Committee seeks state recalculation of borough land entitlement
The Petersburg Land Selection Committee is asking the borough to pursue legislative action regarding the state’s recent calculation of land entitlement for the Petersburg Borough.
According to Alaska Statute, newly formed boroughs are entitled to no less than ten percent of the “maximum total acreage of vacant, unappropriated, unreserved (VUU) state general grant land within the boundaries between the date of incorporation and two years thereafter…”
Committee member Liz Cabrera said the committee feels the state’s determination is inadequate.
“What’s left is, basically, not the best,” Cabrera said. “There’s some good property but not really high valued property and it’s a pretty small amount.”
VUU land is acreage the state adds up not already designated for agencies such as the Mental Health Trust and the University of Alaska.
Any VUU land the state owns is then available for municipal selection. Total maximum VUU land in the Petersburg Borough totaled 18,324 acres, including Southeast State Forest land. Ten percent of that is 1,832 acres and 457 of those were subtracted from the previous granted municipal land entitlement leaving 1,374 acres to the borough.
“The thing that I think people thought was interesting was that there was nothing north of Hobart Bay,” Cabrera said. “But the state does have some inholdings in there. It’s not necessarily that we would want to select those but we need to go through and see if there was any VUU land up there and that should have been added to the total that wasn’t.”
Committee members also questioned the inclusion of Southeast State Forest land—land already designated by the state for recreation and timber management—as part of the equation.
Committee member Rick Braun said he’d like to go ahead with the land selection and pursue a legislative process later instead of “holding up the entire process.”