The Bureau of Land Management Promotes Homesteading in Alaska

Read about the restrictions on the Department of the Interior's decision to make 10,000 acres of land in Alaska available to homesteaders in the 1980s.

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The government offered inexpensive land in Alaska to brave and willing homesteaders.

ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

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Yet, in spite of the territory's drawbacks, the Alaska Settlement Program does offer an experienced homesteader a very attractive opportunity to obtain land for little more than sweat equity. And — if there's enough public interest in this initial offering — the BLM may open up other large Alaskan tracts in a similar manner.

Here's a little general information on the property that's currently available: The acreage is located north of Lake Minchumina (the northern portions can be reached by riverboat along the Kantishna River). Three types of claims may be made: homesite, headquarters (generally used for big-game guiding and trapping operations) and trade and manufacturing (these claims may be used for businesses such as roadhouses, lodges and recreation cabins, the production of handcrafts for sale, and so forth). The maximum size of the homesite and headquarters-site claims is five acres ... while business claims may run as large as 80 acres. The residency and/or improvement requirements for each of the three types of claims vary, but in each case the land will cost $2.50 an acre, once an applicant has met the necessary criteria.