The John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which was signed into law March 12, 2019, includes a provision (Sec. 1119) to help Alaska Native veterans of the Vietnam War era select up to 160 acres of land in Alaska.
Eligibility is extended to any Alaska Native person who:
- Served in the armed forces between Aug. 5, 1964, and Dec. 31, 1971; and
- Does not have a pending application or has not already received an allotment of land.
For this purpose, “Alaska Native person” is the same as defined under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The land allotment provision also includes members of the Metlakatla Indian Community. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will certify that an individual is an Alaska Native person, as defined by ANCSA.
In the case of a deceased qualifying veteran, the personal representative of the estate, acting on behalf of the heirs of the deceased veteran, will also be able to apply for an allotment.
How do I apply?
Applications are not yet available. Before applications can be accepted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of Veterans Affairs, must prepare a list of potential applicants based on their service dates. The BIA will use the list to identify the potential applicants based on their Alaska Native heritage, and the BLM will review the list for those who have already received allotments. The BLM is also charged with drafting the regulations that will guide the program and identifying public lands that will be available for allotment.
Once BLM has worked through all of the processes, eligible Alaska Native veterans who served during Vietnam era will be notified to apply with a direct mailing in 2020. Accordingly, it is imperative you ensure your contact information is kept current with the following agencies:
- Enrollment Verification: (907) 271-4506
- Realty: (907) 271-4104
- Veterans Affairs: ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits
- Your Alaska Native Tribal entity, if applicable
For the most current information, visit blm.gov.