BLM opens land selections to Native Vietnam veterans, as Sec. Haaland tours Alaska

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During a roundtable discussion today with Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management 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 Haaland. “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.”  

Earlier in the week, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan spoke to the Alaska Legislature about the long-neglected Native Vietnam veteran allotments, and the repeated broken federal promises.

“Finally, the Secretary needs to take action on two matters that have been an affront by the federal government to our Alaska Native communities for decades,” Sullivan said, speaking of Haaland, who is visiting Alaska this week.

“The first is the life-saving King Cove Road, perhaps the most enduring symbol of an arrogant, uncaring federal government in Alaska. When Secretary Haaland travels to King Cove this week, she needs to tell the determined citizens of that community that she fully supports the construction of the 11-mile gravel road to Cold Bay that will undoubtedly save lives,” Sullivan said.

“And, she also needs to unequivocally voice her support for our heroic Alaska Native Vietnam veterans who are unable to select their Native land allotments because they were patriotically serving their country in a war that many Americans were avoiding serving. 

“Last year, before all of you, I went into some detail about this issue. It’s an issue I’m very passionate about, and I worked hard to get my legislation signed into law to write this historic wrong. In fact, it was the number-one issue I raised with Secretary Haaland during her confirmation process. I told her, “You must rapidly implement this law, the public land order that is ready to go by your predecessor.” 

“Unfortunately, she did not keep her commitments to me on this and has instead undertaken delay after delay, while Alaskan Native Vietnam veterans who are living—their numbers are unfortunately dwindling. This is truly an outrage,” Sullivan said to the Alaska Legislature.

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.  

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 Dec. 29, 2025.   

For more information on the Alaska Native Vietnam Era Veterans Land Allotment Program click on the BLM’s program page.  

23 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Dan….remember when you explained in this very space how you felt obligated to vote for Haaland so that “you would have a seat at the table”? Too bad they’re serving crow, enjoy. She’s gonna look you right in your white face and say “No.”

    • @Loren:
      Democrats are great dividers. They seek to partition Americans in many classes based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, etc.
      Their goal is not to unify us as Alaskans or Americans, but rather to parcel us up and see if they can make a stew. They love diversity, as long as they get to control the definition and parameters to fit their aims.
      Haaland is a radical, Left-wing Native woman. She fits the Biden agenda perfectly, only because she is a Native woman. Her age group and peers hated the Vietnam War and all it stood for. ie….Whites suppressing darker skin. They just can’t get past that. So, they will shove it in your face every chance they get. In this instance, Haaland will allocate these lands at the exclusion of White, Alaskan veterans so she can stick it in your honky face and make you feel as disenfranchised as she possibly can. She is a true racist to the core. And she will exercise her short-lived power as often and mightly as possible. Her values include extracting revenge against Whites and giving the Natives a leg-up, whether they deserve it or not. Haaland intends to hurt you for being White.
      Welcome to Marxism 101.

      • Snuffy with all due respect….what nonsense! If you don’t know about history in AK, I suggest you research a little before you spout of!!!! For this there is actual legal basis. I suggest you read ANCSA!

        • ANSCA is for Natives only. Pure racism.
          Snuffy is right. AFH is an apologist for Native racists. Or, maybe AFH IS a Native racist.

    • I believe this dates back to ANCSA which was signed into law by President Nixon in 1971. To my knowledge, this act established native corporations and extinguished all aboriginal land claims for native people in Alaska. In exchange native corporation and individuals were able to apply for and receive land. These veterans were serving in south east Asia at the time and were unable to apply during the time frame allotted.
      What irritates me, is that Sect. Haaland sat on this announcement until she could look like the great benefactor and deny the Alaska delegation the opportunity to announce this outcome.

      • AFH, your points are well made. However, it is a confusing topic. Why would serving in Vietnam prevent an Alaskan Native from receiving his ANSCA corporate shares in 1971? Or thereafter? Is the concept of individual native land allotments separate from ANSCA?

      • The BLM has a webpage which neatly encapsulates this. The Alaska Native Allotment Act was passed in 1906 and was repealed by the passage of ANCSA. Another law specific to Vietnam veterans was passed in 1998 and provided a filing window between 2000 and 2002. It’s unclear what the 2019 law is rectifying if another opportunity existed after the end of the Vietnam War.

  2. This is for Native Alaskan who served during Vietnam who, because they were overseas, were unable to apply for their allotments under the ANCSA

  3. I wonder why our delegation isn’t fighting for the State of Alaska land selections that are still due since 1959!!! It just boggles the mind that states have given over their rights to the Feds in order to feed at the trough.

  4. I can’t see BLM and think Borough of Land Management. I only see the corrupt BLM corporation, Black Lives Matter.

  5. This entire comment section with few exceptions really troubles me. Most conservatives decry the mindless regurgitation of talking points by liberals and the liberal fanatics inability to have a rational argument.
    Sadly here some of you read BLM and it appears the actual news in this report does not penetrate your prejudiced consciousness. The Bureau (Sayso look up the meaning of Borough) of Land Management has been a federal agency since 1946 and is in essence the current iteration of the General Land Office founded in 1812 to encourage homesteading and migration West.
    Secretary Haaland does deserve the wrath of the native veterans and all Alaskans, as the deal was done and only needed to be implemented. She, just like Secretary Jewel before her, flexed her power to demonstrate that we are at her mercy. That truly is not acceptable. If all of you are angry about something be angry about that, but allow our native veterans to obtain what has been rightfully theirs for 50 years!

  6. Trump tried to make Alaska Vietnam veterans whole (that missed out on ANSCA because they were serving their Country at the time). Biden did away with his program early in his administration. Haaland went along and threw Alaska Native veterans under the bus. Now, she’s trying to look like a good guy.

    • I’m a purple heart Vietnam veteran, born and raised in Alaska. Where’s my allotment? None.
      Because I’m White. THAT is racist

  7. I’m a purple heart Vietnam veteran, born and raised in Alaska. Where’s my allotment? None.
    Because I’m White. THAT is racist

  8. I dont care if some really old native guy gets 160 acres out in no where. I hope they do and can sell it, how many could there be after that crap war anyway. What I do care about is there is no rational process to distribute allotments or even sell them of the rest of the land. Government just takes up taxes and space and then does nothing.

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