Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Program Name

Environmental Policy and Management

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Molly Whitworth


Land management in Alaska has become multi-layered with federal, state, and local agencies regulating different resources. Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) of 1971, 220,000 acres of surface title around Barrow, Alaska were conveyed to the Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC) as a for-profit entity. The land granted to UIC is approximately 95% wetlands. Due to recent offshore leasing the need for housing, utilities, and transportation expansion has fallen on the major landowner of the area, UIC. Development of wetlands in Alaska, and specifically endangered species nesting ground wetlands has two components that UIC currently does not control: reasonable mitigation cost and project control due to the required approval of the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service to proceed. This paper investigated how UIC could have effective management input of wetlands resources. UIC can develop self- governing opportunities to restore their authority in the management of the lands granted to them by the US government by creating a co-management group with state and federal agencies that regulate wetland resources and creating a UIC-owned wetlands mitigation bank on UIC land.



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