The Mission of the Ahtna, Inc., Land Committee and the Land and Resource Group is to protect and preserve Ahtna lands and resources for future generations of the Ahtna People. The Land Committee respects and values direction from its Traditional Village Governments. The Land Committee will guide the Land and Resource Group in the management of Ahtna lands and resources. Land Management will be in accordance with cultural and traditional uses and values, land protection, acquisition, conservative development strategies, and principles of culturally appropriate stewardship.
Ahtna, Inc., is one of 13 regional corporations established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). The purpose of ANCSA was to settle Native claims to the land that they had lived on for centuries. In exchange for the extinguishment of aboriginal title, Alaska Natives would receive fee simple title to 44 million acres of land and a cash settlement of $962.5 million to be paid out over a number of years.
Within the Ahtna Region, lands have been classified under ANCSA to accomplish the settlement process. The eight villages within Ahtna were allocated 714,240 acres of land surrounding the villages. Based on population, the villages are entitled to the aforementioned acreage. Additionally, Ahtna, Inc. received close to 45,000 acres in bonus selections to be distributed among the eight villages based upon their historic use and subsistence needs. With regional entitlements, the total land area to be managed is 1.77 million acres.
In 1980, seven (7) of the eight (8) Ahtna Village Corporations [Cantwell (Yedatene Na Corporation), Chistochina (Cheesh-Na, Incorporated), Gakona (Gakona Corporation), Gulkana (Sta-Keh Corporation), Kluti-Kaah (Kluti-Kaah Corporation), Mentasta (Mentasta, Incorporated), and Tazlina (Tazlina, Incorporated)] merged with the existing Alaska Native Regional Corporation, Ahtna, Inc. Chitina Native Corporation chose not to merge with Ahtna
Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Ahtna assumed the management of all former village corporation lands. This merger agreement allowed the former village corporations to maintain shareholder committees known as Successor Village Organizations (SVO). The SVO reserves the right to withhold consent, if reasonable, to any type of new development within former village lands. Ahtna also possesses the subsurface estate of Chitina Native Corporation lands. This split estate requires Ahtna to obtain permission from Chitina Native Corp. before developing any subsurface resource on Chitina lands. It is policy to obtain permission from the appropriate SVO prior to the issuance of any commercial use permit.
The Land and Resource Department is organized according to the three main types of Ahtna natural resource holdings: Surface Estate (including gravel), Subsurface, and Timber. All three types are managed by the Land Department.