Alaska Native Regional corporation round-up

Editor's note: this article has been updated to include all of fiscal year 2014 into Bristol Bay Native Corporation's finances. Struck numbers report finances from March 31, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014 as reported in a third quarter 2015 fiscal year shareholder letter.

Ahtna Inc.

Ahtna, Inc. is the Alaska Native Regional Corp. for the Copper River valley region of east-central Alaska. Ahtna is based in Glennallen with lands that it owns spread across the region. The eastern boundary of Ahtna’s lands are bordered generally by the Wrangell Mountains and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, to the south by the Chugach Range, and to the north by the Alaska Range. 

To the west Ahtna’s lands extend to the Talkeetna Mountains but also across a high, wide plateau to Denali National Park. Cantwell, south of Denali, is an Ahtna community, in fact. Ahthna’s 1,900 shareholders are mostly Ahtna Athabascans. Many of Ahtna’s shareholders still live in eight small communities in the region.

Ahtna is one of the smaller of the Native regional corporations in terms of shareholders, although the region itself, in area, is about the size of Ohio. The corporation owns 1.52 million acres of land and has 13 operating subsidiaries doing business in a number of fields including, like all other Native corporations, contracting with federal agencies under 8(a) minority enterprise contracts.

However, Ahtna is active in a number of other businesses including its oldest, Ahtna Construction and Primary Products, formed in 1974. The company specializes in construction, pipeline maintenance, oil spill emergency preparedness and other industrial support activities.

The 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, with its terminus in Valdez, transects the Ahtna region from north to south, and since the pipeline has been in operation Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., the TAPS operator, has been a major Ahtna customer. Ahtna is in a number of other businesses through subsidiaries, many of them in construction-related fields.

In 2014 Ahtna earned $184.7 million in revenues with $5.4 million in net income. Dividends of $1.035 million were paid.

A major new initiative for Ahtna is oil and gas exploration on its own land and adjacent state lands. The Copper River sedimentary basin in the Glennallen area is one of the large, generally-unexplored Interior Alaska basins, and in recent years Ahtna has been engaged in exploring mainly for natural gas. Gas discoveries were made in the area in early 1960s exploration but were not developed.

In recent years Ahtna, with an industry partner, drilled an exploration well on Ahtna lands but encountered unexpected technical problems with high-pressure water formations. The corporation is now focused on exploring nearby state-owned lands, where Ahtna has negotiated a 44,000-acre exploration license agreement with the state. With seismic surveys, a large natural gas prospect has been identified. Again working with partners, Ahtna hopes to drill a second exploration well soon.

The primary customers would be residences and the regional electrical utility, both of which now depend mostly on fuel oil, but if a gas discovery were large enough a 150-mile pipeline generally parallel to the Glenn Highway could be built to connect the area with the existing natural gas infrastructure in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

— Tim Bradner

Aleut Corp.

The Aleut Corp. is one of the smaller Alaska Native regional corporations with lands and communities in the Aleutians Islands of Southwest Alaska. The corporation owns 70,789 acres of surface lands in the region as well as 1.57 million acres of subsurface mineral rights.

In July 2015, Aleut Corp. will pay out a dividend of $4 per share to its 3,900 shareholders.

Although Aleut Corp. is smaller than most other Native regional corporations it has been one of the most entrepreneurial and aggressive in carving out new business niches, mostly outside the Aleuts’ home region. Of the company’s 650 employees, only 150 live in Alaska.

The Aleuts were among the first of the Alaska Native corporations to go after federal government support contracts, now a lucrative line of business for most Alaska Native corporations.

Subsidiary Aleut Management Services had two sizable government contracting wins in 2014. In July 2014, subsidiary-owned company Aleut Facilities Support Services LLC won a $95.9-million, firm-fixed-price contract to provide civil engineering support services for the Department of Defense. The company also won a $14.7-million, firm-fixed price contract for U.S. Air Force Academy cadet support.

Much of Aleut Corp.’s options revolve around the Aleutian town of Adak.

The Adak Naval air station closed in 1997 and Aleut Corp. took possession of 47,150 acres on the northern side of the island in 2004 (remaining parts of Adak are within a wildlife refuge). Aleut Enterprise operates fuel services at Adak with 20 million gallons of fuel storage capacity, along with over 300,000 square feet of warehouse space an 7,600 feet of runway space.

The company is lobbying for use of the Port of Adak, whose ice-free deepwater port is strategically located for international shipping. Thomas Mack, president of Aleut Corp., gave a presentation on March 26 to the Alaska Senate Arctic Committee emphasizing the importance of the Aleutian Islands in the international shipping routes that will expand as the Arctic Ocean warms and opens to transit and development.

Aleut Corp. finally received access to a long-dead revenue stream in 2015 using Adak as a base for fisheries. After being passed over for Community Development Quota, suffering the closure of its Naval air base, then held under the thumb of Steller sea lion restrictions that essentially closed the Aleutian Islands subarea to pollock fishing, the Aleut Corp. and Adak will be able to harvest the 17,400 metric tons, or 38.3 million pounds, of pollock quota they were allotted 10 years ago by the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

Aleut Corp. subsidiary Aleut Fisheries also owns the fish processing building in Adak and in 2013 signed a 20-year lease with the newly-formed Adak Cod Cooperative to use the building along with 38 housing units, dock frontage and fueling services. The cod cooperative also purchased processing equipment from the city of Adak.

With partial ownership of the former naval facilities, Aleuts now offer fuel services and other support to vessels operating in the area. The fuel services come with risks. In August 2015, Aleut Enterprise LLC agreed to pay $700,000 in fines for a 2010 fuel spill of over 35,000 gallons.

The corporation also owns and manages several office buildings in Anchorage, a warehouse and retail complex and a mobile home park in Valdez. Aleut Real Estate operates the remaining $40 million worth of property.

— DJ Summers

Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

Arctic Slope Regional Corp. is the Alaska Native regional corporation for the Arctic Slope region of Alaska, an area that reaches from the Canada border to the far northwest coast of the state that borders on the Chukchi Sea. The region includes large federal reserves like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the east and the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska in the west-central part of the Arctic Slope as well as a large block of state-owned lands in the central North Slope that are home to the large producing oil fields of the North Slope.

ASRC owns about 5 million acres of land within its region, much of it in the southern “foothills” region of the North Slope where there is natural gas, and some oil, potential, as well as the western reaches of the slope where ASRC owns some of the largest undeveloped coal resources in North America. The corporation has about 12,000 Inupiaq shareholders with many living in seven small villages in the region. Barrow, the headquarters for ASRC, is the largest community.

Like all Native corporations ASRC is active in the 8(a) minority contracting and is also a major oil service contractor in the North Slope oilfields through its subsidiary, Arctic Slope Energy Services, or AES. The corporation is also a partner in the small Badami field.

Financially, ASRC is the juggernaut among the Alaska Native corporations. The corporation keeps its financials closely guarded and does not distribute its annual reports beyond shareholders, but for years ASRC has had the highest gross revenues among the Native corporations and has consistently paid large dividends.

In 2010, the only year ASRC financials were made public through a federal General Accounting Office report, the corporation earned $2.33 billion in revenues, $164.4 million in net profits and paid $73.6 million in dividends to shareholders. Dividends amounted to 45 percent of net revenues, according to the GAO. ASRC’s gross revenues have been more than $2 billion for several years.

Although the corporation is not as heavily invested in federal contracting as some other Native corporations, ASRC still scored 113th on Bloomberg’s list of top government contractors in 2013, with $530 million in federal contracts.

ASRC is now poised to become even stronger financially. The corporation is now a major royalty owner in the Alpine oil field on the North Slope, where it is an owner of mineral rights.

It will also receive royalties from ConocoPhillips’ new CD-5 project when CD-5 begins production, and from another oil project, GMT-1 in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, if that is developed. Seventy percent of these royalties will be shared with other Native corporations.

— Tim Bradner

Bering Straits Native Corp.

It was a year of planning in the Bering Straits region.

In February, the Alaska District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its draft plan to expand the Port of Nome. The $210-million proposal would help the city accommodate support vessels for Arctic oil and gas development and growing trans-Arctic shipping activity through a deeper and larger port.

Last June, Bering Straits Native Corp. unveiled a report in conjunction with Crowley Maritime Corp. that focused on developing Port Clarence, a naturally deep-water area north of Nome on the Seward Peninsula.

The report found that basic marine infrastructure development at Port Clarence would likely cost in the $50-million range. It was released about three weeks after Rep. Don Young introduced a bill to transfer about 2,400 acres of federal land — an abandoned U.S. Coast Guard post — near Port Clarence to BSNC.

The legislation failed to get out of a House committee.

Also north of Nome, Graphite One Resources Inc. is working to develop a world-class flake graphite deposit. The exploration company completed in a $4 million drilling campaign last fall and hopes to begin production in late 2017, according to Graphite One leaders.

If developed, the Graphite Creek mine would be the lone U.S. graphite mine in a market dominated by Chinese mines.

— Elwood Brehmer

Bristol Bay Native Corp.

Bristol Bay Native Corp. is the Alaska Native regional corporation for the Bristol Bay region, an area the size of Ohio with 8,000 people and an estimated 10,000 brown bears. BBNC has its corporate offices in Anchorage and is widely diversified in business with more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue for 2014. The company’s 2014 earnings totaled $25.5 million dollars, with $355 million in assets $1.8 billion in annual revenue for 2014 fiscal year end. The company’s 2014 earnings totaled $49.2 million dollars, with $630 million in current and long term assets. 

According to BBNC president and CEO Jason Metrokin, BBNC paid dividends totaling $14 million to shareholders in 2014. BBNC employs approximately 170 shareholders and paid close to $13 million in shareholder wages in its 2015 fiscal year ended in March.

Petroleum services was the largest revenue stream at $671 million for 2014, followed by construction at $310 million, oilfield services at $184 million, and government contracting at $169 million.

For 2014 fiscal year end, petroleum services was the largest revenue stream at $1 billion for 2014, followed by construction at $405 million, oilfield services at $142 million, and government services at $241 million. 

In 2015, BBNC made its first investment through subsidiary Bristol Bay Development Fund to finance ADESCO LLC. ADESCO, a marine cargo transportation business, bought a new marine vessel to use for fish tendering.

Despite backlash against the proposed Pebble Mine, the corporation is engaged with Millrock Resources, a small Alaska exploration company, and First Quantum Minerals, a major mining company, in a two-year gold exploration program for a 1.6 million acre tract of land centered around Chignik Bay. In June 2014, Millrock completed its geophysical survey of the project. 

In June 2014, BBNC’s Education Foundation sold all $6.48 million of its shares of Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd, a branch of which was partially staked by mining magnate Rio Tinto.

In its business enterprises, BBNC has been active in North Slope oil and gas support work through its subsidiaries, CCI Industrial Services and Kakivik Asset Management, which specialize in oil field maintenance and testing, and a newly-purchased company, Peak Oilfield Services.

According to Metrokin, BBNC has not made any significant acquisitions in 2014 or 2015 because of the workload involved with moving Peak, which employs over 800 people, into the company.

BBNC is also known for its work in environmental services and remediation and has a group of subsidiaries clustered under the brand name of Bristol Alliance, working in these fields.

A key subsidiary is Petro Card Inc., a fleet fuel services company based in Kent, Wash., that operates in that state and Oregon. Petro Card sells about 330 million gallons of fuel yearly to customers, mainly operators of vehicle fleets. PetroCard itself has acquired nine small companies in the region operating in affiliated lines of business including retail fuel services. BBNC has owned Petro Card since 1985.

Like other Native corporations, BBNC is heavily engaged in government contracting. In 2013 the corporation was ranked No. 163 in Bloomberg Government’s 2014 survey of top federal contractors, with $332 million in revenues.

According to Metrokin, BBNC won two contracts in fiscal year 2015. Subsidiary company Eagle Medical Services has contracted with the Centers for Disease Control, and company TekPro contracts with the U.S. Department of Labor to review foreign worker applications.

— DJ Summers

Calista Corp.

The headquarters of the Yukon-Kuskokwim regional Native corporation moved across Anchorage late last year and the company distributed its largest dividend ever over the past 12 months.

Calista Corp. relocated in November to a new office complex at the corner of C Street and International Airport Boulevard in Anchorage from its former South Anchorage home off of Dimond Boulevard.

In March, the corporation announced the distribution of a $5.05 million dividend to about 12,900 shareholders, the largest in Calista’s history. Distributed in May, it was the 11th dividend issued overall and the ninth since 2007, according to a release.

Calista estimates the payout generated $3 million of economic impact to the Y-K Delta region.

Tunista Services LLC was awarded a four-year, $46.7-million operations and maintenance contract in February for the Barry M. Goldwater Range and Gila Bend Auxiliary Field military installations in Arizona. The Hawaii-based Calista subsidiary deals primarily in government contracts covering a range of services, according to its website.

Back in the Y-K Delta, Donlin Gold continued environmental impact statement, or EIS, work on its massive gold project. Representatives for the joint venture of Barrick Gold and NovaGold have said they expect to have a draft EIS ready for public review late this year.

A record of decision on the project would come sometime after the final EIS, which is expected sometime next year.

The Donlin Creek deposit sits just off the Kuskokwim River about 145 miles northeast of Bethel and contains 30 million ounces of known gold reserves. If developed, the mine would likely require a 315-mile natural gas pipeline from Cook Inlet to feed a large power plant on site. All told, the mega project is estimated at $6 billion.

The Kuskokwim Corp. owns the land at the proposed mine site, while Calista owns the subsurface rights.

—Elwood Brehmer

Chugach Alaska Corp.

Chugach Alaska Corp., Southcentral Alaska’s Native regional corporation with nine government contracting subsidiaries and 2,500 shareholders, ranked 137th among companies with the largest values of government contracts in fiscal year 2013 with $402.6 million worth of work for the feds, according to an April 23, 2014, Bloomberg report.

More than $265 million of that was Department of Defense work, where Chugach ranked 111th. The U.S. Department of Labor spent $44 million with Chugach subsidiaries in 2013, putting the corporation ninth on the Labor Department’s vendor list, according to Bloomberg.

 In 2012, Chugach was No. 151 on the federal vendor list.

In March 2014, subsidiary Chugach Federal Solutions won a $30.8-million contract to provide services to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest. In November, the company won another $59.9-million contract from the same naval facility.

A $9.7-million Chugach contract with the Department of Energy expired in February 2015.

Chugach companies offer construction, facilities management, IT services and workforce training to Alaskans as part of their work with the federal government, according to the Alaska Native corporation.

Chugach is also involved in oil and gas. In January 2015, the corporation made an agreement to acquire a substantial portion of All American Oilfield Associates LLC, a Cook Inlet region oil and gas provider.

Chugach does not make its financial results available to the public.

—DJ Summers

Cook Inlet Region Inc.

CIRI got a lot done over the past 12 months, but not quite as much as it had hoped.

The Southcentral Native corporation settled its dispute over Kenai Loop natural gas royalties, which involved multiple state agencies, earlier this year.

The Alaska Mental Health Land Trust Authority, the Department of Natural Resources, AIX Energy LLC and CIRI jointly requested dismissal of an Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing related to the case in late January. AIX purchased Buccaneer’s assets last October.

CIRI claimed it was owed royalties for its share of the Kenai Loop gas reservoir that Buccaneer had produced since 2012 without a pooling agreement. Buccaneer did not dispute the claim that it produced gas partially owned by CIRI because it owns a parcel adjacent to the well pad in Kenai.

Details of the deal with AIX were not disclosed but based on AOGCC production records and CIRI’s claim it was owed 20 percent of the gas produced, the gross value of the gas owed to CIRI could have been in the neighborhood of $10 million.

CIRI and Nabors Industries Ltd. sold Alaska Interstate Construction to Palmer-based Cruz Construction Inc. in December.

Subsidiaries of CIRI and Nabors shared 50 percent ownership of AIC for nearly 10 years, according to a CIRI release.

CIRI’s new headquarters, the 110,000 square-foot million Fireweed Business Center, also grew up over the past year. Located at the intersection of the Seward Highway and Fireweed Lane in Midtown Anchorage, the $24 million office complex is nearly complete.

One thing CIRI was not able to do is expand its Fire Island wind farm. Project managers said the company was not able to secure a power purchase agreement from a utility in time to take advantage of expiring federal tax credits, despite advertising Phase Two power as 30 percent cheaper than the Phase One contract it has with Chugach Electric Association.

CIRI had planned to double the size of the 11-turbine wind farm — a $50 million project — on the island off Anchorage. Company leadership says the current turbines are performing almost exactly as expected.

— Elwood Brehmer

Doyon Ltd.

Doyon Ltd. is the Interior Alaska Native regional corporation, with lands that extend from the Canada border along the upper Yukon and Tanana river valleys across Alaska to the lower Yukon. With 12.5 million acres Doyon is the largest private landowner in Alaska and one of the largest landowners in the U.S.

Doyon’s 19,000 shareholders are mostly Athabascans who have resided in the region for thousands of years. To the north Doyon’s lands extend to the continental divide of the Brooks Range and, generally, in the south, along the Alaska Range.

Doyon has a number of businesses ranging from drilling and oilfield construction to utility management and engineering, facility services and tourism. The corporation employs 2,800 within operations in seven states.

Within Alaska Doyon is best known for Doyon Drilling, one of the two major Alaska drilling contractors working on the North Slope, and more recently for its exploration for oil and gas on state-owned lands in the Nenana Basin, a large and generally unexplored basin in Alaska’s Interior.

Doyon entered the drilling business in a partnership soon after the North Slope oil fields were developed, and eventually bought out the partner so that Doyon Drilling is now solely-owned by Doyon. The drilling company mainly has contracts with the two major North Slope field operators, BP and ConocoPhillips, to drill production wells in the existing fields, and can also provide rigs for exploration drilling.

Doyon Drilling has earned distinction for its recruitment and training of shareholders to work on drill rigs. Over the years many shareholders have graduated from entry-level jobs on the drills to senior positions, including in management.

Doyon also holds majority ownership in a pipeline construction company, Doyon Associated, which recently built the new pipeline that will serve the Point Thomson gas and condensate field on the North Slope.

Doyon’s partner in the pipeline company is Associated Pipeline Contractors. Doyon is also engaged with facility management, catering and other services through Doyon Aramark, a joint-venture best known for its concessionaire services in Denali National Park, as well as engineering. Like all other Native corporations Doyon is also engaged in federal facility support work through 8(a) minority contracts.

In the Nenana Basin Doyon has led efforts to drill two exploration wells, one with partners and the most recent on its own, which proved that the basin has an active hydrocarbon system with potential for discoveries of both oil and natural gas. The corporation recently completed the analysis of data from its latest 3-D geophysical survey and is considering the next steps, which may include the drilling of a third exploration well.

Doyon holds leases on state lands in the Nenana Basin, which benefits from nearby infrastructure, mainly the Parks Highway and the Fairbanks-Anchorage electrical intertie. If gas is discovered, the region could serve Fairbanks, which is 60 miles to the northeast.

Doyon also owns extensive lands along with three villages in the Doyon region in the Yukon Flats north of Fairbanks.

— Tim Bradner

Koniag Inc.

Koniag Inc. is the Kodiak Native regional corporation of 3,879 Alaska Native shareholders, 60 percent of whom live in Alaska. Koniag owns approximately 105,000 acres of surface estate and 900,000 acres of subsurface estate. Koniag distributed a dividend of $3 per share in January 2015.

More than 80 percent of Koniag’s earnings come from information technology services and government contracting, including a five-year contract with the Internal Revenue Service acquired in 2011.

In February 2015, Koniag sold its Port Angeles, Wash.-based aerospace manufacturing company, Angeles Composite Technologies Inc.

The company announced two major contracts for its subsidiaries in early 2014. Koniag Technology Solutions received a $116-million system support contract with the Social Security Administration for up to five years.

Koniag Information Security Service, named a 2015 Top Minority-Owned Business by the Washington Business Journal, was awarded support contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for up to five years. That subsidiary also received a $2.9-million Department of Defense contract in August 2013 for professional, administrative and management support services.

Another Koniag subsidiary, Open Systems Technologies based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been listed as a top-growing tech company, and in 2012 and 2013 added 70 employees and a Detroit office.

In March 2013, Koniag also bought into an existing Kodiak business, Anderson Construction Co. That adds to Koniag’s list of resource-related subsidiaries. The company is also engaged in aerospace manufacturing, marine construction and oilfield services through various subsidiaries, as well as the tourism industry.

Koniag, Inc. also named a new president in March 2014. Tom Panamaroff is a shareholder, and served as interim president for the past year; he has worked for Koniag since 2000.

— DJ Summers

NANA Regional Corp.

NANA Regional Corp., based in Kotzebue, is the Alaska Native regional corporation for northwest Alaska. The region encompasses 38,000 square miles, within which NANA owns 2.26 million acres, and the corporation has 13,800 mostly Inupiaq shareholders, the vast majority residing in the NANA region.

NANA earned $1.6 billion in revenues in its Fiscal Year 2014 through its business activities, which are worldwide. NANA employs about 15,282 worldwide and 5,726 in Alaska. About 1,500 of NANA’s employees where shareholders. Business activities are conducted mostly through NANA Development Corp., which was formed in 1974.

NANA’s lands extend east along the Kobuk River to border with Doyon Ltd. in Interior Alaska; north to the DeLong Mountains to border with Arctic Slope Regional Corp. along the western Brooks Range, and south across the Selawik basin and northern parts of the Seward Peninsula, to border with Bering Straits Regional Corp. To the west, NANA faces the Chukchi Sea.

Since its formation in 1972 NANA has been one of the most nimble and entrepreneurial of the Alaska Native corporations. In the mid-1970s NANA moved to form oilfield service joint-ventures in the North Slope oil fields, which were being built at the time. NANA’s first oil service contract was with BP, a catering and camp services joint-venture that is still in effect today.

The food services and facility management service has grown to where NANA has many other institution-management contracts in other parts of Alaska, and the corporation’s experience led it to invest in the development of Marriott hotels in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Meanwhile, NANA expanded its oil field services to include fuel and camp services in the Deadhorse industrial area and more recently into oil construction with a fabrication plant in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. A major acquisition for the corporation in recent years was an offshore oil services company based in the Gulf of Mexico. 

NANA is best known for its partnership with Teck, the mining company, in operation of the Red Dog Mine 90 miles north of Kotzebue. With the passage of the Native claims settlement act in 1971 NANA was able to select the lands where there was a known mineral occurance — what is now the Red Dog Mine — and to partner with Cominco, a Canadian mining company, to develop the prospect. Cominco was later acquired by Teck.

Today Red Dog is one of the world’s largest zinc and lead mines and is a major employer and taxpayer in the northwest Alaska region. Over half of the workers at the mine, 581 at the latest count, are shareholders in NANA, many residing in small villages in the region.

Red Dog began production in 1989 and now has enough ore reserves to mine until about 2030 but Teck is continuing to explore in the area, so the mine-life could be extended further. In NANA’s fiscal year 2014 the corporation received $143.2 million in net proceeds from Red Dog production, and distributed $93.7 million of this in revenue-sharing to other Alaska Native corporations under terms of the 1971 settlement act.

NANA is also involved with NovaCopper Inc. in exploration and potential development of copper discoveries on the upper Kobuk River and Ambler Mining District areas, on both NANA and state-owned lands, and also plans a small gold exploration program on state lands in the northern Seward Peninsula. The corporation is also working on development of potential hydrocarbon resources on NANA lands in the Selawik Basin, a 28,000-square-mile area southeast of Kotzebue that has good prospects for natural gas.

— Tim Bradner

Sealaska Corp.

It was a year of transition at Sealaska.

About a year ago, the Southeast region Native corporation released its annual report for 2013 that showed $35 million in losses, primarily due to losses incurred by a construction subsidiary, according to a company statement.

In June 2014, new Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott laid out a new business direction for the corporation — a focus on familiar lines of business. Sealaska has sold off subsidiaries headquartered in Mexico and the Lower 48 and now is openly looking to acquire operations in Alaska, or at least those with ties to the state, Mallott told the Journal in a previous interview.

An acquisition team is working to have one or more agreements in place by early 2016, he said, but there is no definitive timeline.

Despite 2013 being a tough year, Sealaska held more than $121 million in liquid capital and credit at the end of the year, according to the financial report.

In December, Congress finally fulfilled its obligation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 to Sealaska when a 70,000-acre land transfer from the feds to the Native corporation was approved as part of an omnibus public lands bill package.

The land transfer, comprised of parcels across Southeast, will help sustain the region’s dwindling timber industry, Sealaska leaders have said.

Alaska’s congressional delegation worked to pass the lands transfer legislation for roughly a decade; the deal was finalized during a ceremony at Sealaska’s headquarters in Juneau March 6.

— Elwood Brehmer

05/14/2015 - 3:34pm