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.

| January/February 1982


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


Recently, one of our readers informed us that the Bureau of Land Management (an agency of the Department of the Interior) was planning to open up a large tract of Alaskan land under a homesteading-type program.
"Please tell folks that there's free land to be had by those with the guts to take it," urged the writer.
Well, friends, "guts" is the key word in that last sentence. During December 1981 the BLM was to have made available 10,000 acres in the heart of Alaska, in an effort to encourage people to establish their homes and businesses in the sparsely populated forty-ninth state. However, the land is pretty rugged . . . and it would take a person with well-honed survival and homesteading skills to make a successful go on his or her claim. The land isn't entirely free, either: It will cost a reasonable $2.50 an acre to those who successfully fulfill the settlement requirements and pay the filing fees necessary to obtain legal ownership of the tract.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS asked a BLM representative what kind of environment a would-be pioneer might face.
"The land is extremely isolated, with minimal tree coverage, and there's no road access," the spokesperson replied. "The settler would have to have resources of considerable size to fly in — or barge in — food and fuel supplies. Also, since the acreage is in the state's interior, there's not much water and there are negative temperatures much of the year. It'd take a lot of effort."

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.

3/25/2016 11:05:57 AM

I would like to find someone needing help in Alaska in any fashion. My love for nature, animals and the desire to part with populated areas lead me here. If anyone can give me a lead it would appreciated.

3/7/2016 7:22:05 PM

I'm looking to do the same I have money for property but would like to share the responsibility and work with somebody if your interested contact me anytime and let's live the dream. Chris M

2/28/2016 5:25:37 PM

Is “homesteading” allowed anywhere in Alaska today? No. Homesteading ended on all federal lands on October 21, 1986. The State of Alaska currently has no homesteading program for its lands. In 2012, the State made some state lands available for private ownership through two types of programs: sealed-bid auctions and remote recreation cabin sites. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has information on its website about these programs.

2/28/2016 12:26:39 PM

Been wanting to move to Alaska for awhile. I am a survivalist, hunter, and all around outdoor lady. I need more info on acquiring land in Alaska for a homestead.

2/24/2016 11:12:47 AM

How do I get the information on getting free land in Alaska? I am very interested in homesteading. Been a long dream

1/26/2016 11:06:10 PM

Cabin and or property needed on East side of Alaska land contract payments. Road or train access. Msg call at 2696840618. Text 9074340773 Thank you.

1/24/2016 12:56:42 PM

I to am very interested in homesteading any help on getting started or more info would be appreciated.

1/23/2016 12:17:18 AM

I'm really excited to hear of this since I have been wanting to live in Alaska my how life. I would love the opportunity to get some land. I am not rich in anyway but the thought of living off the land with complete freedom is a dream for me. Can't wait.

1/16/2016 9:36:34 AM

Hi all, I've raised my son solo for the last 23 years and now that he graduated college he and I want to build a farm homestead in Alaska. I lived there in the 80's on Eielson AFB but now looking to set roots. If anyone knows of a 40 acres (approx) track available with access year round PLEASE let me know. The shopping for land is maddening as my variables make it a challenge. My ex was kind enough to wipe out our accounts and nuke my credit when she bailed on us both with my ex-best friend. Sorry to post personal garbage but I have got to escape the lower 48 and have been looking for awhile. There are many FSBO's and land auctions but most of those are land locked swamps and I'm not planning a mosquito farm accessible only by UFO. Thanks for any help, sincerely a beat up but not destroyed Christian man and his son. -John

1/1/2016 7:17:42 PM

so is this true that alaska doesent give land away if anyone knows please email me at or text or call me 207-592-1822 thanks

12/31/2015 9:38:42 PM

where can i get an app

12/27/2015 12:24:26 PM

I'm am from Texas now living in south Louisiana I have wanted to move to Alaska my entire life but I was raising a daughter she is grown now and she is wanting to leave the lower 48 like me. We are looking for information on how to obtain land in south east Alaska near or on a body of water for homestead. We live off the land and water now as we always have. And with our business we would be right at home there. If anyone can help by pointing us in the right direction the info would be greatly appreciated Email or call (985)956-0816

11/18/2015 5:52:27 PM

I have wanted to live in alaska for the past 20 years the hole living off the land what god intended us to do looking for land free or cheep thanks Elizabeth email me at phone # 207-592-1822

10/9/2015 4:25:59 PM

There are several 10 acre tracks available in the Onestone Lake part of the Skwentna Alaska area.

10/9/2015 4:20:55 PM

If anyone is interested in land in Alaska, just go to and look thru the (OTC) over the counter land available. I just purchased a approx 5 acre lot in the Dune Lake area. Its remote but thats what I was looking for. The state of Alaska will finance land or you can purchase outright. Ive been wanting to homestead in Alaska for years now, and have finally took the first step and acquired a piece of land. Look thru the OTC list of land available.

9/20/2015 11:37:46 AM

LOL are you guys even reading this its a 1980 artikel, BLM is no longer selling public alaskan land due to land promises made to the natives. it also is a pretty harsh description no water, sparse vegetation, inland temperatures no access. Alaska is not big enough as is to sustain sustenance living (big game hunting) for all its people nowadays, so you need to farm. with low temps short seasons that is very hard ,you need to buy animal fodder or work allot of land, there are some road systems today going to mid Alaska but you still pay a premium because of the distance/remoteness. if you are not close to a access river or road you need to track or fly it in, i do love the tv series dead end express :D ps me, handsome blond blue eyed male 29y 6,3f very handy and productive. looking for female (who knows canning and preserving methods) to start a homestead with. looks unimportant, cooking skills not :). niet geschoten is altijd mis ;D

9/9/2015 6:55:10 AM

My fiance and I are wanting to move to Alaska and homestead. We already do a lot of homesteading in Kentucky. Any Information about the land to homestead in Alaska would be helpful. Like how to apply, what are the requirements, who to get a hold of to start the application and find out info. You can contact me at or P.O. Box 67 Hawesville, KY 42348. Thank you

8/14/2015 6:23:24 PM

Hey all, I am looking into moving to Alaska too. Planning to have my home in wilderness. Love nature. Can build anything or fix anything. If you have land for sale near facing lake or river pleasse let me know. Interested in the program. Cheers from California !

8/6/2015 10:47:02 PM

I am wanting to move to Alaska soon and would like more information on the homesite homestead offer. Please send to or to my address po box 138 Kimberling City, MO. 65686. Thank you

7/25/2015 7:29:18 PM

Am looking at moving to Alaska, would like more information on a homesite homesteading opportunity, what are the requirements, how to apply or what is the process to go about doing this ? Thank you my email is

7/22/2015 9:57:10 PM

Need information tracts of land building requirements Contact me at or my cell 1-573-569-3765

7/22/2015 9:23:29 PM

Wanting to know more about homesteading programs for free or low low cost land for a small personal cabin to hunt fish and trap

6/13/2015 6:11:12 PM

is it possible for a nonresident retired vet to obtain land in a homesteading offer

5/24/2015 10:11:49 PM

I'm looking to get land while I'm in the military still but I'm about to eat out and would like to purchase some lands and get away from everything up there! Email me back

5/15/2015 7:04:37 PM

Hey I'm Dee born and raised in MAINE been a traverse last few years looking for a opposite sex partner do settle down with let's talk

4/10/2015 10:45:27 PM

Hello my name is Aaron I'm a Iraq war veteran looking to start over and get away from city life just need a little help please contact me at thank you

4/8/2015 5:47:50 PM

My names Chirs and i am moving to alaska within the next couple of months , to try my hand at homesteading. Ex-military, with a handy man background . I ahve a party of 5 to start , and more when im established. In all within the year i planb to bring around 20 to alaska. I f anyone has any info on land available around the southeast corner of alaska , ide appreciate an email detailing it. Thanks ...

3/1/2015 9:42:56 PM

Hey my name is matthew and i would love to look it to this homestead opportunity pls contact me at me email matthew saunders

12/2/2014 11:26:53 PM

We are very interested in moving to Alaska. Would love to learn more about the homestead opportunity. I have 35 years experience in floor covering. Just wanting to get closer to the out doors. Please contact (Kenny) me at 1-509-263-1085

8/31/2014 10:02:45 AM

Hello All, I have been interested in homesteading "up North" since I was a teenager and I am ready to start to take that step. I am retired military and have a second career as a master machinist and engineer. I have done quite a bit of work in alternative power supplies , in particular, wind turbines... To, get to the point, I wanted to see if there are like minded people who would be interested as approaching this as a team. Regardless, I would be interested in hearing about your successes and, or pitfalls on your personal projects in homesteading. I look forward to hearing from you. Dan W. Pittmann Brookfield, WI 53005 262-309-4074 (Cell)

8/19/2014 4:03:29 PM

how do I qualify for free or discounted land to build a house

6/1/2014 10:13:14 AM

How can I get more information on this ?

3/26/2014 4:29:59 PM

would like to know more about these land as mention above. 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. please contact me at thanks!

1/31/2014 6:15:50 PM

I wanted to email some of you asking questions about AK landsales. I am in the process of buying Moose creek east Lake front property baby! Sweet. I went to the AK DNR Dept.of Nat. resources. and looked at the properties. They have a lot of good deals for cheap considering the scenic awesomeness. It is a lenghty process. I signed my contract in Nov. and I just call and they said I should be getting my final contract signed sealed and delivered in about two weeks. The only thing I would caution you about is a lot of the land is accessible by boat or plane not all but be mindful my email is

12/12/2013 7:10:35 PM

Alishastar1234 How did you acquire your homestead? I am completely ignorant when it comes to the process I should follow to obtain a homestead in Alaska! This has been my dream for some time and now that my children are all grown, I can finally pursue it. Please help with any information you may be able to provide. Thank you, Melissa L. Bex

11/24/2013 12:40:45 PM

I Would like to get pointed in the right direction as well. Moving up there to homestead in nine months and I need to get the land issue dealt with. is my email. any good help would be very much appreciated.

11/18/2013 10:06:54 PM

any and all info will be a god send. Please email me. so I can stake my claim. God bless

11/18/2013 10:03:58 PM

Please Email me the info I will need to get started with my homestead and stake my claim. my email is please anyone and any info will be a god send.

11/13/2013 5:06:58 PM

hello, my name is Dominick and I am looking for info for a homesite. my email is I am very interested in learning all that I can, to make a clam. thank you for your time

shi loung
1/31/2013 12:57:56 PM

hi, email me with info please anyone who has knowledge, like lisa i need to get pointed to the right direction. I'm very interested my email is thank you anybody with help

lisa perkins
1/4/2013 6:23:41 AM

I have a question I hope someone is able to help me with. I am looking to go off the grid and would like to acquire some land to self sustain myself by hunting, fishing, gardening, and a few animals. I would also love to be able to go all solar. I have been told the are opportunites through different organizations that will provide you land or the grants to purchase land if agree to maintain the conservation of the land by homesteading. Is there anyone out there that may be able to help me and point me in the right direction as I have been unable to locate anything myself. Thanks for the help!

pat arthur
7/21/2012 3:05:26 AM

i wanted to find out if property is currently avilable for sale? email me at

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