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The 1959 Alaska Statehood Act, authorizes transfer of approximately 105 million acres of federal land to the State of Alaska — an amount that was deemed to be sufficient for the newly formed state to become economically self supporting. Approximately 103,350,000 acres were selected under three types of grants: Community (400,000 acres), National Forest Community (400,000 acres), and General (102,550,000 acres). Additional territorial grants, for schools, university and mental health trust lands, totaling 1.2 million acres were confirmed with statehood. The Statehood Act gave the state 25 years to select lands for entitlement. That original time period was amended through several pieces of legislation that lengthened the amount of time for the state to select lands. The state provided its selection list in December of 1993. Except during a brief time following the passage of the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act of 1980, the State has been able to re-prioritize their selections at any time.
So far, the BLM has surveyed and patented over 67.5 million acres, and approximately 31.7 million acres have been conveyed subject to future survey (Tentatively Approved (TA)). The State of Alaska has approximately 5.3 million acres remaining for its entitlement. The remaining amount of land to be patented to the State of Alaska is very complex as many selected lands are "top filed" on currently unavailable lands, a option provided to the State of Alaska in ANILCA. The lands may be unavailable due to a withdrawal, selected but not yet conveyed under ANSCA or the Native Allotment Act, or some other land status which could change in the future. The BLM is working with the State of Alaska on it's prioritization of work and unraveling the complex top-filed land selections for it's remaining entitlement. In short, the remaining entitlement is the hardest, most complex work left to do under this land transfer authority.
State Entitlement Progress Map and Acreage Counter
State Patented Acres: 68,680,935 (as of 7/30/20)
Tentatively Approved Acres: 30,680,345 (as of 7/30/20)
State Selected Acres: 13,877,000 (as of 7/30/20)