Date: Thursday, April 21, 2022
ANCHORAGE — During a roundtable discussion today with Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Tracy Stone-Manning announced that the Department will open approximately 27 million acres of federal lands to selection by eligible Alaska Native veterans.
“We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans. I honor the sacrifices made by those who serve in our military, and I will not ignore land allotments owed to our Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans,” said Secretary Deb Haaland, whose father served during the Vietnam War. “I am grateful to the veterans we met with today for their patience as we have worked through the needed analyses, and to the BLM team that moved expeditiously to deliver on this promise.”
The Alaska Native Vietnam Era Veterans Land Allotment Program was established by the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 and was championed by the Alaska Congressional delegation. Through this program, the BLM can provide eligible individuals the opportunity to select an allotment of up to 160 acres from available federal lands in Alaska. Currently there are approximately 1.2 million acres of available federal lands open to allotment selection.
This represents the third time that federally managed land has been offered to Alaska Native Vietnam veterans, who did not have access to land allotments while serving during the Vietnam War.
The BLM recently completed an environmental assessment and issued a finding of no significant impact on the effects of opening of federal lands within the Kobuk-Seward Peninsula, Ring of Fire, Bay, Bering Sea-Western Interior, and East Alaska planning areas to selection under the 2019 Alaska Native Vietnam-era Veterans Land Allotment program.
BLM will now complete the legal descriptions to open the lands to selection. Lands are available for selection through December 29, 2025.
For more information on the Alaska Native Vietnam Era Veterans Land Allotment Program and how to submit interest, please visit BLM's program page.