8 Stan. Envtl. L. J. 200 (1989)
The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act: Protection for Native Lands

handle is hein.journals/staev8 and id is 204 raw text is: The 1991 Amendments to the Alaska
Native Claims Settlement Act:
Protection for Native Lands?
J. Tate London*
On February 3, 1988, President Reagan signed into law the
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Amendments of 1987'
(1991 Amendments). The 1991 Amendments provide limited
protection of lands conveyed on the behalf of Alaska Natives (In-
dians, Eskimos and Aleuts) to for-profit corporations created
pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 19712
(ANCSA). The President's signing of the 1991 Amendments
culminated years of debate and negotiation in Congress, as well
as intense lobbying efforts by Alaska Native organizations. Pro-
ponents of the 1991 Amendments wanted to extend and enhance
protection on ANCSA lands past 1991, when restrictions on the
alienation of Native corporation stock and immunity from state
and local property taxes on undeveloped land were set to expire.
Pursuant to ANCSA, the federal government conveyed forty-
four million acres of land and directed that $962.5 million be
paid to Alaska Natives.3 In return, Alaska Natives relinquished
all claims of aboriginal title to the remainder of the lands within
Alaska.4 Congress conveyed neither land nor money directly to
Natives. Instead, Native corporations chartered under state law
received these assets on behalf of Alaska Natives. Congress au-
* J.D., Stanford Law School, 1988; A.B., Stanford University, 1984. Mr. London
is a member of the Tlingit Tribe of Alaska and is a shareholder in Sealaska Corporation.
1. Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Amendments of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-
241, 101 Stat. 1788 (1987) (to be codified at 43 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1628) [hereinafter 1991
Amendments]. Alaska Natives refer to this legislation as the 1991 Amendments.
2. Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, Pub. L. No. 92-203, 85 Stat. 668
(1971) (codified as amended at 43 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1628 (1982 & Supp. IV 1986)
(amended by 1991 Amendments, supra note 1)).
3. Id. §§ 1605(a), 1611.
4. 43 U.S.C. § 1603 (1982); United States v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 435 F. Supp.
1009, 1031 (D. Alaska 1977), aff'd, 612 F.2d 1132, 1134 (9th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 449
U.S. 888 (1980) (ANCSA extinguished every claim based on aboriginal title).
200

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