Press Release

BIA Sends Notice on Lands Into Trust Applications for Ninilchik and Fort Yukon

September 8, 2017

(Anchorage, AK) – The State received notice from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on September 5, 2017 of two separate applications to take lands into trust in Ninilchik and Fort Yukon. The BIA is asking for comments to be submitted by October 5, 2017.

One of the notices is a request from the Ninilchik Village to take 2.5 acres into trust located at 66590 Oil Well Road in Ninilchick. This land currently houses the Ninilchik Village Transit Facility, which provides transportation assistance to the community. No change in land use is proposed. Ninilchik is located within the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The second notice is a request from the Native Village of Fort Yukon, also known as the Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Tribal Government, to take contiguous lots in the city of Fort Yukon totaling 83,750 square feet. The lots currently contain the tribal government building and the Chief Ezias Loola Cultural Center. No change in land use is proposed. Fort Yukon lies in the unorganized borough, so there is no local taxing authority.

The State has 30 days to comment. Over the next two weeks, the State will be gathering information regarding the application in order to analyze the impact of the property being put into trust status. In particular, BIA is requesting comments on “the impact of the removal of the subject property from the tax rolls, and…. jurisdictional problems and potential conflicts of land use which may arise.”

The State encourages any Alaskan that has information that should be incorporated into the State’s comments to send the information to attorney.general@alaska.gov. Comments must be received by Friday, September 22, 2017 in order for the State to have sufficient time to consider them before submitting final comments to the BIA. Comments can also be submitted directly to the BIA, Alaska Region at 3601 C Street, Suite 1100, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.

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