US government finalizes first land allotments under 2019 law

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 5:46 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Interior Department says the first federal land allotments to Alaska Native Vietnam War-era veterans have been finalized.

The allotments come under a 2019 law that lifted use and occupancy requirements and made lands available until late 2025.

Under the 1906 Alaska Native Allotment Act, Alaska Natives were allowed to apply for up to 160 acres of land. But the governor’s office has said that the program’s restrictions kept many from applying until the 1960s.

There was a push to urge Alaska Natives to apply for lands if they had not done so before a 1971 law took effect. But that period overlapped with the Vietnam War. Provisions of a subsequent land offering were seen as restrictive.

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