BLM fulfills final Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act entitlement for Sea Lion Corporation and facilitates refuge land exchange
ANCHORAGE - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today made a significant land transfer to Sea Lion Corporation to complete the corporation's land entitlement under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA). Sea Lion Corporation was formed under ANCSA to represent the Alaska Native village of Hooper Bay. In addition to the transfer of the final entitlement acreage, Sea Lion also participated in a land exchange with the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. The land exchange gave the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service important habitats, including wetlands for the conservation of threatened spectacled and Steller's eiders. In addition, Sea Lion obtained ownership of sub-surface lands important to the future of the corporation and Hooper Bay.
“It is a major priority for the BLM and the Department to live up to the commitments made in ANCSA,” said Kornze. “We are proud to complete the conveyances owed to Sea Lion Corporation with today’s patent signing.”
The signing ceremony was held at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Region 7 office in Anchorage. Myron Naneng accepted the land transfer documents for Sea Lion Corporation. BLM Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze signed the patents for a total of 5,796 acres, including the 1,280 acres received in an exchange of prime coastal waterfowl habitat for higher elevation lands east of the village.
“To visitors, the land may not appear to have much value, but it is very productive and highly valued land to us,” stated Naneng.
Sea Lion Corporation received its first conveyances under ANCSA from BLM in May 1982. With these patents, Sea Lion Corporation has received just over 188,160 acres of land in the vicinity of Hooper Bay in western Alaska.
“Partnering with others is a vital part of the Fish and Wildlife mission,” noted Acting Regional Director Larry Bell.