FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Alaska office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have announced a new program intended to assist with the timely completion of Alaska Native allotment land claims that are pending on state lands.
The substitute parcel program developed by DNR and BLM focuses on assisting applicants whose allotments were hindered because the federal lands they applied for now belong to the state of Alaska. Those lands were conveyed to the state before the allotment claims were addressed, and some of the affected acreage has since been encumbered by state land sales, campgrounds, highways and other improvements, according to a DNR announcement.
The Alaska Native allotment program was created by Congress in 1906 to enable eligible, individual Alaska Natives to acquire title to up to 160 acres of federal land in Alaska. DNR is processing about 102 pending allotment claims on state lands. Under the new program, all of the applicants whose original allotment applications meet the criteria set forth in an agreement signed in July by the two agencies can request a substitute parcel.