A stack of folders and paperwork sit side by side on a table.
Stacks of Dingell Act notification letters prepped and ready to go.

Progress despite complexities

All the programs described involve fairly complex requirements, standards, and land status issues. Often, the various applications have conflicts with one another that must be resolved.

The Alaska Land Transfer Program has been a massive undertaking, unprecedented in scope and complexity. Issuance of land patents by the BLM is critical and exacting in nature and forms the very foundation of a future chain of title.

The following are a few of the additional legislative priorities BLM has received, an average of about one new Congressional directive a year for the past 12 years, which include but not limited

Recent Legislative Priorities

The BLM has received an average of about one new congressional directive a year for the past 12 years. These directives include:

  • Land transfer to Bering Straits Native Corporation
  • Land transfer to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • Land transfer to the State of Alaska within the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary
  • Land transfer to James Henry Jansen & Victor Carl Jansen
  • Land transfer to Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation
  • Continued technical assistance for S. 3269, Unrecognized Southeast Alaska Native Communities Recognition & Compensation Act
  • Alaska Native Vietnam Veteran Era Veterans Land Allotment

ANCSA Entitlements Held Needing Legislative Fixes

Remedial legislation is needed to fulfill the following entitlements:

  • Kaktovik
  • Canyon Village
  • Nagamut
  • The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC), Successor in Interest to Sleetmute Limited, & Red Devil Incorporated
  • Eyak

Additional Challenges

The following challenges directly impact the BLM Land Transfer Program rate of land conveyances:

  • State Protest of Survey Plats
  • Congressional Reports
  • 2019 Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veteran Land Allotment Program
  • Land Exchanges
  • Workforce
  • 17(b) Easements
  • Title Recovery Native Allotments

There is no margin for error, and if it is not done correctly, it must be redone. Considering the scope of the task and the precision required, it is incredible that the program is as far along as it is.


Fiscal Year 2024 Alaska Land Transfer Progress
Native Allotment Land Transfer Current Status
Act of 2019 Native Veteran Land Allotment Applications Received 379 applications received to date
Act of 2019 Native Veteran Land Allotment Applications in Adjudication Process 353 applications in process
Act of 2019 Native Veteran Land Allotment Applications for Survey 48 applications with draft surveys
Act of 2019 Native Veteran Land Allotment Applications for Survey 29 applications in survey
Act of 2019 Native Veteran Land Allotment Applications Patented 15 applications certificated
Act of 1906 Alaska Native Allotment 10 in survey process
Act of 1906 Alaska Native Allotment 251 in litigation or title recovery

Fiscal Year 2024 Alaska Land Transfer Progress

ANCSA Land Transfer Current Status
Cantwell Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Ahtna Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Chistochina Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Ahtna Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Tazlina Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Ahtna Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Belkofski Sec. 12(b) Entitlement (Aleut Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
18 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Aleut Region) 2 patents issued for 12 selections on Oct. 27, 2023, 12 case files closed of record.  Publication in Federal Register for 6 TAC Sec. 14(h)(1) selections; decision issued, patents in review.
Sec. 12(a)(1) Regional Selection (Aleut Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
St. Paul Sec. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Aleut Region) Auditing for possible survey needs in fulfilling entitlements
St. George Sec. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Aleut Region) Auditing for possible survey needs in fulfilling entitlements
Sand Point Sec. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Aleut Region) Auditing for possible survey needs in fulfilling entitlements
Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selection (Bering Straits Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Manokotak Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Bristol Bay Region) Final draft approval decision and draft patents completed; in final review 
Koliganek Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Bristol Bay Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selection (Bristol Bay Region) COMPLETED: Corrected patent issued October 12, 2023; Case closed of record
Sec. 14(h)(1) Entitlement Closure (Bristol Bay Region) Draft decision in closing 5 remaining Sec. 14(h)(1) selection applications sent to BBNC Lands Department on March 11th, pending review their before issuance by BLM. 
Kongiganek Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Calista Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Sec. 12(a)(1) In-Lieu (Calista Region) Auditing interim conveyed lands for possible survey needs to issue confirmatory patents
Sec. 14(h)(8) Regional Selection (Calista Region) COMPLETED:  Conveyance issued February 21, 2024
16 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Calista Region) COMPLETED:  Patent issued February 21, 2024; 16 cases closed of record
Oscarville Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Calista Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Kasigluk Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Calista Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
Calista Sec. 14(f) Entitlement @ Napaskiak (Calista Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
Tatitlek Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Chugach Region) COMPLETED:  Final patents issued April 11, 2024 (Village Closure); Patents to be noted to the land records.
8 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Chugach Region) COMPLETED: Patent for 8 selections issued Oct. 27, 2023, 8 case files closed of record
23 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Chugach Region) Project added in February to 2024 ANCSA projects; adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
6 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Cook Inlet Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
Eklutna Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Cook Inlet Region) Adjudication in progress; reviewing conveyance documents
Chickaloon Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Cook Inlet Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
Fire Island Lands (Cook Inlet Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
CIRI West Side Deficiency Lands (Cook Inlet) Actively working on a Patent Easement and Final Easement Memorandums for conveyance/patenting of approximately 250,000 acres.
Beaver Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Doyon Region) Approval decision in fulfilling Sec. 12(b) entitlement issued on April 4, 2024; awaiting appeal period; draft patents in review. Auditing Sec. 12(a) remaining entitlement selections for possible survey needs.
Circle Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Doyon Region) Approval decision in fulfilling Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) entitlements issued April 18, 2024.  Awaiting appeal period; draft patents in review
Stevens Village Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Doyon Region) Preparing survey request in fulfilling Sec. 12(a) entitlement (Sec. 12(b) fulfilled).
Tanana Village Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Doyon Region) Preparing survey request in fulfilling Sec. 12(a) entitlement (Sec. 12(b) fulfilled); actively adjudicating.  
16 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (Doyon Region) Draft conveyance documents completed, actively in review
Ouzinkie Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (Koniag Region) Draft corrected patent completed for review
Woody Island Sec. 12(a) Entitlement (Koniag Region) Adjudication in progress for conveyance document reviews
Kotzebue Secs. 12(a) and 12(b) Entitlements (NANA Region) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
2 Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selections (NANA, Inc.) Actively working on project for conveyance document reviews
Sec. 14(h)(1) Regional Selection (Sealaska Region) Adjudication in process for conveyance document reviews
Sec. 14(h)(8) Regional Entitlement Closure (Sealaska Region) First of 4 patents issued on October 12, 2023; 3 draft conveyance documents completed, actively in review 
Sec. 14(h)(8) Regional Entitlement Closure (Sealaska Region) Easement decision and draft confirmatory patent drafted and reviewed; Final Corrected Easement Memorandum in review.

 
State of Alaska Land Transfer Current Status
Patents issued for Tentatively Approved (TA) Lands 89,981 acres of TA lands patented to date
Tentatively Approved Lands None to date 
Original Patented Lands 1,148 acres of original lands patented (per State's Request)