Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

Native land selections

43 U.S.C. § 1611


          (a) Acreage limitation; proximity of selections and size of sections and units; waiver

                    (1) During a period of three years from December 18, 1971, the Village Corporation for each Native village identified pursuant to section 1610 of this title shall select, in accordance with rules established by the Secretary, all of the township or townships in which any part of the Village is located, plus an area that will make the total selection equal to the acreage to which the Village is entitled under section 1613 of this title. The selection shall be made from lands withdrawn by section 1610(a) of this title: Provided, That no Village Corporation may select more than 69,120 acres from lands withdrawn by section 1610(a)(2) of this title, and not more than 69,120 acres from the National Wildlife Refuge System, and not more than 69,120 acres in a National Forest: Provided further, That when a Village Corporation selects the surface estate to lands within the National Wildlife Refuge System or Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 4, the Regional Corporation for that region may select the subsurface estate in an equal acreage from other lands withdrawn by section 1610(a) of this title within the region, if possible.

                    (2) Selections made under this subsection (a) of this section shall be contiguous and in reasonably compact tracts, except as separated by bodies of water or by lands which are unavailable for selection, and shall be in whole sections and, wherever feasible, in units of not less than 1,280 acres. Provided, That the Secretary in his discretion and upon the request of the concerned Village Corporation, may waive the whole section requirement where

                              (A)(i) a portion of available public lands of a section is separated from other available public lands in the same section by lands unavailable for selection or by a meanderable body of water;

                                        (ii) such waiver will not result in small isolated parcels of available public land remaining after conveyance of selected lands to Native Corporations; and

                                        (iii) such waiver would result in a better land ownership pattern or improved land or resource management opportunity; or

                              (B) the remaining available public lands in the section have been selected and will be conveyed to another Native Corporation under this chapter.

                    (b) Allocation; reallocation considerations. The difference between twenty-two million acres and the total acreage selected by Village Corporations pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be allocated by the Secretary among the eleven Regional Corporations (which excludes the Regional Corporation for southeastern Alaska) on the basis of the number of Natives enrolled in each region. Each Regional Corporation shall, not later than October 1, 2005, reallocate such acreage among the Native villages within the region on an equitable basis after considering historic use, subsistence needs, and population. The action of the Secretary or the Corporation shall not be subject to judicial review. Each Village Corporation shall select the acreage allocated to it from the lands withdrawn by section 1610(a) of this title.

                    (c) Computation. The difference between thirty-eight million acres and the 22 million acres selected by Village Corporations pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be allocated among the eleven Regional Corporations (which excludes the Regional Corporation for southeastern Alaska) as follows:

                              (1) The number of acres each Regional Corporation is entitled to receive shall be computed (A) by determining on the basis of available data the percentage of all land in Alaska (excluding the southeastern region) that is within each of the eleven regions, (B) by applying that percentage to thirty-eight million acres reduced by the acreage in the southeastern region that is to be selected pursuant to section 1615 of this title, and (C) by deducting from the figure so computed the number of acres within that region selected pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

                              (2) In the event that the total number of acres selected within a region pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section exceeds the percentage of the reduced thirty-eight million acres allotted to that region pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section, that region shall not be entitled to receive any lands under this subsection (c). For each region so affected the difference between the acreage calculated pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section and the acreage selected pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be deducted from the acreage calculated under subsection (c)(1)(C) of this section for the remaining regions which will select lands under this subsection (c). The reductions shall be apportioned among the remaining regions so that each region's share of the total reduction bears the same proportion to the total reduction as the total land area in that region (as calculated pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(A) of this section) bears to the total land area in all of the regions whose allotments are to be reduced pursuant to this paragraph.

                              (3) Before the end of the fourth year after December 18, 1971, each Regional Corporation shall select the acreage allocated to it from the lands within the region withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(1) of this title, and from the lands within the region withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(3) of this title to the extent lands withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(1) of this title are not sufficient to satisfy its allocation: Provided, That within the lands withdrawn by section 1610(a)(1) of this title the Regional Corporation may select only even numbered townships in even numbered ranges, and only odd numbered townships in odd numbered ranges.

                              (4) Where the public lands consist only of the mineral estate, or portion thereof, which is reserved by the United States upon patent of the balance of the estate under one of the public land laws, other than this chapter, the Regional Corporations may select as follows:

                                       (A) Where such public lands were not withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(3) of this title, but are surrounded by or contiguous to lands withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(3) of this title, and filed upon for selection by a Regional Corporation, the Corporation may, upon request, have such public land included in its selection and considered by the Secretary to be withdrawn and properly selected.

                                       (B) Where such public lands were withdrawn pursuant to section 1610(a)(1) of this title and are required to be selected by paragraph (3) of this subsection, the Regional Corporation may, at its option, exclude such public lands from its selection.

                                       (C) Where such public lands are surrounded by or contiguous to subsurface lands obtained by a Regional Corporation under subsections (a) or (b), the Corporation may, upon request, have such public land conveyed to it.

                                       (D)(i) A Regional Corporation which elects to obtain public lands under subparagraph (C) shall be limited to a total of not more than 12,000 acres. Selection by a Regional Corporation of in lieu surface acres under subparagraph (E) pursuant to an election under subparagraph (C) shall not be made from any lands within a conservation system unit (as that term is defined by section 102(4) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3102(4)).

                                                 (ii) An election to obtain the public lands described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) shall include all available parcels within the township in which the public lands are located.

                                                 (iii) For purposes of this subparagraph and subparagraph (C), the term "Regional Corporation" shall refer only to Doyon, Limited.

                                       (E) Where the Regional Corporation elects to obtain such public lands under subparagraph (A), (B) or (C) of this paragraph, it may select, within ninety days of receipt of notice from the Secretary, the surface estate in an equal acreage from other public lands withdrawn by the Secretary for that purpose. Such selections shall be in units no smaller than a whole section, except where the remaining entitlement is less than six hundred and forty acres, or where an entire section is not available. Where possible, selections shall be of lands from which the subsurface estate was selected by that Regional Corporation pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this section or section 1613(h)(9) of this title, and, where possible, all selections made under this section shall be contiguous to lands already selected by the Regional Corporation or a Village Corporation. The Secretary is authorized, as necessary, to withdraw up to two times the acreage entitlement of the in lieu surface estate from vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved public lands from which the Regional Corporation may select such in lieu surface estate except that the Secretary may withdraw public lands which had been previously withdrawn pursuant to subsection 1616(d)(1) of this title.

                                        (F) No mineral estate or in lieu surface estate shall be available for selection within the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska or within Wildlife Refuges as the boundaries of those Refuges exist on December 18, 1971.

                              (5) Subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (4) shall apply, notwithstanding the failure of the Regional Corporation to have appealed the rejection of a selection during the conveyance of the relevant surface estate.

          (d) Village Corporation for Native village at Dutch Harbor; lands and improvements and patent for Village Corporation. To insure that the Village Corporation for the Native village at Dutch Harbor, if found eligible for land grants under this chapter, has a full opportunity to select lands within and near the Village, no federally owned lands, whether improved or not, shall be disposed of pursuant to the Federal surplus property disposal laws for a period of two years from December 18, 1971. The Village Corporation may select such lands and improvements and receive patent to them pursuant to section 1613(a) of this title.

          (e) Disputes over land selection rights and boundaries; arbitration. Any dispute over the land selection rights and the boundaries of Village Corporations shall be resolved by a board of arbitrators consisting of one person selected by each of the Village Corporations involved, and an additional one or two persons, whichever is needed to make an odd number of arbitrators, such additional person or persons to be selected by the arbitrators selected by the Village Corporations.

          (f)(1) The entitlements received by any Village Corporation under subsection (a) and the reallocations made to the Village Corporation under subsection (b) may be combined, at the discretion of the Secretary, without

                              (A) increasing or decreasing the combined entitlement; or

                              (B) increasing the limitation on selections of Wildlife Refuge System land, National Forest System land, or State-selected land under subsection (a).

                    (2) The combined entitlement under paragraph (1) may be fulfilled from selections under subsection (a) or (b) without regard to the entitlement specified in the selection application.

                    (3) All selections under a combined entitlement under paragraph (1) shall be adjudicated and conveyed in compliance with this Act.

                    (4) Except in a case in which a survey has been contracted for before the date of enactment of this subsection [12/10/04], the combination of entitlements under paragraph (1) shall not require separate patents or surveys, to distinguish between conveyances made to a Village Corporation under subsections (a) or (b) .


Other information:

Pub.L. 95-178, section 3(b), Nov. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1370, provided that:

If any provision of this Act or the applicability thereof is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Act, of section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976 (Public Law 94-204), as amended of the document referred to in section 12(b) thereof, and the duties and obligations of the Secretary of the Interior, the State of Alaska, and Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated, with respect thereto, shall not be affected thereby.

Availability of Property Account for Purposes Involving Public Sale of Property by Federal Agencies; Pub.L. 100-202, section 101(j) Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329-318, provided that:

In addition to the purposes for which it is now available, the property account established by section 12(b) of the Act of January 2, 1976, as amended, shall be available hereafter for purposes involving any public sale of property by any agency of the United States, including the Department of Defense, or any element thereof.

Authority to Convey Lands Under Application For Selection to Cook Inlet Region, Inc., for Reconveyance to Village Corporations; Tender of Conveyance of Described Land to Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Acceptance by Region, and Effect On Entitlement; Pub.L. 94-456, sections 4, 5, Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1935, provided that:

          Section 4. (a) The Secretary is authorized to convey lands under application for selection by Village Corporations within Cook Inlet Region to the Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated, for reconveyance by the Region to such Village Corporations. Such lands shall be conveyed as partial satisfaction of the statutory entitlement of such Village Corporations from lands withdrawn pursuant to section 11(a)(3) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (hereinafter, 'The Settlement Act'), and with the consent of the Region affected, as provided in section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976 (89 Stat. 1145, 1150), from lands outside the boundaries of Cook Inlet Region. This authority shall not be employed to increase or decrease the statutory entitlement of any Village Corporation or Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated. For the purposes of counting acres received in computing statutory entitlement, the Secretary shall count the number of acres or acre selections surrendered by Village Corporations in any exchange for any other lands or selections.

          (b) The Secretary shall not be required to survey any land conveyed pursuant to subsection 4(a) until the Village Corporation entitlement for all eligible Village Corporations has been conveyed. With respect to the conveyances made by the Secretary in the manner authorized by subsection 4(a), the Secretary shall survey the exterior boundaries of each entire area conveyed to Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated, pursuant to subsection 4(a) and monument to boundary lines at angle points and intervals of approximately two miles on straight lines. The Secretary shall not be required to provide ground survey or monumentation along meanderable water boundaries. Each township corner located within the exterior boundary of land conveyed shall be located and monumented. Any areas within such tracts that are to be reconveyed pursuant to section 14(C)(1) and (2) of the Settlement Act shall also be surveyed pursuant to 43 C.F.R. 2650.

          (c) conveyances made under the authority of subsection (a) of this section shall be considered conveyances under the Settlement Act and subject to the provisions of that Act, except as provided by this Act.

          Section 5. (a) The Secretary shall, within sixty days after the effective date of this Act, tender conveyance of the land described in subsection (b), subject to valid existing rights, to Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated. If the conveyance is accepted by the Region, such lands shall be considered 1,687.2 acre-equivalents within the meaning of paragraph I(C)(2)(e)(iii) of the Terms and Conditions as clarified August 31, 1976, and the Secretary's obligations under paragraph I(C) of those Terms and Conditions will be reduced accordingly. If, however, said section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976, does not take effect then the entitlement of Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated, under section 12(c) shall be reduced by 8,346 acres.

          (b) The land referred to in subsection (a) is described as a parcel of land located in section 7 of township 13 north, range 2 west of the Seward Meridian, Third Judicial District, State of Alaska; said parcel being all of Government lots 5 and 7 and that portion of the SE 1/4 NW 1/4 lying north of the north right-of-way line of the Glenn Highway, State of Alaska, Department of Highways Project No. F-042-1(2), and more particularly described as follows:

Commencing at the north quarter corner of said section 7;
thence south 00 degrees 12 minutes east, a distance of 1,320.0 feet, more or less, to the northeast corner of said southeast quarter northwest quarter;
thence west along the north line of southeast quarter northwest quarter a distance of 94.0 feet, more or less, to the north right-of-way line of the Glenn Highway and the true point of beginning;
thence south 53 degrees 16 minutes 15 seconds west along said north right-of-way line, a distance of 1,415.0 feet, more or less, to a point of curve being at right angles to centerline Station 216 plus 51.35;
thence continuing along said north right-of-way line along a curve to the right with a central angle of 12 degrees 51 minutes 34 seconds, having a radius of 5,595.58 feet for an arc distance of 105.0 feet, more or less, to a point of intersection of said north right-of-way line with the west line of said southeast quarter northwest quarter;
thence north 00 degrees 12 minutes west along said west line, being common with the east line of Government lot 5, a distance of 910.0 feet, more or less, to the northwest corner of said southeast quarter northwest quarter;
thence east along the north line of said southeast quarter northwest quarter, a distance of 1,225.0 feet, more or less, to the point of beginning; containing 56.24 acres, more or less.

Pub.L. 108-452, section 201, December 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3582, provided that:

Combined Entitlements

          (a) In general. – To make certain Federal land available for conveyance to a Native Corporation that has sufficient remaining entitlement, the Secretary may waive the filing deadlines under sections 12 and 16 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1611, 1615) if

                    (1) the Federal land is

                              (A) located in a township in which all or any part of a Native Village is located; or

                              (B) surrounded by

                                        (i) land that is owned by the Native Corporation; or

                                        (ii) selected land that will be conveyed to the Native Corporation;

                    (2) the Federal land –

                              (A) became available after the end of the original selection period;

                              (B)(i) was not selected by the Native Corporation because the Federal land was subject to a competing claim or entry; and

                                        (ii) the competing claim or entry has lapsed; or

                              (C) was previously an unavailable Federal enclave within a Native selection withdrawal area;

                    (3)(A) the Secretary provides the Native Corporation with a specific time period in which to decline the Federal land; and

                              (B) the Native Corporation does not submit to the Secretary written notice declining the land within the period established under subparagraph (A); and

                    (4) the State has voluntarily relinquished any valid State selection or top-filing for the Federal land.

          (b) Congressional Action. – Subsection (a) shall not apply to a parcel of Federal land if Congress has specifically made other provisions for disposition of the parcel of Federal land.

Pub.L. 108-452, section 209, December 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3586, provided that:

Settlement of Remaining Entitlement

          (a) In general. The Secretary may enter into a binding written agreement with a Native Corporation relating to –

                    (1) the land remaining to be conveyed to the Native Corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) from land selected as of September 1, 2004, or land made available under section 201, 206, or 208 of this Act;

                    (2) the priority in which the land is to be conveyed;

                    (3) the relinquishment of selections which are not to be conveyed;

                    (4) the selection entitlement to which selections are to be charged, regardless of the entitlement under which originally selected;

                    (5) the survey of the exterior boundaries of the land to be conveyed;

                    (6) the additional survey to be performed under section 14(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1613(c)); and

                    (7) the resolution of conflicts with Native allotment applications.

          (b) Requirements. An agreement under subsection (a) (1) shall be authorized by a resolution of the Native Corporation entering into the agreement; and (2) shall include a statement that the entitlement of the Native Corporation shall be considered complete on execution of the agreement.

          (c) Correction of Conveyance Documents. – In an agreement under subsection (a), the Secretary and the Native Corporation may agree to make technical corrections to the legal description in the conveyance documents for easements previously reserved so that the easements provide the access intended by the original reservation.

          (d) Consultation. – Before entering into an agreement under subsection (a), the Secretary shall ensure that the concerns or issues identified by the State and all Federal agencies potentially affected by the agreement are given consideration.

          (e) Errors. – Any Native Corporation entering into an agreement under subsection (a) shall receive any gain or bear any loss resulting from errors in prior surveys, protraction diagrams, or computation of the ownership of third parties on any land conveyed.

          (f) Effect. –

                    (1) In general. An agreement under subsection (a) shall not –

                              (A) affect the obligations of Native Corporations under prior agreements; or

                              (B) result in a Native Corporation relinquishing valid selections of land in order to qualify for the withdrawal of other tracts of land.

                    (2) Effect on Subsurface Rights. – The terms of an agreement entered into under subsection (a) shall be binding on a Regional Corporation with respect to the location and quantity of subsurface rights of the Regional Corporation under section 14(f) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1613(f)).

                    (3) Effect on Entitlement . – Nothing in this section increases the entitlement provided to any Native Corporation under –

                              (A) the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); or

                              (B) the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.).

          (g) Boundaries of a Native Village. – An agreement entered into under subsection (a) may not define the boundaries of a Native Village.

          (h) Availability of Agreements. – An agreement entered into under subsection (a) shall be available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the Department of the Interior.

Alaska Land Transfer Acceleration Act; Pub.L. 108-452, section 401, December 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3591 provided that:

Sec. 401. Deadline for Establishment of Regional Plans

          (a) In General. – Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [December 10, 2004], the Secretary, in coordination and consultation with Native Corporations, other Federal land management agencies, and the State, shall update and revise the 12 preliminary Regional Conveyance and Survey Plans.

          (b) Inclusions. –The updated and revised plans under subsection (a) shall identify any conflicts to be resolved and recommend any actions that should be taken to facilitate the finalization of land conveyances in a region by 2009.

Alaska Land Transfer Acceleration Act; Pub.L. 108-452, section 402, December 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3591 provided that:

Sec. 402. Deadline for Establishment of Village Plans

          Not later than 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in coordination with affected Federal land management agencies, the State, and Village Corporations, shall complete a final closure plan with respect to the entitlements for each Village Corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

Alaska Land Transfer Acceleration Act; Pub.L. 108-452, section 403, December 10, 2004, 118 Stat. 3591 provided that:

Sec. 403. Final Prioritization of Ancsa Selections

          (a) In General.– Any Native Corporation that has not received its full entitlement or entered into a voluntary, negotiated settlement of final entitlement shall submit the final, irrevocable priorities of the Native Corporation–

                    (1) in the case of a Village, Group, or Urban Corporation entitlement, not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act; and

                    (2) in the case of a Regional Corporation entitlement, not later than 42 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

          (b) Acreage Limitations.– The priorities submitted under subsection (a) shall not exceed land that is the greater of–

                    (1) not more than 125 percent of the remaining entitlement; or

                    (2) not more than 640 acres in excess of the remaining entitlement.

          (c) Corrections.–

                    (1) In General.– Except as provided in paragraph (2), the priorities submitted under subsection (a) may not be revoked, rescinded, or modified by the Native Corporation.

                    (2) Technical Corrections.– Not later than 90 days after the date of receipt of a notification by the Secretary that there appears to be a technical error in the priorities, the Native Corporation may correct the technical error in accordance with any recommendations of, and in a manner prescribed by or acceptable to, the Secretary.

          (D) Relinquishment.–

                    (1) In General.– As of the date on which the Native Corporation submits its final priorities under subsection (a)–

                              (A) any unprioritized, remaining selections of the Native Corporation–

                                        (i) are relinquished, but any part of the selections may be reinstated for the purpose of correcting a technical error; and

                                        (ii) have no further segregative effect; and

                              (B) all withdrawals under sections 11 and 16 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1610, 1615) under the relinquished selections are terminated.

                    (2) Records.– All relinquishments under paragraph (1) shall be included in Bureau of Land Management land records.

          (e) Failure to Submit Priorities.– If a Native Corporation fails to submit priorities by the deadline specified in subsection (a)–

                    (1) with respect to a Native Corporation that has priorities on file with the Secretary, the Secretary–

                              (A) shall convey to the Native Corporation the remaining entitlement of the Native Corporation, as determined based on the most recent priorities of the Native Corporation on file with the Secretary and in accordance with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); and

                              (B) may reject any selections not needed to fulfill the entitlement; or

                    (2) with respect to a Native Corporation that does not have priorities on file with the Secretary, the Secretary shall satisfy the entitlement by conveying land selected by the Secretary, in consultation with the appropriate Native Corporation, the Federal land managing agency with administrative jurisdiction over the land to be conveyed, and the State, that, to the maximum extent practicable, is–

                              (A) compact;

                              (B) contiguous to land previously conveyed to the Native Corporation; and

                              (C) consistent with the applicable preliminary Regional Conveyance and Survey Plan referred to in section 401.

          (f) Plan of Conveyance.–

                    (1) In General.– The Secretary shall–

                              (A) identify any Native Corporation that does not have sufficient priorities on file;

                              (B) develop priorities for the Native Corporation in accordance with subsection (e); and (C) provide to the Native Corporation a plan of conveyance based on the priorities developed under subparagraph (B).

                    (2) Finalized Selections.– Not later than 180 days after the date on which the Secretary provides a plan of conveyance to the affected Village, Group, or Urban Corporation and the Regional Corporation, the Regional Corporation shall finalize any Regional selections that are in conflict with land selected by the Village, Group, or Urban Corporation that has not been prioritized by the deadline under subsection (a)(1).

          (g) Dissolved or Lapsed Corporations.–

                    (1)(A) If a Native Corporation is lapsed or dissolved at the time final priorities are required to be filed under this section and does not have priorities on file with the Secretary, the Secretary shall establish a deadline for the filing of priorities that shall be one year from the provisions of notice of the deadline.

                              (B) To fulfill the notice requirement under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall–

                                        (i) publish notice of the deadline to a lapsed or dissolved Native Corporation in a newspaper of general circulation nearest the locality where the affected land is located; and

                                        (ii) seek to notify in writing the last known shareholders of the lapsed or dissolved corporation.

                              (C) If a Native Corporation does not file priorities with the Secretary before the deadline set pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall notify Congress.

                    (2) If a Native Corporation with final priorities on file with the Bureau of Land Management is lapsed or dissolved, the United States–

                              (A) shall continue to administer the prioritized selected land under applicable law; but

                              (B) may reject any selections not needed to fulfill the lapsed or dissolved Native Corporation's entitlement.



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