Alaska Science Center

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2007-1286

Geoscience for Alaska’s D-1 Lands: A Preliminary Report

By J.M. Schmidt, B.M. Gamble and K.A. Labay


map of Alaska
Topographic map of mainland Alaska, showing extent of BLM d-1 lands (in red and blue); Federal Conservation System Units (CSUs) and other areas closed to mineral entry (in green); d-1 lands Areas of Interest identified in this report (lettered ovals); major towns and villages; 1°x3° quadrangle boundaries and names; and known mines, prospects and mineral occurrences (USGS, 2005) within the areas of interest. (from figure 1).

Purpose of This Report

This interim report follows from the June 2006 recommendations to Congress by the BLM concerning disposition of the d-1 lands. That report recommended lifting of a significant number of d-1 PLOs, through the ongoing land management process within the BLM (e.g. resource management planning areas), or through Congressional action.

The strategic actions outlined in this document refer only to Federal lands under US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction that 1) are affected by temporary withdrawals from mineral entry and mineral leasing by PLOs made pursuant to the Section 17(d)(1) of the ANCSA; 2) have been identified by the BLM as candidates for possible lifting of these PLOs and restrictions (U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 2006); and 3) lie outside of current Federal parks, preserves, monuments, refuges, reserves, wilderness areas and military installations that are closed to mineral entry, because within those areas the potential lifting of the d-1 restrictions has no practical effect.

The resulting lands discussed here comprise approximately 121,000 km2 (29.9 million acres) of Alaska (Table 1) that, pending final resolution of Native and State land claims, will or may remain under Federal (BLM) control, and could be opened to mineral entry. For the purposes of this report, only these 29.9 million acres will hereafter be referred to as “d-1” lands.

This report gives a brief overview of the spatial distribution and physiographic setting, mineral occurrences, and mineral resource potential of the d-1lands. It outlines further geoscience information which could be compiled, collected, and evaluated in order to make a more accurate and comprehensive examination of the potential for undiscovered, locatable mineral resources on these Federal lands. This information is intended to provide guidance to USGS program managers and Federal land managers on matters of future exploration, access needs, and consequences of land status changes.

Download this paper as a 20-page PDF file. Figure 1 is oversized and is therefore not included but linked from this file. (of2007-1286.pdf; 1 MB)

Download Figure 1 of this paper as a ~30" x 33" PDF file (of2007-1286_fig1.pdf; 63.3 MB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact Jeanine Schmidt

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