Land and Resource Policies for the Future, Guided by the Past
Food, livelihood, culture—the lands and waters of Bristol Bay have sustained our people for millennia. And the traditions we’ve built over the centuries here in Bristol Bay do more than guide new generations of shareholders. Our ties to the past and reverence for the land also inform the policies that BBNC upholds.
When the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) was signed into law in 1971, BBNC took direct responsibility for about 12 percent of the 40 million acres in Southwest Alaska that make up the Bristol Bay region. That’s roughly three million acres of subsurface estate and 116,000 acres of surface lands, all under BBNC’s stewardship.
Introduced as an alternative to the Indian reservation system of the Lower 48, ANCSA called for the formation of 12 for-profit Native Corporations. In the four decades since our inception under ANCSA, BBNC has shaped a two-pronged set of land and resource policies that prioritizes our financial growth while protecting the culture and heritage of our people.
The first objective of our Land Department is to acquire and retain patent to all land entitled to BBNC under ANCSA. Assessing, responsibly developing, and preserving the value of these lands is at the core of our land and resource policies.
Our second objective stems from our commitment to protect the fish that have sustained our culture for thousands of years. Through a balanced, sensitive, and far-seeing approach to the management of our lands and waters, we’re able to uphold a triad of values—fiscal, environmental, and social—so that our region can continue to be available for the range of uses we enjoy today. In other words, protecting the subsistence culture of our shareholders is just as important as our corporate growth.