DNR approves borough request for land
August 27, 2020
This time next month, the Haines Borough will be 0.1% larger. On Aug. 13, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approved the conveyance of 2,196 acres of state land in Excursion Inlet and near the Lynn Islands to the borough.
The Aug. 13 decision pertains to a total of 3,902 acres, most of which the borough selected in 2010 when the state increased the borough’s land allotment. In addition to the 2,196 acres that will be conveyed to the borough within 31 days, the state rejected the request for 316 acres in William Henry Bay and postponed action on 1,390 acres in areas near the Katzehin River and in Excursion Inlet.
Borough clerk and interim manager Alekka Fullerton said the state’s decision to keep the 316 acres in William Henry Bay had to do with mineral resources on the land.
In a document describing the decision, DNR said, “The state’s interest in retaining these lands outweighs the borough’s interest in obtaining them.”
Action on the 1,390 acres near the Katzehin River and in Excursion Inlet was postponed “until certain title issues have been resolved,” according to the same DNR document. Fullerton said the borough is looking into why a decision on these lands was postponed.
DNR spokesman Dan Saddler said title complications include claims for Alaska Native allotments. He said the borough will have the option to resubmit requests for the lands once title issues are resolved or could select other lands for transfer in place of the lands with lingering title questions.