Land Ownership


 Land ownership patterns in southwest Alaska are a mix of Federal, State, Native corporation, and private lands. As such, there are a variety of regulations and enforcement agencies that you should be aware of if you are planning to visit this area.

Unique History 

A long legislative history preceded the establishment of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. This history has resulted in land ownership patterns that are unique to Alaska. Although the Alaskan refuges surround vast areas of Federal public land, they also contain large tracts which have been claimed by or conveyed to the State of Alaska, Native corporations and private individuals under the provisions of the Alaska Statehood Act (1958) and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (1971).

Not all land is Posted 

Visitors who are traveling on main Togiak Refuge waterways may see signs on the riverbank indicating passage from refuge lands onto private Native corporation lands. In addition to Native corporation lands, some land is privately owned by individuals. Individual Native allotment lands may be marked with signs, but any alteration of the land from its original state, including clearings, cabins, or fish racks, should be taken as indicators of private allotment lands. Visitors are strongly encouraged to view our Native Lands page to learn more.

Mining Claims 

Several mining claims exist within the borders of Togiak Refuge. Gold was discovered at the turn of the century in the Arolik River basin, and platinum was discovered in 1926 in the Salmon River Valley, near the present-day village of Platinum. Mineral prospecting had mostly come to an end before the Togiak Refuge was established in 1980, but mining claims that were valid at that time remain valid if they are kept active.