Ft. Yukon and Ninilchik tribes submit applications for trust status

Two Alaska tribes have submitted applications to place lands into trust with the federal government.

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Ft. Yukon wants to put just under two acres, where a tribal government office and cultural center are located, into federal trust.

The village of Ninilchik has requested placing the location of its transit facility, a two-and-a-half-acre lot, into trust. The land is located within the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is taking public comment on the applications until October 5th.

An Alaska Department of Law release says the state is taking public input on impacts including on local tax rolls jurisdictional problems, and potential land use conflicts until September 22.

The requests are the latest of several filed since December 2014, when the Obama administration revised the law to give Alaska tribes, previously excepted from the option, to place lands into trust.

According to the American Indian Law Journal, trust status facilitates tribal land restoration and economic development and insulates tribes from state and local jurisdiction and taxation.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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