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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Land Disposals & Land Use Plans

Municipal/Borough Entitlements

  • Over 450,000 acres of state land will be conveyed to Boroughs over the next five years.
  • A borough may not select land classified by the state as fish and wildlife habitat. In order to select fish and wildlife habitat lands, ADNR must initiate a reclassification process.
    1. The North Slope Borough is in the process of selecting their entitlement, which totals 89,850 acres.
    2. The Lake and Peninsula Borough has just initiated their land selection process and requested conveyance of important access points on lands currently classified for fish and wildlife habitat. Although the LPB has requested that ADNR reclassify the land for selection there are still a number of outstanding concerns related to public access, particularly along the Nushagak and Mulchatna Rivers.
    3. The Northwest Arctic Borough has selected the land along many of the major river corridors within their borders and, through their Coastal Zone Management plan, laid the groundwork to regulate access in many areas of the Borough.
    4. Kenai Peninsula Borough: The Kenai Peninsula Borough, under state municipal entitlement statute, is entitled to select 155,750 acres of state land within borough boundaries; approximately 50,000 acres remain to be selected. ADF&G will review the borough selections with respect to fish and wildlife habitat protection and maintaining public access to public lands and waters. The review will be conducted jointly with development of the Kenai Peninsula Area Plan for state lands.; ADNR anticipates completion of the draft plan by the end of November with community meetings to facilitate public input during December and January.

State Remote Recreation Land Staking Program & other State Land Disposals

Department staff reviews state land disposals including remote recreational cabin staking and state subdivision proposals for potential affects to fish and wildlife and their habitat and public access to fish and wildlife resources.

Tideland Conveyances

  • Coastal communities are allowed to select tidelands that are necessary for the development of transportation corridors, water-related businesses, etc. Although regulations state that these lands will be conveyed for community development, a number of communities are attempting to have all tidelands within the borough boundaries conveyed to them. This could pose a problem for the public and affect their ability to access and use the tide and submerged lands.
  • Questions have been raised about the Public Trust Doctrine, which allows for the use of these lands even if they are conveyed.
  • Conveyance of tidelands not needed for community development could also have impacts on subsistence users and general access to the shore and its resources.

Avulsed Lands - submerged land uplifted during a natural event (e.g., earthquake)

  • At the time of statehood the state received title to submerged lands under the Submerged Lands Act.
  • The 1964 earthquake uplifted some of those submerged lands.
  • Title to those uplifted, or "avulsed" lands, remained with the state; however, ordinary high water was never formally established prior to the earthquake, so now (30 years later) there are questions about what land is avulsed and what shorelands the state actually owns.
  • Ownership of the shoreline would provide uninterrupted public access along the coast.

Easement Vacations

  • The state, boroughs and private individuals frequently request the vacation of public easements. Although the vacation of some of these easements may not pose a problem for public access, a number of them do.
  • Section lines - these are frequently the only guaranteed public right-of-way that exist on state and borough lands.
  • Rights-of-Way - frequently road and trails were reserved for public access through a subdivision, remote parcels, etc. to allow public access to public lands and waters. When enough of these easements are vacated, public lands become isolated and for all intents and purposes become privately owned.
  • RS2477 - these are historic routes that provide access through some areas that, under today's rules, would not allow for any accommodation of access.

Department staff works cooperatively with DNR, Division of Mining Land and Water to develop or revise Area Plans for State Land by identifying important fish and wildlife populations, important fish and wildlife use areas and ensure continued public access to these resources.