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Alaska Land Use Permit (3-AK-e)

Information current as of 2020
In Alaska, a developer may need a Land Use Permit from the Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water (ML&W) to access state lands. ML&W is a division within the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) that administers all land use permits within the state of Alaska. Land Use Permits are authorizations that can allow permit holders (developers) to use state land for a variety of purposes that do not require a full property interest, such as a lease or right-of-way. The ML&W may issue a Land Use Permit for a term of up to five (5) years. A Land Use Permit does not convey any interest in the land and does not authorize the construction of permanent structures. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 § 96.040;


Geothermal: A Land Use Permit is not required for activities conducted under a valid state geothermal lease or prospecting permit. Geothermal development activities are regulated under the provision of the geothermal lease and plans of operation/development/exploration for each specific parcel.



Land Use Permit Process


3-AK-e.1 – Is the Proposed Activity a Generally Allowed Use?

The developer should determine whether the proposed activity is a generally allowed use pursuant to Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11, § 96.020. Uses and activities identified in Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11, § 96.020 are generally allowed on state lands managed by the ML&W without a Land Use Permit Some generally allowed uses include:

  • Using a highway vehicle on or off an established road easement;
  • Brushing or cutting a survey line less than five (5) feet wide using only hand-held tools (such as a chainsaw); or
  • Setting a survey marker.

Alaska—Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11, § 96.020(a)(1)(D), (2)(A); Fact Sheet – Generally Allowed Uses on State Land;

Note: ML&W’s list of “generally allowed uses” does not apply to state parks or to land owned or managed by other state agencies such as the University of Alaska, Alaska Mental Health Trust, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, or the Alaska Railroad. Fact Sheet – Generally Allowed Uses on State Land.

3-AK-e.2 to 3-AK-e.4 – Is the Proposed Activity Located on Special Use Land?

The developer should determine whether the proposed activity is located on special use land. ML&W designates “special use lands” for the protection of scenic, historic, archaeological, scientific, biological, recreational, or other special resource values warranting additional protections or other special requirements. Special use land designations originate from an area or management plan or are made at the director's discretion to address a certain need. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 § 96.010 The ML&W may require a developer to obtain a permit for activities on “special use lands” that would otherwise be generally permitted. For more information about sites and areas of state land designated by ML&W as special use land, visit the ML&W Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water – Special Use Lands Designations Webpage.

3-AK-e.5 – Is the Proposed Activity a Use Requiring a Permit Under 11 AAC 96.010?

A developer must obtain a Land Use Permit or written authorization from ML&W prior to conducting any of the following activities on Alaska state lands:

  • The use of explosives and explosive devices, except firearms;
  • The use of hydraulic prospecting or mining equipment methods;
  • Drilling to a depth in excess of 300 feet, including exploratory drilling or stratigraphic test wells on state land not under oil or gas lease;
  • Geophysical exploration for minerals subject to lease or an oil and gas exploration license under Alaska Stat. §§ 38.05.131 - 38.05.181, Alaska Land Act;
  • A commercial recreation camp or facility, whether occupied or unoccupied, that remains overnight; or
  • An event or assembly of more than 50 persons;
  • An activity on land subject to a mineral or land estate property interest by a person other than the holder of a property interest, or the holder's authorized representative, if the parties cannot agree on what constitutes reasonable concurrent use; or
  • Uses that are not listed in Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.020 as generally allowed uses.

Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.010(a)(1)-(3).

3-AK-e.6 – Land Use Permit Application

The developer must submit a Land Use Permit Application Package (Application) to the appropriate regional ML&W office. A Land Use Permit Application Package is found on ADNR ML&W Special Use Lands Designation webpage. A complete Application package must include the following:

  • A land use permit Application form, completed and signed by the applicant (developer);
  • A description of the proposed activity, any associated structures, and the type of equipment that will be used;
  • A topographic map of sufficient scale to show the location of the proposed activity and routes of travel for all equipment for which a permit is required;
  • A $100.00 non-refundable filing fee; and
  • Any items specifically identified and required by any of the relevant supplemental questionnaires.
    • An Application for the use of the uplands and non-marine waters must also include a complete Supplemental Questionnaire for Use of Uplands and/or Non Marine Waters.
    • An Application for off-road travel must also include a complete Supplemental Questionnaire for Off-Road Travel.
    • An Application for the use of tide and submerged lands must also include a complete Supplemental Questionnaire for Use of Marine Waters.
    • A development plan may be required for some types of land use permits. If required, the development plan must describe any nonpermanent structures and activities.
    • If the proposed activity is of a mobile nature, such as a permit to move heavy equipment across state land, a development plan is not required, but the Application must include a map showing the proposed route of travel.

Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.030; Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water – Land Use Application Package with Cover Letter; Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water – Instructions for Completing a Development Plan. For more information on the Application requirements and regional ML&W offices, see Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water – Land Use Application Package with Cover Letter.

3-AK-e.7 to 3-AK-e.8 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

ML&W must review the Application for administrative and technical completeness. Once ML&W receives the applicant’s (developers)complete Application package, accompanied by the nonrefundable application fee, ML&W will consider the Application. The Application must contain sufficient detail to allow ML&W to conduct a complete evaluation of the proposed activity and its potential effect on the land.

3-AK-e.9 – Notify Adjacent, Upland Property Owner if the Proposed Activity Will Occur in Shoreland, Tideland, or Submerged Land

ML&W must give notice of the proposed activity to upland property owners if the activity in the Application involves the use of shoreland, tideland, or submerged land adjacent to the upland owner's property. 11 AAC 96.030(c). ML&W must give the upland owner priority in obtaining a land use permit on such lands. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 § 96.040

3-AK-e.10 – Public Notice (Optional)

ML&W may publish public notice of the Application if it is deemed necessary. If ML&W determines that public notice is required, the applicant (developer) must pay any advertising costs for publishing the public notice. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.030(c).

3-AK-e.11 to 3-AK-e.12 – Review Land Use Application Package and Public Comments (If Applicable)

ML&W must review the Application for approval, once the public notice and comment period has concluded (if required). ML&W review the developer’s Application and any comments received (if applicable) when making a decision on the Application. All activities on state land must be conducted in a responsible manner that will minimize or prevent disturbance to land and water resources. ML&W may approve the Application if ML&W determines that the developer can conduct the proposed activity in a manner that minimizes conflicts with other uses, minimizes environmental impacts, or would otherwise to be in the interests of the state. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.040(b).

3-AK-e.13 to 3-AK-e.14 – Request Reconsideration of ML&W’s Decision (Optional)

If the director of ML&W denies the Application, the applicant (developer) can appeal the director’s decision to the commissioner of Alaska Department of Natural Resources. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11, §§ 02.010. The commissioner may affirm ML&W’s decision, issue a new or modified decision, or remand the matter to the director for further proceedings. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §02.020(d). If the commissioner denies the developer’s request for reconsideration, the denial is considered the final administrative order. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §02.020(b).

3-AK-e.15 to 3-AK-e.16 – Appeal Final Administrative Order to the Superior Court (Optional)

The developer may appeal the commissioner’s final administrative order to the superior court, in accordance with Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §02.030.

3-AK-e.17 – Land Use Permit

If ML&W approves the Application for a Land Use Permit, ML&W issues a document authorizing the developer’s use of state lands. A Land Use Permit does not grant a preference right to a lease or other disposal. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 § 96.018 ML&W can revoke the Land Use Permit for cause or for violation of a permit provision. ML&W can also revoke the Land Use Permit at will if ML&W determines that revoking the permit is in the best interest of the state. ML&W will give the developer 30 days notice before revoking a Land Use Permit. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.040(b). ML&W generally grants Land Use Permits for a specified term of up to 5 (five)years and may extend the permit term for several consecutive periods which may not exceed 1 (one)year. ML&W can modify provisions of the Land Use Permit in the approval or extension of any permit or during the term of the permit. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.040(b).

3-AK-e.18 – Bond, Certificate of Insurance (As Required)

The developer must furnish security acceptable to the ADNR in the form of a bond or certificate of insurance, unless ADNR waives this requirement after considering the developer's history of compliance and the potential risk to the state. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 §96.065

3-AK-e.19 to 3-AK-e.20 – Proceed with Permitted Use of Land

The developer may proceed with the land use permitted by ML&W under the specific terms of the lease.

3-AK-e.21 – Annual Report or Completion Statement (As Required)

For a Land Use Permit with a term of more than 1 (one) year, ML&W may require the developer to file information necessary to show compliance with the permit conditions at the end of each year, operational information, or a completion statement including a detailed description of cleanup and restoration work performed at the site. Alaska Admin. Code tit. 11 § 96.070


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Contact Information









Edit Alaska Division of Mining Land and Water
Natural Resource Manager I (907)451-2777