ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Alaska conveyed several tracts of land aggregating 15,845.80 acres in the Fortymile Mining District to Doyon, Limited (Doyon) yesterday. This is the first in a series of conveyances in the Fortymile area transferring federal lands to Doyon, pursuant to Section 12(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA).
The conveyance includes both the surface and subsurface estates.
“These conveyances are fulfilling a promise made by the Secretary of the Interior to Alaska’s congressional delegation,” said Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Joe Balash. “They are also an important part of fulfilling our commitments to the Alaska Native community.”
“It’s important to this administration we do all we can to fulfill ANCSA entitlements,” said BLM Alaska Acting State Director Karen Mouritsen. “It’s part of what we do – it’s part of being good neighbors and good stewards, accomplishing the work set before us and making it so Doyon, and other ANCSA corporations, can get America working again.”
“I’m proud of the team that handled this conveyance,” said BLM Alaska Deputy State Director for Lands and Cadastral Erika Reed. “It’s a team effort, sometimes requiring years and hundreds of work hours to complete. When we accomplish conveyances or patents (deeds), it plays a major role in shaping the state’s future.”
These particular conveyances also required a lot of collaboration between the BLM, state of Alaska, and Doyon, especially to resolve easement issues. The easements have been settled, and conveyances in the Fortymile area are a priority for Doyon.
The Fortymile area is loosely defined by the Fortymile River drainage, south of the Arctic Circle and roughly 150 miles east of Fairbanks. The region is considered rich in mineral deposits.
The conveyance will bring the total acreage conveyed or patented by BLM Alaska this fiscal year to 1,084,490 acres, including ANCSA and Alaska Statehood Act-related actions.
ANCSA was passed to settle claims of aboriginal title. In total, the law entitled Alaska Native entities to more than 46 million acres, roughly the total land area of the state of Washington. More than 95 percent of those entitlements have been conveyed.