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Our Responsibilities

The Division of Mining, Land and Water manages all state-owned land except for trust property and units of the Alaska State Park System. When all land conveyances under the Alaska Statehood Act are complete, the division will be responsible for over 100 million acres of uplands, including non-petroleum minerals in these lands. We also manage Alaska's 65 million acres of tidelands, shorelands, and submerged lands, including some 34,000 miles of coastline. Finally, we have jurisdiction over all of the State's water resources, equaling about 40% of the entire nation's stock of fresh water.

The Division’s mission is to provide for the appropriate use and management of Alaska's state owned land and water, aiming toward maximum use consistent with the public interest.
We authorize many important uses of our lands and waters, including:

  • Mining claims, coal and mineral leases, access, and plans of operation for mineral development;
  • Ice roads, support facilities, and exploration camps for oil and gas development;
  • Gravel sales for road construction and private development;
  • Log-transfer sites, access, and support camps for timber development;
  • Leasing set-net sites for commercial fishing and mariculture sites for the shellfish farming industry;
  • Lodge sites and access for the tourism industry;
  • Access for public and private entities across state lands and waters, including power and telephone lines; and
  • Water rights and water use authorizations.
The Division of Mining, Land and Water is responsible for acquiring and defending the State's title to its lands, including:
  • Acquiring and securing clear title to land from the federal government and other sources;
  • Issue clear title documents to the private sector, municipalities, and other government entities to which the state conveys lands;
  • Defending all state land title issues, including RS2477 easements, other easements, and navigable waters;
  • Maintaining clear title to all state lands (ensuring that state lands are not encumbered by unauthorized third party interests); and
  • Maintaining administrative records of all state land ownership.
The Division of Mining, Land and Water is responsible for offering state land to individual Alaskans and to municipalities. These programs include:
  • Auction or lottery sales of surveyed lots;
  • Remote recreational cabin sites; and
  • Land grants to cities and boroughs as well as public and charitable use conveyances.
The Division of Mining, Land and Water is also responsible for:
  • Developing land use plans to guide the use, development, and disposal of state lands.
  • Reclaiming abandoned mine land that is a public health and/or safety hazard.