Biden Administration pulls back lands from AK Native Vietnam vets, and Statehood Act entitlement lands - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, March 4, 2021
HomePoliticsBiden Administration pulls back lands from AK Native Vietnam vets, and Statehood Act entitlement lands

Biden Administration pulls back lands from AK Native Vietnam vets, and Statehood Act entitlement lands

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In the sweeping oil-and-gas moratorium order by President Joe Biden last week, Alaska Native Vietnam War veterans and their heirs got the shaft.

After 50 years of trying to get the Native land allotment they are owed, those selections have now been put on ice.

During the Vietnam War, hundreds of Alaska Native men went to fight overseas in Vietnam. They missed out on being able to select up to 160 acres of land before the Alaska Native Allotment Act of 1906 was repealed in 1971 with the advent of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Read more about the land allotment for Vietnam War vets.

For years, the Alaska delegation in DC has fought to restore that right to acquire their lands, robbed from them under an unjust oversight. But with the stroke of a pen last week, President Biden has once again pulled that land back to federal control.

Biden also put a hold on the transfer of land to the State of Alaska — land that was promised as part of the Alaska Statehood Act.

Former Sec. David Berhardt, as one of his final acts in the Trump Administration, signed four public land order revocations to allow these land transfers to go forward. The new administration is putting them on ice.

View the federal registry entry here.

As for the State selections of its final land allotment from the federal government, Alaska has been waiting to see where the mineral potential was on the various lands it might select to become developable state lands. Those mineral lands might have become revenue for the State.

In another order last week, Biden ordered that face masks be worn on all public lands. That includes subsistence hunters in places like Kaktovik, who might leave Native land to hunt for food on federally owned lands. According to the order, they must wear a face mask.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Well, first of all Bernhardt’s revocations look more like a fire sale than a seriously considered edict. I’m leaning in favor of the revocation, but it needs to be looked at, not just tossed out there. We don’t want this going up in smoke.
    The mining rights thing is probably a bogus argument. The state doesn’t make any substantial money from mining, probably because we give the minerals away to the foreign companies (mostly Canada) that are interested in them.
    I believe the Biden mask order applies only to federal land, not state or local land. I’d be stunned if there were enforcement on federal land. Those guys have bigger fish to fry.
    Perhaps it depends upon whether you are in a air boat or not.

    • If you read it, it does say “Federal” lands, so your point is? ” That includes subsistence hunters in places like Kaktovik, who might leave Native land to hunt for food on federally owned lands. According to the order, they must wear a face mask.”

      • Native land is Federal land.

        • Not in Alaska (except one area in SE). ANCSA lands are private.

        • “43 U.S. Code CHAPTER 33— ALASKA NATIVE CLAIMS SETTLEMENT”
          If you don’t read this, then you’re willfully ignorant.

          • Your shallow mindless thinking is only about Alaska. I can tell you that my tribal land of the Choctaw is on Federal Land. Just like all other reservations in the lower 48.

        • Wrong. Native land is owned by Natives of Alaska.
          Don’t even try those false narratives. Instead, open a book.

          • Not sure how it’s written in Alaska, but native reservations are federal trust land.

          • Perhaps you should open up a map and see that Alaska is only one state in the United States and that reservations exist and all other states and they are on Federal Land.

        • No it isn’t. All the Native-owned land in Alaska belongs to the ANCSA corporations other than the Metlakatla Reservation in Southeast. ANCSA land is under State legal jurisdiction but the precise nature of the legal relationship between the corporations and the State and federal governments remains unsettled.

          • Art, like I said our country is a lot bigger than Alaska. I said native land. Not Alaskan native land.

      • It’s also includes BLM, national parks, national forests national monuments. There’s a lot of national forest land out there. East and west of the Mississippi.

    • Not substantial? $.5 million to $80 million annually over the last 25 years just off the mining license tax.

    • Obviously you don’t mine or lease any mineral property.
      Even the small miner on State land pays regardless if its profitable or not.
      Usually it’s not!
      State gets it’s lease rental or you loose the claim.
      I’ve heard Pebble pays near a million a year to hold its claims. Its doubtful they will be mining anytime in the foreseeable future.

    • Assume much??

    • Dear Greg R, just read your comment above, Tyranny is always so reasoned to the leftist fascist isn’t it? For starters Greg, can you answer how much land within a State EAST of the Mississippi River is in Federal ownership? Like next to none Greg,. Even in Texas west of the Mississippi the Fed’s own only 1. 3% of land within the State. Why? Perhaps because in the Constitution of the U. S. there is a clause that limits federal ownership of land to, “Naval Dock Yards and other NEEDFUL BUILDINGS.(not millions of acres of land) .
      How is it that the FEDS own 45& of California and most of Alaska and Nevada? See where I am going with this? Absent that, I know several men from Southeast, Patriotic Tlingit Warriors who served in Viet Nam. These Men came home only to find that they were locked out from the land distribution described in this story and from practicing their craft of commercial fishing due to Limited Entry.
      Yeah, take a hard look at this “fire sale” concept of yours after you consider the above.. Thanks Greg R.

      • To answer your question, including BLM land, over 10,000 acres.

    • Why do you think the state doesn’t make “substantial” money from mining ? How much did they make last year ?

  • Wow, how many Alaskans screwed the rest of us by supporting this –.

    • 2020 Election In Ak Trump 53% Biden 43% Libertarian 2.5% Three electoral college votes. It does not matter how we vote in presidential elections for the most part.

  • As Biden continues to shaft Alaska. Remember the 80s? What’s coming will make those days look golden.

    You get what you vote for, America

    • So sad and so true..Trump.wasnt perfect but he supported Vets and America

      • Name a President who IS perfect. President Trump followed through on his promises to make America great again, even though he was fought at every turn by the power mongers who are now running the country AGAIN. He brought back millions of jobs that Obama said were gone forever (I guess he had a magic wand after all!), brought our economy to new heights, regained our respect on the global stage, kept us out of unnecessary wars, and was working night and day to put the government back into the hands of the people and out of the hands of the swamp. I’d say he was a far sight better President than any we’ve had in a very long time.

  • Get used to it. Too bad Alaskan natives voted for Biden. Reap what you sow.

    • How do you know who anyone voted for? You don’t, so you’re just race baiting.

      • Not at all kemosabe. Historic voting records are available and are public information.

        • Alaska Natives are 17.6% if Alaska’s population. A considerably smaller percentage of us than that actually voted. Our influence in any presidential election is very minor.
          You’re initial statement puts the blame for Biden getting elected exclusively on Alaska Natives.
          Can’t blame us for Biden though because if even all of us voted for Biden, it wouldn’t have changed the result. in Alaska.
          As I said…………

          • You can go village by village in the vote count and see up and down the Nushagak River that 90% of the natives there vote Democrat always have and always will. It’s the same in the entire Bristol Bay region.

          • Your statement “Too bad Alaskan natives voted for Biden…” is race baiting, and you can’t dress it up, no matter how hard you try.
            But you’re succeeding at eventually driving me away from MRAK.

          • No, Alaska native voting Democrat aren’t what got Biden elected but they tried. If you remember, Trump won the Alaskan electoral votes.

    • You know very well Alaska residents don’t reap what they sow. Alaskans Sit and Cry waa waa waa! They sit around have a pity party reliving the victim cycle all over again hahaha hahahaha while supporting the next Abuser candidate promising they will improve the victim’s life hahahaha snort

      • By sitting around crying like you say they do, that is reaping what they sow. They make a bad decision but takes away jobs out of their region, raises fuel prices, raises aviation cargo prices, that all comes at a cost of choosing the wrong person. I know people who don’t pay taxes on their catch because the tenders pay in cash. I know people who don’t include the PFD of their seven-person family has income. All these poor decisions may come back and bite them so again they would be reaping what they sowed.

      • Only a liberal who was not born or raised their entire life in this state would consider Alaskans as cry babies and claim that we are victims. Alaskans are tough, resilient, hard-working individuals who expect our government and those we elect to do what is right for the people of this state and our country, not for what is right for them, their pocketbook, or their foreign cronies. Biden will sink this state, the economy and this country and the only way to fix the problem is to vote out every socialistic, communistic, or liberal yahoo that is currently in any governmental office – whether that is the school district, assembly, legislature, senator or congress.

      • We need “Like” buttons.

    • Way to generalize. SMDH…

    • Voted against a fascist who would have subjugated Alaska Natives. Keep your trinkets and bed bug blankets. Not worried, because nobody can actually take our land. The land is eternal, and so are we. Funny how people fight over a land they’ve never seen.

    • I am a proud Alaskan Native, I am Yupik Eskimo and guess what Greg I voted red all the way down the ticket. Don’t assume that just because we are native we voted for hiden Biden. A lot of my family members voted red. And yes guess what they are Alaskan Native as well. Don’t put that b.s. on native peoples.

      • Good for you and your family. Spread the word. As in most cases there are exceptions to the rule and I would say that you folks are the exception because most natives in Alaska that I know vote Democrat even though it goes against what makes them. Natives are hard-working, family oriented and want smaller government all things a conservative also wants but yet many and dare I say the majority vote Democrat

  • Can we all say a big Bronx cheer for our Alaska legislator who acknowledges she did not vote for President Trump ever? Alaska is getting the shaft again, our state, our Native Vietnam vets, our Alaska Natives entitled to claim their 160 ac allotments and develop their own lands, all Alaskans who could benefit from continued development of our oil and gas leases. As an aside, how about a Bronx cheer for PETA selling ExxonMobil on pulling out of their annual endorsement of the Iditarod, one of the few things I knew about Alaska before moving up here a generation ago.

  • Personally, as a 20 year old Alaskan Native. I personally find this proposition to be unethical. Taking land and making it federal that is rightfully my people’s is very mind boggling to say the least.

    • Get used to it. My tribes native land was in Mississippi northern Louisiana and Western Alabama. The government wanted it for expansion and said we could stay there if we jumped through the hoops paid taxes etc. The Choctaw who are members of the five civilized tribes decided to move to Oklahoma rather than cave in. This track was called the trail of tears. Worth mentioning is the fact that the Choctaw being civilized actually donated money to the Irish during the potato famine.

  • Want the Federal Government out of Alaska? Start charging them property taxes.

  • Politicians rescinding promises given only so they can promise them back all over again hahahaha Oh gosh! They waited so long and worked so hard for those land allotments only to lose them all over again. hahaha
    The politician! he maintains an inferior group dangling the carrot of hope just close enough to keep the inferior group voting for their candidates without ever fulfilling the promises they make during every election season.
    They will feel sorry for themselves soon enough wanting the Republicans back in charge when they see what a mess Biden Administration and Democrats made hahaha

    • What you say is mostly true and it sounds like you’re speaking about speaker Bryce edgeman and Alaska natives around the Dillingham area. He’s got a big old fat carrot.

  • Wait I thought Biden was all about peace and love.
    Helping each other.

    He does not even know what he’s doing, He’s just a pawn ♟
    Your right, see what you Wished for
    Alaska is going to be hurting with this new president. I can’t even say his name any more
    I’m getting sick 😷

  • Let’s put Biden in an outhouse at -40, and see where he puts his mask.

  • Secession should be seriously considered…………too bad we have a RINO Governor and a RINO Legislature of mask wearing stooges. We should align with States from Texas to Montana to form a more Perfect Constitutional Union and Deport all Communists to Venezuela or N. Korea.

    • By doing so you must realize you’re lumping New Mexico Arizona Colorado California Oregon Washington State and Montana and with the mix who all are liberal states. Perhaps you’re wanting to form a liberal New world order if you want a slumped in with them.

  • You got what you wanted and voted for LIBERAL alaskans…so worried about Fascist and Racist Trump …what a farce…Now you get to see what REAL Fascisim looks like and REAL racism looks like in the form of your “savior” BIDEN…a criminal racist communist who will destroy to the best of his ability our livelihoods our freedoms and our peace…get ready for more war more corruption and frankly CCP style communism coming to America…you asked for it you voted for it now you get to go down with the rest of us…just remember YOU and your woke bunch of bullshit got us here

  • They hate us. So this is what they do. Get used to it. You can fight it, get involved, articulate some points, change some minds, run, or support those who do- or just take it. Your call. Whatever you decide just know this: they won’t stop trying to take away your rights and property…ever. And however much they secure, IT WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. Please remember this last point. There is nothing in them that will ever make them stop. This is what they do. This is who they are.

  • Happy yet, Senator Murkowski? If you are going to go along to impeach Trump, you should at least get something for it.

  • Interesting history on this.

    Notice that under the 1906 version the applicant was required to be head of household and prove 5 years of occupation and use of the 160 acres.

    Makes sense…they were actually occupying and using the land but later legislation removed that provision and just made it a give away program to a targeted special interest group while the rest of us would have to pay for any land we acquired.

    And we shouldn’t forget that Alaska natives AGREED to the 1971 settlement that modified the 1906 act to remove this land grant provision AND in return for that sacrifice Alaska natives received other rights, benefits and land grants PLUS any allotment requests in queue were still processed.

    The later changes allowing land grant allocations based on Vietnam service is an even more specific special interest group slap in the face to everyone…especially all the other Alaska natives who never got an allocation and were now excluded.

    Understandable that they would want to, essentially, have their cake and eat it too (by getting all of the benefits of ANCSA PLUS the original benefits of the 1906 act) but that can’t justify changing the agreement to benefit one special interest group to the exclusion of the rest of us.

    Inevitable, I suppose, though since special interest politics now rules supreme over us.

    From the BLM website (https://www.blm.gov/programs/lands-and-realty/regional-information/alaska/land_transfer/ak-native-allotment-act):

    Alaska Native Allotment Act of 1906
    Land transfers to individual Alaska Natives were first authorized by the Alaska Native Allotment Act of 1906 (34 Stat. 197). The Allotment Act, as amended, authorized the Secretary of the Interior to convey up to 160 acres of “vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved non-mineral” land to individual Alaska Natives who could prove as head of household “substantially continuous use and occupancy of that land for a period of five years.” More than 10,000 Alaska Natives filed allotment applications before 1971.

    Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971
    Enacted in 1971, ANCSA included a provision repealing the 1906 Allotment Act but with a savings provision allowing the Department of the Interior to finalize the approximately 15,000 individual allotment claims then pending before the department. In 1981, Section 905 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) legislatively approved the vast majority of the pending allotment act applications.

    BLM Alaska is nearing completion of land transfers under the 1906 Alaska Native Allotment Program. As of April 2019, over 16,000 parcels have been conveyed to individual Alaska Natives and approximately 251 parcels remain to be processed.

    Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans Allotment Act of 1998
    Another act authorizing land transfers to individual Alaska Natives is the Alaska Native Vietnam Veterans Allotment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-276). This Act authorized the Department to provide a new 18-month filing period (ending in January 2002) to qualifying Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans who, because of their active-duty service during the three years prior to the repeal of the 1906 Act, were unable to file a claim. Certificates for 255 allotments have been issued, and four parcels remain pending under this law.

    Alaska Native Vietnam era veterans land allotment section (Sect. 1119) of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Public Law 116-9)
    The Alaska Native Vietnam era veterans land allotment section of the John D. Dingell, Jr., Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act) of 2019 was enacted in Public Law 116-9, Sec. 1119. It allows any Alaska Native Vietnam veteran who served during the period of Aug. 5, 1964, through Dec. 31, 1971 and did not previously receive a Native allotment to apply for up to 160 acres of federal land. The new act removes the requirement for use and occupancy of the lands applied for, freeing applicants to apply for available lands anywhere in the state. The heirs of deceased eligible Alaska Natives can also apply.

    • Have you seen the BLM map of available land? You need an helocopter or sea going boat to even get near most of it. At 75yo, there’s no way I could go out into the bush and build a cabin. It would end up in a medevac.

    • Sounds like you are aware of native allotments. It is unfortunate that some people have a definite mindset…the journalist that wrote this did not explained further that the veterans had an open period to apply for land and it ended in 2002. Then I read where like you stated where it was reopened. So, they did have a chance to apply. Some did, some did not.

  • Way to go, “Sockeye” Murkowski!

  • This is just the start of the antics we’re going to get from the radical college professors inhabiting the government in Washington.

    .

    Redistributive “justice” here we come!!!

  • Biden is ONLY rescinding this because Trump.. FIRST.. ACCOMPLISHED this NOW! wait and see … in a few months he will probably reinstate it BUT UNDER HIS NAME OF PRESIDENCY he will get the accolades.. HE is trying to destroy everything TRUMP ever ACCOMPLISHED ..and trying to bury him..

  • Yes, this is very maddening that he has destroyed this for our Viet Nam Native Vets.. who left to serve knowing they’d lose their chance of a lifetime of gaining property.

  • Think of it as learning occasion.

    You now know for certain that in the “new America” the private ownership of land will not be allowed to grow. This is just the first of many actions that will put all property into the hands of the liberal elite posing as “government”. But it’s OK, you MAY be allowed to rent a little piece if you have sufficient social credits.

  • First, for the past 4 administrations, the incoming president issues an executive order requiring the review of certain actions completed under the prior administration with a 90 day turn around. This is NOT new to Biden.

    Second, an executive order cannot override an act of Congress, like the Dingell Act. All it can do is require an administrative review of certain things required by the Dingell Act, like inventorying and reviewing certain lands within the national wildlife refuges to see what lands may be available for filing of Dingell Act veteran allotments. The Act itself still stands unless and until Congress overrides itself.

    Third, the public land order issued in January 2021 that revoked prior land orders was done under a BLM regional management plan that was authorized in the early 2000’s, and is therefore outside the timeframe of the executive order issued by Biden. The BLM will review the land order and not revoke it, as it’s following a federal recommendation signed off on before President Trumps administration.

    Finally, we need to get the executive branch to stop with the executive orders. This has become an ever increasing issue going back to the Clinton administration. Our country was not meant to be run by executive order, but by LAWS passed by Congress.

    • Good job explaining. Unfortunately some people have a definite mindset. As you read further, they just don’t care to learn.

  • 60 years and we are still waiting for our lands. We need to leave the union and make a go of it without the mess from Washington telling us how it’s going to be. That’s an insult 60 years.

    • All the feral govt’s violations of the Alaska State Compact should be reason enough to leave the Union…..or aggressively sue the hell out of them.

  • Ms Grimes at BLM states that the allotment program is moving forward. This is good news.

  • The “Pedodent” was placed into office through thievery, thievery Young, Murkowski, and Sullivan traitorously rubber stamped. We got a Fake President, a Fake Congress and a bunch of Fake Decrees. Ignore them all, I am for Secession!

  • What can we do, the republicans won’t help. Can the governor grow a pair and sue the Biden administration? This is a big deal, we’ll see who steps up to the plate.

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