Congress Approves Alaska Native Land Settlement

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Rep. Don Young are hailing congressional approval of a land trade between the Bering Straits Native Corp., the federal Bureau of Land Management and the state of Alaska.

Nome-based Bering Straits is among 13 Native regional corporations established under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which compensated Alaska Natives for the loss of lands. The Native corporations were provided with $962.5 million and the right to select 44 million acres.

A press release from Murkowski and Young says Bering Straits received rights to more than 145,700 acres, but some of the land it chose around Salmon Lake north of Nome overlapped with claims Alaska made after winning statehood in 1959.

The land trade approved Tuesday conveys 14,645 acres to the Native Straits.