Governor Dunleavy: Let’s get more state land into private ownership, so Alaskans can benefit

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy unveiled two pieces legislation aimed at simplifying land acquisition for Alaskans and improving the efficiency of state land disposals.

Senate Bill 198 and Senate Bill 199 reflect Dunleavy’s commitment to increasing public access to state land and reducing regulatory hurdles.

One of the primary objectives of SB 198 is to expand opportunities for Alaskans to obtain state land for recreational purposes, whether through permits, leases, or purchase.

Just 10% of the state’s land entitlement is privately owned, Dunleavy said.

Compare that to Texas, where over 93% of the land is privately owned.

Under the current law, most Alaska state-owned land is sold or leased to the highest bidder though an auction process, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming for the public.

View the state’s land auction website at this link.

SB 198 aims to simplify this process and, notably, exempts remote recreational sites from the formal, written best-interest finding requirement. This exemption would likely encourage more Alaskans to consider obtaining state land for recreational activities.

SB 198 allows members of the public to nominate state land that is not currently in use for remote recreational sites. This initiative aligns with Dunleavy’s overarching goal of reducing regulatory red tape and bureaucracy, ultimately putting more state land into the hands of Alaskans.

State Land Surface Disposals – SB 199

SB 199 focuses on providing Alaskans with additional methods to acquire or lease state lands.

One significant change proposed is the authorization for the Department of Education and Early Development and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to directly dispose of surface land without having to first transfer land to the Department of Natural Resources before completing land conveyances, streamlining the process.

SB 199 increases the cap on the Land Disposal Income Fund, creating more opportunities for commercial development on state land. The bill also introduces a new statute related to leases and the sale of state land for commercial purposes, facilitating business growth in Alaska. Furthermore, it includes amendments to ease covenant restrictions on land conveyed for agricultural purposes and updates and improves provisions related to the Department of Natural Resources’ land disposal procedures.

Companion Bills in the House of Representatives

Companion bills for SB 198 and SB 199 are expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

42 COMMENTS

    • The “recreational” tag doesn’t mean you can’t use it commercially or for a home, it just means the land is not developed…it won’t stay that way when enough people use the land to justify roads, power, and gas lines.

      The vast majority of the MatSu Borough was “recreational” 50 years ago. Wasilla and Palmer proper were established long ago, but it is the opening of recreational state land from KGB, to Fishhook, to Big Lake and most points in between that has turned it into a major population center.

      Open up land and the land owners will decide where/if communities should be developed. Or, embrace the “central planning” method that Anchorage uses where 15 years of graft, corruption, and backroom deals have produced absolutely nothing in Girdwood.

  1. There is a factual error in the article: only about ONE percent of Alaska’s land is privately owned.

    One cannot consider the lands owned by the Native corporations as “privately owned”, as they are effectively quasi-governmental entities (and should NEVER have been formed in the first place, damn Ted Stevens and his pro-corporatist legacy!).

    • I’ve often wondered why Uncle Ted was taken out by the Democrats. He was a reliable vote for them.

    • Jefferson, you are right. In all of Alaska, it’s about 3/4 of 1% of land in private hands. Less than 1 million acres of Alaska are private property. In Southeast, from Yakutat Borough down to Ketchikan is a total of 21,567,000 acres, and less than 186,000 acres are private property. The same follows through to much of the state. That being said, the federal government still holds about 65% of our state, and that needs to change as well.

  2. Duh. Once again the Cowardly Lion stakes a position behind something he knows won’t happen for reasons beyond him.

    Next he’ll probably say we need more sunny days.

  3. Without roads there’s no point. As long as Alaska continues to deny the public roads, then there’s no reason to sell land with no access. Roads before sales of land has to happen. The Yukon Territory has plenty of roads, why not Alaska???

  4. I would like to see the governor get rid of ERIC and purge the voter rolls. Ensure that our votes are not diluted and count.

    • I agree. The land give-away is a distraction. Whatever is going to happen to the people will be much more important. It won’t matter if we “owned” that land or not because it will be taken from us in the end. UNLESS, we recover control of our government here in Alaska and permanently deal with the demons so that they never return.

  5. Just get the land out of the Governments hands and into the hands of the people. I recall a State land sale back in thew late 70’s or early 80’s near Petersburg, a fellow I know and his wife were able to purchase 40 acres. It wasn’t long before a local logger approached them about the possibility of selling the timber off the land. Guess what, the fellow and his wife grossed some $500,000 off that timber since it was exportable for the Japanese Market as round logs. Nothing but upside for the couple, the Logger and his workers, the local economy along with balancing trade with the Japanese! Last I checked the Land was being used as a Rock Quarry providing rock for local projects.
    I’m old enough to remember when we became a State, how is it that we still are a colony?

    • The diehard raging statist has spoken!

      Tell me, Paolo, is there ANY actions by government, ever, that you find to be unjustified, inimical to personal freedom, or overreaching?
      I’m guessing not.

    • Paola, tell me if it’s Public Land wouldn’t that mean that I, a member of the Public am also an owner? If true, kindly direct me to my plot, or Dacha or Estate.
      Thanks Paola!

  6. We, meaning Alaskans, have already been commanded by earlier predators that areas “be placed in” boroughs everywhere. It’s sort of an involuntary statutory thing though unconstitutional because we have the absolute right of freedom of economic association thing. Ask the AG he’ll (possibly) be able to explain it somewhat to you. And why should I care particularly.

  7. Access is an issue, it would be nice if they would put in cat trails so people could access these remote areas of the state to provide more recreational opportunities.

  8. Lets give land away, to only whites who are native born. Oh, cant do that! But if your Native Indian well thats a different story now.

  9. Com “on Man just call it settlement land like it was intended to be at statehood ! First come first serve! Only requirement is that it be settled in 10 years with a habitual dwelling and a garden
    What is the legal definition of a dwelling?
    Legal definitions vary by jurisdiction . Under English law, a dwelling is defined as a self-contained ‘substantial’ unit of accommodation, such as a building, part of a building, caravan, houseboat or other mobile home. A tent is not normally considered substantial. If its not in a organized Borough you pay TAXES to the State. In fact maybe just 1/2 to the local government. If there isn’t a road to it make new roads Logging Road Standards! Let’s get on to being Pioneers in the last Frontier again.

    • Wasn’t the term improvements? Marking proposed boundaries, application were improvements. Building a latrine was an improvement;. Marking and using access was improvement. Defending the perimeter was an improvement. Signage was an improvement so it was noticeably “claimed”. Having articles and accoutrements of daily living were improvements. Having supplies, tools, and occupation were improvements. ThIs was rigorous and dangerous. It was the opposite of playing. It was husbanding the property. Every year brings downed trees, earthquakes and the need for repairs and improvements.

  10. The Boroughs do not record what we think as our lands we labored for as private. They register them as “residential” because the State claims to own all the products of our labors. Residential does not mean private and all you will get is color of title. They can’t even sell their numerous copyrighted descriptions. And Russia didn’t own anything above the 51st parallel because the northern boundary was not set until several years after the Treaty of Cession and Russia did not set it. To sell land with no boundaries was a violation of international law. All Russia sold was a defunct business.

    • Who “owned” above the 51st parallel? I have read several other comments relating to the northern portion of Alaska, but do not understand where this information is coming from.

      • The “natives” owned it since there is no record of the title going anywhere at all per legal presumptions in the Statute of Frauds. Title passes through a permanent recording system in civil societies. This is an actual international precept. If there is no written deed recordations no transfer of title took place. And you must have title (written, recorded) in the first place to dispose of it. And, if you have already disposed if it once (say for example BLM homestead patents recorded to homesteaders like a civil society of government officials receiving monthly stipends as expected from public trust funds in accordance with private property rights from inception to date it would surprising at minimum to distribute them again so surreptitiously to the now private ARRC for the second time. It just isn’t done in civil societies. Do you mean that we in AK are providing billions each year, like tap water, to the public servants but in return we do not have the quintessential expected civil society in 2024? More is the pity.

  11. May I ask, ‘so what’? Alaska sells land in roughly 5-acre chunks and without subsurface property rights, meaning you can’t sink a well for natural gas and if you manage to pull a Jed Clampett, the oil isn’t yours*.

    At best, these micro lots spark a minor, temporary run at the nearest builder’s supply and then… nothing.

    My point? My point is that unless the State & federal governments give up their monopoly on Alaska land, we are forever doomed to be a banana republic. We have no economic base other than natural resources and tourism.

    To run a successful cattle ranch this far north, you’re going to need 500 or more acres… not five. In British Columbia & Yukon, the average cattle ranch is 1000 acres. The Alaska Interior Game Ranch near Fairbanks is 2,000 acres.

    The environmentalists will scream bloody murder but if there is enough land for cattle or bison then on that land there will also be a myriad of other creatures co-existing and thriving. This is not true of farmland where crops must be protected from animals and insects. Cattle/bison are ‘green’. Farms are not.

    Currently, our state government seems bent on selling us out for short term gain over long term prosperity. That really ought to stop.

    *Fun fact; privately owned oil wells across the nation, called micro-wells, produce as much oil as the major players. A well producing 1 or 2 barrels a day is not worth notice to a corporation. To a private landowner, one or two barrels a day… say 45 barrels a month is a significant source of revenue. Today’s price, $73.71/barrel is $3,316.95/month, $39,803.40 a year.

    • May I compare and contrast your five acre scenario with each applicant under the US Homestead Act applying and receiving 180 acres with all mineral rights intact? Intact and attached because the state of Alaska was never, nowhere in the chain of title to scathe them away. No one was required to claim the 180 acres each. One could claim what he wanted to manage. His wife could have done the same right next to home. Some chose small five acres under the federal homestead act to manage for personal reasons. The state was choosing its own selections and weren’t involved with land that went from federal title to private. Once state got title anywhere they took mineral rights. That is is hell of a gift to give the corporate state. I suppose federal taxes would apply for such a gift bestowed by a private person to a corporate structure.

  12. Check out this map:
    ‘https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_lands#/media/File:Map_of_all_U.S._Federal_Land.jpg

    Makes you wonder why western states allow this to happen.

  13. My concern with State land disposal in areas that already have residential development is that this land is generally being used by those residents for recreation; informal hiking trails, fishing and hunting are available on these lands for many, many people that may not normally be able to afford a trip to the bush for such activities or to own their own recreational lands.

    • You believe a myth you have been told. It is false. You do not yet understand what you are talking about.

  14. Have you heard of time warps? They warp along with legal warps. The cases and their disposition in the last frontier or ends of the earth are proximate causations of the warp and residuals we are poised to see in this neck of the woods. See we aren’t allowed roads per the cunning snake den the WEF slave masters.. Tanks for d announcement per se.

  15. Wasn’t the term improvements? Marking proposed boundaries, application were improvements. Building a latrine was an improvement;. Marking and using access was improvement. Defending the perimeter was an improvement. Signage was an improvement so it was noticeably “claimed”. Having articles and accoutrements of daily living were improvements. Having supplies, tools, and occupation were improvements. ThIs was rigorous and dangerous. It was the opposite of playing. It was husbanding the property. Every year brings downed trees, earthquakes and the need for repairs and improvements.

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