Moving to Alaska? (Anyone From...?) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

My Husband and I are considering moving to Alaska. I have heard about homesteading where you can get land from the Goverment. I believe that is a different homesteading then this group is talking about? Can someone tell me if get the land is still possible? and what the homesteading that the group speaks of is, is it self-selficancy or just country living?

If we can't get the free land we are willing to buy in Alaska and will probably choose to be in a remote area so homeschooling & self reliancy will be important . Does any one have advice about moving to Alaska?

-- Gilinda Rogers (, February 02, 2002


Response to Moving to Alaska?

I have just read a wonderful article at It explained all about homesteading, I wish I had read it before this post . But please respond to other questions now that I know what the homesteading that the group speaks of. Thanks again for having these groups I have really enjoyed looking thru them.

-- Gilinda Rogers (, February 02, 2002.

I saw years ago a PBS documentary about three families, they moved to Alaska, and they did get the free Land, I think is still avail. they walked thru about all the problems that these families had, only one is still there, they had 6 or so children, and they were real homesteaders before they moved to Alaska, so for them was easy. Among their secrets were, a lot of children, great hunters skills and like 10 Siberian Huskies. They main problem was isolation, If i remember right one of their children had a problem, but I forgot the details. good luck to your family, remember you may have only 6 months of light or so. Ralph.

-- Ralph (, February 02, 2002.

If you make the move I wish you all the luck in the world, and a lot of us will be green with envy. May God bless you in your attempt!

-- Tim Allen (, February 02, 2002.

check out plainsmans survival board , go to the Den and ask this question , There are a few people on there from Alaska.

-- sulix (, February 02, 2002.

WE have just moved from Alaska got health reasons. It's beautiful, self sufficiency, and home schooling are well accepted. We miss it terribly. Please email me privately if I can be of any help. We lived in three different areas while there. n.l.

-- n.l. (, February 02, 2002.

National Geographic has a video called Braving Alaska. It is an awesome look at Alaska homesteading. Go to their website to order, we own it and watch it over and over dreaming of the day!

-- None (, February 02, 2002.

Someplace in the archives is a post about moving to AK and some good information.

-- Bernice (, February 02, 2002.

The homestead policy in alaska, when I read up on it ten years ago, went as follows (and I dont believe it has changed much): You have to be a resident of Alaska for two years, prior to being considered for application of land. Once you have resided there for 2 years and still want to try the homestead policy, your name is entered in a lotto type system. If your name is drawn, you have to occupy the said land for X amount of time during the next five years. You have to do specified improvements to the land, such as possibly, building a dwelling, septic (?), etc. At the end of that 5 years, the land is deeded to you. I wrote to the Chamber of Commerce to get that info, I believe, as part of my personal interest in AK and a school project. Which leads me to the conclusion: its easier to just buy the land outright than to try and deal with the govt!

-- Kevin in NC (, February 03, 2002.

Great tip about the video Braving Alaska, Thanks! I have searched all over for it this evening, Everything I read tells me it will be very helpful.I found it on EBAY, but also found it at my local public library so I look forward to watching it on Monday right after the library opens. Again thanks for all the great advice & input, This group helps me to know I am not as crazy as my mother (a lifetime city dweller) says I am. Keep them coming. Gilinda

-- Gilinda Rogers (, February 03, 2002.

Gilinda and all those posting about free land in Alaska. It ain't true. The Homestead program described by one poster ended years ago. There are programs for obtaining government land, but each involves paying for it. Less than one percent of the land in Alaska is in private ownership. The rest is owned by the government and they are not giving it away.

Look at the archives, especially "Anybody from?" . There are some previous posts about moving to Alaska and despite all the idealistic attitudes, one fact prevails. You need MONEY and lots of it.. Any land that is available for living on for anywhere close to self sufficiency will run as much as $3000 an acre. Very few people are capable of making a living off a parcel and most require additional jobs to make it.

I would highly recommend that anyone wanting to come to Alaska, make a pretrip first. Just make sure you have enough cash to return home. Come up, spend a few weeks, look around and talk to people. Look at land prices, availability , etc. Do this before you commit to moving.

-- David (, February 03, 2002.

The following article appeared in todays Anchorage Daily News. State offers 1,700 parcels of land DEADLINE: Buyers have a week to apply for initial opening. By Peter Porco Anchorage Daily News (Published: February 3, 2002)

People wishing to own a piece of remote Alaska have opportunities throughout the year to buy state-owned parcels of land.

But they have only until a week from Monday to apply for the initial opening in an over-the-counter sale of about 1,700 parcels scattered throughout the state.

The deadline for applying to the state Department of Natural Resources is 5 p.m. Feb. 11. At 9 a.m. the following day, DNR will conduct the opening.

People who are alone in their land selections will acquire rights to buy those parcels. Multiple selections of the same parcel will be resolved by lottery -- literally by picking a name from a hat.

"We bring a baseball cap," said Vicky Backus, a natural resources manager with the Division of Mining, Land and Water.

The parcels range in size from about an acre to as large as 40 acres and more. Prices range from $3,000 for some five-acre lots to $56,000 for three-acre waterfront lots in Southeast Alaska.

Most of the parcels are not so choice, however. While they are all pre-designated and pre-surveyed -- for example, they are platted with full legal access -- there is seldom any real physical access.

Moreover, the 1,700 parcels actually are leftovers -- land not purchased last fall when 1,800 parcels were offered through sealed-bid auction.

Parcels not selected during the current sale will then become available first-come, first-served to anyone who makes the down payment, pays the filing fee and enters a contract with the state.

Already 880 parcels from previous land disposals dating back to 1995 are available on the same first-come, first-served basis.

Brochures and other information are available at the DNR public information offices listed below. That's also where applications must be taken or sent by the deadline.

Anchorage: 550 W. Seventh Ave., Suite 1260 (269-8400).

Fairbanks: 3700 Airport Way (907-451-2705).

Juneau: 400 Willoughby, Suite 400 (907-465-3400).

Reporter Peter Porco can be reached at and at 907-257-4582.

ON THE WEB: Information about remote parcels of Alaska land for sale, including applications to purchase them, is available through the state Division of Mining, Land and Water at

-- David (, February 03, 2002.

Hi, My cousin moved to Big Lake, Alaska many years ago. His wife hates it, he loves it! When I ask him why, he said "just think about it, 300 trillion mosquitos couldn't be wrong!" His wife just dispises having to hang out cloths to dry with that blasted mosquito net hood on. then there is the gnats, black flies etc. There is also astounding beauty of course. I think you need to really look into this. I couldn't stand all those flying bugs since we have always lived in areas without them. It has to do with what you are used to I think. Good luck with this, at the very least you will have a great time learning about Alaska. LQ

-- Little Quacker (, February 03, 2002.

Weighing in on this from here in the Alaska Range:

A prior poster is correct. There has been no homesteading in Alaska for quite some time now, either fed or state land. If you want land here, you have to pay for it!

And yes, this is TRUE homesteading. What this forum discusses is something very different indeed. My best understanding is that this forum has usurped the word to mean the variety of conditions applicable to a rural and moderately self-sufficient lifestyle.

As far as the ADN article also cited above, please note carefully the bit about "the land that's available is the sutff that didn't get any takers during the fall sale". There's usually a very very good reaason for that! Also, this land, too, is not free. Now, there's a crazy thing up here. We have more land than anyhwere else in the US, but land an individual can own (this is disregarding Indian land, and as far as that's concerned, even if you're a full- blooded Cherokee, tough: ya gotta be an ALASKAN Native) is really in very short supply. In fact, in my part of the state: in the 40-50,000 square miles around Paxson, there are approximately 50 parcels totalling well under 500 acres of private land!

That being said and done with, there are a lot of reasons to moving to and living in Alaska. There also are a lot for leaving here! Four of them are November, December, January and February. I love it here, and wouldn't trade my lifestyle for anything anywhere else. I'll tell you what I miss most (am from New England): can't grow vegetables worth a damn here, and can't grow ANY stone-fruit, period. Nor apples. Those 100-lb cabbages you've heard about? Well, that is in one very particular place, and to repeat the obvious, Alaska is a BIG state. I have a frost-free period of about 70 days. Makes it kinda tough to grow grapefruit.

-- Audie (, February 05, 2002.

Gilinda: 1) Bring money....lots of it. That and a return air ticket. 2) Nothing is free. 3) I don't know where you live now, but where I live I advise people wanting to move here, to spend a winter here, renting (of course). Most leave after winter is over in June and we never see them again. 4) I hope you have good jobs, b/c Alaska doesn't need any more welfare cases.

-- al (, February 06, 2002.

I really have learned abunch from all the email. I was surprised about the mosquitos (I thought it was too cold for them) Here is somemore info about my reasons for interest in Alaska. I want to be left alone. I have lived in a rural but not remote area before (During another marriage). I have income and am not planning on making my living of the land, I am hoping to stack my firewood where I want & deal with my garbage without my nieghbors digging thru it first. If my husband want to sit outside and play the guitar I don' want to have to police come tell us to shut up. I don't want to have my children going to public high school or have the state knocking on my door about why they haven't been to school.

I have an income but like to live cheap. I am still young and have a heart for adventure,

I last lived in Williamsburg Va where the city council was considering residents having to get approval for the color of your curtains. I want to build my own home, I want to be responsible for myself & my family.

Maybe going to Alaska is extreme, but I here it is a Wilderness, and it seems to be calling me.

-- Gilinda Rogers (, February 08, 2002.

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