The Alaska Mental Health Trust Act of 2017

Naukati Phase I lands.
Naukati Phase I lands. Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service


On May 5, 2017, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, Public Law 115-31, “The Alaska Mental Health Trust Act of 2017” authorized for an equal value land exchange between the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) and the Forest Service. The complex land exchange process requires boundary-line surveys, title reports, appraisal and completion of pre-exchange clearance reviews relating to threatened and endangered species, cultural and historical resources, wetland/floodplains, and hazardous materials.  

The land exchange is comprised of approximately 18,000 non-federal acres and 21,000 federal acres. The Act established a framework to facilitate and expedite a land exchange over a condensed period in two separate phases.

  • Phase 1 included approximately 2,400 federal acres near Naukati, Alaska in exchange for approximately 2,500 acres near Ketchikan, Alaska. This phase of the land exchange was conveyed and completed in January 2019.
  • Phase II of the land exchanges includes the remaining approximate 18,600 federal acres and 15,500 non-federal acres spanning across 7 (seven) communities in Southeast Alaska. A portion of phase II was completed in April 2020. The remaining portions of the land exchange will be completed in early 2021.

Pursuant to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Exchange Act of 2017, the Forest Service will be conveying a parcel of land to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority that presently contains the historic Wolf Creek Boatworks.

Boatworks Overview

The public is invited to share ideas on how to mitigate the potential adverse effects of removing the Boatworks by sending written comments to by May 22, 2020. 

Redacted copy of the Programmatic Agreement Among the USDA Forest Service, Tongass National Forest, the Alaska State Historic Preservation Officer, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office Regarding Land Exchange Between the Tongass National Forest and the State of Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office


View of Tongass Narrows from mountain top.

Top of K4a inspection. Photo by Hillary Woods.

Aerial view of lands inspection area.

Aerial view of lands inspection from Dargon Point across W. Naukati Tract.

Shelter Cove marsh.

An inspection area in the Shelter Cove parcel. Photo by Hillary Woods.

Sun shines down through a forest.

Forest within the Naukati Exchange lands. Photo by Hillary Woods.