alaska without having to qualify by showing evidence of personal use and occupancy.  The latest of four Alaska Native allotment programs since 1906, the 2019 program looks to provide equity for those who may have missed the robust outreach campaign -- which coincided with the Vietnam conflict --  to apply under the 1906 Act before it was repealed in 1971 by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The subsequent Alaska Native Veterans Allotment Act of 1998 attempted to compensate for this, but Congress and the Alaska Native Community have long seen the personal use and occupancy requirement of previous laws, as well as the short service date window in the 1998 law (Jan. 1, 1969-Dec. 31, 1971) as unfair. This new program removes the requirement for personal use or occupancy, and it extends the eligibility window by four and half years to now apply to all eligible Alaska Native eligible who served between Aug. 5, 1964, and Dec. 31, 1971.

 

When did the legislation pass?

The legislation passed the House and Senate as section 1119 of S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act and was enacted March 12, 2019, as Public Law 116-9. Section 1119 was originally the Alaska Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act before being included into S. 47. Back to top>