Land Exchange


The Alaska Mental Health Trust I US Forest Service Land Exchange has been pursued since 2005. A few significant accomplishments to be acknowledged are:  Endorsement of the September 4, 2012 land exchange package, resulting from a collaborative effort facilitated by the Tongass Futures Roundtable.  Signing of the Agreement to Initiate (ATI) for the exchange, on June of 2015.  Introduction of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2016 by Senator Murkowski.  Introduction of the land exchange legislation by Senator Murkowski, Senator Sullivan and Representative Young in January 2017. 

The general maps of the proposal are available by clicking on the link here, Parcels and Maps, or under “Support the Trust”. The official federal legislation maps have not been posted on the congressional bills site, meanwhile the maps above represent what are referenced in the federal legislation. The exchange will be an appraised value for value land exchange (not based on acreage). The federal exchange process includes environmental and cultural review, title and survey work, public notice and appraisal procedures. All these steps are outlined in Federal Statute.

The proposed exchange referenced in the federal legislation involves approximately 17,341 acres of Trust land surrounding seven Southeast Alaska communities and offers a solution regarding use of these lands that is favorable to the communities, the State of Alaska, the federal government and the Trust.  The legislation identifies 20,580 acres of federal land to be exchanged. The land values will be determined by utilizing standard land appraisal procedures. Based on those values, the final parcels exchanged will be adjusted to equalize the values.

Benefits of the exchange:

  • Preserve old growth timber and viewsheds along the Inside Passage
  • Protect recreational and tourism opportunities near local communities
  • Preserve watersheds adjacent to communities
  • Create opportunity for The Trust to generate revenue to support its mission and serve its beneficiaries


Support the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2016

This exchange is important to the Trust and communities of Southeast Alaska. It is imperative to show continued support for the exchange as Congress takes further action on the two bills S. 131 and H.R. 513.

Please join us in expressing support for the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017. It would be helpful if you would write your congressional delegation and other congressional members if you have specific connections with them.

Sample Support Letter »
AMHT Land Exchange Legislation Fact Sheet (1-31-17) »
See a List of Our Supporters »

Senator Murkowski’s online comment site »
Senator Murkowski
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Sullivan’s online comment site »
Senator Sullivan
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Representative Young’s online comment site »
Representative Young
2314 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Sample Support Letter:

Download Letter of Support Federal Act 2017 Word Document


The Honorable Lisa Murkowski
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Murkowski,

I am in support of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017 legislation (S.131 and H.R. 513). The Alaska Mental Health Trust and the Trust Land Office have been working toward a land exchange for more than 10 years with extensive public participation while defining the exchange parcels. I urge to you pass legislation allowing the Trust to fulfill its financial responsibility of supporting our most vulnerable populations in Alaska.

Given that Alaska is facing the worst fiscal crisis in history, legislation is the best option to complete the exchange in a timely fashion. In just the last two years the Trust has provided 59 grants to organizations in Southeast, totaling more than $3 million. Another 323 Trust beneficiaries in Southeast have been awarded mini grants from the Trust totaling over $482,000. We need to ensure that the Trust can continue to provide revenue for comprehensive, integrated mental health services in Alaska today and into the future.

The exchange is of great benefit because it:

  • Protects popular trails, viewsheds, and iconic recreational sites along the Inside Passage
  • Ensures watersheds are protected so that Southeast residents receive clean water
  • Preserves certain old growth timber stands in the forest
  • Ensures jobs stay in the Southeast communities by protecting the timber and tourism industries
  • Protects mental health services by providing revenue to support the Trust’s mission

Without legislation we are putting our communities at risk.

  • If the Trust cannot generate revenue in a timely fashion, we jeopardize our mental health services.

I want to do what is right for the Southeast community and economy, and for all of the people that benefit from the Trust. It’s time to let the Alaska Mental Health Trust continue its critical work for those who experiencing mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.




(your name)

(your address)

(city, state, ZIP)