Like many Alaskans, I remember the excitement in the air when Alaska became the 49th state of the Union in 1959. We had achieved our long-held dream of self-governance. Since that time, we have worked to become increasingly self-reliant and to steward our resources for the long-term benefit of our people.
The Alaska Statehood Compact established the conditions for our entry. Through the Compact, Alaska was granted 103 million acres of public land — less than one-third of our state’s landmass. The federal government reserved most of the remaining land.