Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

Conveyance of lands

43 U.S.C. § 1613


          (a) Native villages listed in section 1610 and qualified for land benefits; patents for surface estates; issuance; acreage. Immediately after selection by a Village Corporation for a Native village listed in section 1610 of this title which the Secretary finds is qualified for land benefits under this chapter, the Secretary shall issue to the Village Corporation a patent to the surface estate in the number of acres shown in the following table:

If the Village had on the 1970 census enumeration date a Native population between
                                     It shall be entitled to a patent to an area of public lands equal to


25 and 99 ............................. 69,120 acres.
100 and 199 ........................... 92,160 acres.
200 and 399 ........................... 115,200 acres.
400 and 599 ........................... 138,240 acres.
600 or more ........................... 161,280 acres.

The lands patented shall be those selected by the Village Corporation pursuant to section 1611(a) of this title. In addition, the Secretary shall issue to the Village Corporation a patent to the surface estate in the lands selected pursuant to section 1611(b) of this title.

          (b) Native villages listed in section 1615 and qualified for land benefits; patents for surface estates; issuance; acreage. Immediately after selection by any Village Corporation for a Native village listed in section 1615 of this title which the Secretary finds is qualified for land benefits under this chapter, the Secretary shall issue to the Village Corporation a patent to the surface estate to 23,040 acres. The lands patented shall be the lands within the township or townships that enclose the Native village, and any additional lands selected by the Village Corporation from the surrounding townships withdrawn for the Native village by section 1615(a) of this title.

          (c) Patent requirements; order of conveyance; vesting date; advisory and appellate functions of Regional Corporations on sales, leases, or other transactions prior to final commitment. Each patent issued pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be subject to the requirements of this subsection. Upon receipt of a patent or patents:

                    (1) the Village Corporation shall first convey to any Native or non-Native occupant, without consideration, title to the surface estate in the tract occupied as of December 18, 1971 (except that occupancy of tracts located in the Pribilof Islands shall be determined as of the date of initial conveyance of such tracts to the appropriate Village Corporation) as a primary place of residence, or as a primary place of business, or as a subsistence campsite, or as headquarters for reindeer husbandry;

                    (2) the Village Corporation shall then convey to the occupant, either without consideration or upon payment of an amount not in excess of fair market value, determined as of the date of initial occupancy and without regard to any improvements thereon, title to the surface estate in any tract occupied as of December 18, 1971, by a nonprofit organization;

                    (3) the Village Corporation shall then convey to any Municipal Corporation in the Native village or to the State in trust for any Municipal Corporation established in the Native village in the future, title to the remaining surface estate of the improved land on which the Native village is located and as much additional land as is necessary for community expansion, and appropriate rights-of-way for public use, and other foreseeable community needs: Provided, That the amount of lands to be transferred to the Municipal Corporation or in trust shall be no less than 1,280 acres unless the Village Corporation and the Municipal Corporation or the State in trust can agree in writing on an amount which is less than one thousand two hundred and eighty acres: Provided further, That any net revenues derived from the sale of surface resources harvested or extracted from lands reconveyed pursuant to this subsection shall be paid to the Village Corporation by the Municipal Corporation or the State in trust: Provided, however, That the word "sale", as used in the preceding sentence, shall not include the utilization of surface resources for governmental purposes by the Municipal Corporation or the State in trust, nor shall it include the issuance of free use permits or other authorization for such purposes;

                    (4) the Village Corporation shall convey to the Federal Government, State, or to the appropriate Municipal Corporation, title to the surface estate for airport sites, airway beacons, and other navigation aids as such existed on December 18, 1971, together with such additional acreage and/or easements as are necessary to provide related governmental services and to insure safe approaches to airport runways as such airport sites, runways, and other facilities existed as of December 18, 1971; and

                    (5) for a period of ten years after December 18, 1971, the Regional Corporation shall be afforded the opportunity to review and render advice to the Village Corporations on all land sales, leases or other transactions prior to any final commitment.

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the purpose of providing technical assistance to Village Corporations established pursuant to this chapter in order that they may fulfill the reconveyance requirements of this subsection. The Secretary may make funds available as grants to ANCSA or nonprofit corporations that maintain in-house land planning and management capabilities.

          (d) Rule of approximation with respect to acreage limitations. (1) The Secretary may apply the rule of approximation with respect to the acreage limitations contained in this section.

                    (2)For purposes of applying the rule of approximation under this section, the largest legal subdivision that may be conveyed in excess of the applicable acreage limitation specified in subsection (a) shall be –

                              (A) in the case of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management that is not within a conservation system unit, the next whole section;

                              (B) in the case of land managed by an agency other than the Bureau of Land Management that is not within a conservation system unit, the next quarter-section and only with concurrence of the agency; or

                              (C) in the case of land within a conservation system unit, a quarter of a quarter section, and if the land is managed by an agency other than the Bureau of Land Management, only with the concurrence of that agency.

                    (3)(A) If the Secretary determines pursuant to paragraph (2) that an entitlement of a Village Corporation (other than a Village Corporation listed in section 16(a)) or a Regional Corporation may be fulfilled by conveying a specific tract of surveyed or unsurveyed land, the Secretary and the affected Village or Regional Corporation may enter into an agreement providing that all land entitlements under this Act shall be deemed satisfied by conveyance of the specifically identified and agreed upon tract of land.

                              (B) An agreement entered into under subparagraph (A) shall be –

                                        (i) in writing;

                                        (ii) executed by the Secretary and the Village or Regional Corporation; and

                                        (iii) authorized by a corporate resolution adopted by the affected Village or Regional Corporation.

                              (C) After execution of an agreement under subparagraph (A) and conveyance of the agreed upon tract to the affected Village or Regional Corporation

                                        (i) the Secretary shall not make any further adjustments to calculations relating to acreage entitlements of the Village or Regional Corporation; and

                                        (ii) the Village or Regional Corporation shall not be entitled to any further conveyances under this Act.

                              (D) A Village or Regional Corporation shall not be eligible to receive land under subparagraph (A) if the Village or Regional Corporation has received the full land entitlement of the Village or Regional Corporation through.–

                                        (i) an actual conveyance of land; or

                                        (ii) a previous agreement.

                              (E) If the calculations of the Secretary indicate that the final survey boundaries for any Village or Regional Corporation entitlement for which an agreement has not been entered into under this paragraph include acreage in a quantity that exceeds the statutory entitlement of the corporation by 1.10 of 1 percent or less, but not more than the applicable acreage limitation specified in paragraph (2).

                                        (i) the entitlement shall be considered satisfied by the conveyance of the surveyed area; and

                                        (i) the Secretary shall not change the survey for the sole purpose of an acreage adjustment.

                              (F) This paragraph does not limit or otherwise affect the ability of a Village or Regional Corporation to enter into land exchanges with the United States.

          (e) Surface and/or subsurface estates to Regional Corporations. Immediately after selection by a Regional Corporation, the Secretary shall convey to the Regional Corporation title to the surface and/or the subsurface estates, as is appropriate, in the lands selected.

          (f) Patents to Village Corporations for surface estates and to Regional Corporations for subsurface estates; excepted lands; mineral rights, consent of Village Corporations. When the Secretary issues a patent to a Village Corporation for the surface estate in lands pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section, he shall issue to the Regional Corporation for the region in which the lands are located a patent to the subsurface estate in such lands, except lands located in the National Wildlife Refuge System and lands withdrawn or reserved for national defense purposes, including Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 4, for which in lieu rights are provided for in section 1611(a)(1) of this title: Provided, That the right to explore, develop, or remove minerals from the subsurface estate in the lands within the boundaries of any Native village shall be subject to the consent of the Village Corporation.

          (g) Valid existing rights preserved; saving provisions in patents; patentee rights; administration; proportionate rights of patentee. All conveyances made pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to valid existing rights. Where, prior to patent of any land or minerals under this chapter, a lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement (including a lease issued under section 6(g) of the Alaska Statehood Act) has been issued for the surface or minerals covered under such patent, the patent shall contain provisions making it subject to the lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement, and the right of the lessee, contractee, permittee, or grantee to the complete enjoyment of all rights, privileges, and benefits thereby granted to him. Upon issuance of the patent, the patentee shall succeed and become entitled to any and all interests of the State or the United States as lessor, contractor, permitter, or grantor, in any such leases, contracts, permits, rights-of-way, or easements covering the estate patented, and a lease issued under section 6(g) of the Alaska Statehood Act shall be treated for all purposes as though the patent had been issued to the State. The administration of such lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement shall continue to be by the State or the United States, unless the agency responsible for administration waives administration. In the event that the patent does not cover all of the land embraced within any such lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement, the patentee shall only be entitled to the proportionate amount of the revenues reserved under such lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement by the State or the United States which results from multiplying the total of such revenues by a fraction in which the numerator is the acreage of such lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement which is included in the patent and the denominator is the total acreage contained in such lease, contract, permit, right-of-way, or easement.

          (h) Authorization for land conveyances; surface and subsurface estates. The Secretary is authorized to withdraw and convey 2 million acres of unreserved and unappropriated public lands located outside the areas withdrawn by sections 1610 and 1615 of this title, and as follows:

                    (1) (A)The Secretary may withdraw and convey to the appropriate Regional Corporation fee title to existing cemetery sites and historical places.

                             (B) Only title to the surface estate shall be conveyed for lands located in a Wildlife Refuge, when the cemetery or historical site is greater than 640 acres.

                             (C)(i) Notwithstanding acreage allocations made before the date of enactment of this subparagraph [December 10, 2004], the Secretary may convey any cemetery site or historical place –

                                                 (I) with respect to which there is an application on record with the Secretary on the date of enactment of this subparagraph [December 10, 2004]; and

                                                 (II) that is eligible for conveyance.

                                      (ii) Clause (i) shall also apply to any of the 188 closed applications that are determined to be eligible and reinstated under Secretarial Order No. 3220 dated January 5, 2001.

                             (D) No applications submitted for the conveyance of land under subparagraph (A) that were closed before the date of enactment of this paragraph [December 10, 2004] may be reinstated other than those specified in subparagraph (C)(ii).

                             (E) After the date of enactment of this paragraph [December 10, 2004] –

                                       (i) no application may be filed for the conveyance of land under subparagraph (A); and

                                       (ii) no pending application may be amended, except as necessary to conform the application to the description in the certification of eligibility of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

                             (F) Unless, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this paragraph [December 10, 2004], a Regional Corporation that has filed an application for a historic place submits to the Secretary a statement on the significance of and the location of the historic place –

                                       (i) the application shall not be valid; and

                                       (ii) the Secretary shall reject the application.

                             (G) The State and the head of the Federal agency with administrative jurisdiction over the land shall have 30 days to provide written comments to the Secretary

                                       (i) identifying any third party interest to which a conveyance under subparagraph (A) should be made subject; and

                                       (i) describing any easements recommended for reservation.

                    (2) The Secretary may withdraw and convey to a Native group that does not qualify as a Native village, if it incorporates under the laws of Alaska, title to the surface estate in not more than 23,040 acres surrounding the Native group's locality. The subsurface estate in such land shall be conveyed to the appropriate Regional Corporation unless the lands are located in a Wildlife Refuge;

                    (3) The Secretary may withdraw and convey to the Natives residing in Sitka, Kenai, Juneau, and Kodiak, if they incorporate under the laws of Alaska, the surface estate of lands of a similar character in not more than 23,040 acres of land, which shall be located in reasonable proximity to the municipalities. The subsurface estate in such lands shall be conveyed to the appropriate Regional Corporation unless the lands are located in a Wildlife Refuge;

                    (4) The Secretary shall withdraw only such lands surrounding the Villages and municipalities as are necessary to permit the conveyance authorized by paragraphs (2) and (3) to be planned and effected;

                    (5) The Secretary may convey to a Native, upon application within two years from December 18, 1971, the surface estate in not to exceed 160 acres of land occupied by the Native as a primary place of residence on August 31, 1971. Determination of occupancy shall be made by the Secretary, whose decision shall be final. The subsurface estate in such lands shall be conveyed to the appropriate Regional Corporations unless the lands are located in a Wildlife Refuge;

                    (6) The Secretary shall charge against the 2 million acres authorized to be conveyed by this section all allotments approved pursuant to section 1617 of this title during the four years following December 18, 1971. Any minerals reserved by the United States pursuant to the Act of March 8, 1922 (42 Stat. 415), as amended, in a Native Allotment approved pursuant to section 1617 of this title during the period December 18, 1971, through December 18, 1975, shall be conveyed to the appropriate Regional Corporation, unless such lands are located in a Wildlife Refuge or in the Lake Clark areas as provided in section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976 (Public Law 94-204), as amended.

                    (7) The Secretary may withdraw and convey lands out of the National Wildlife Refuge System and out of the National Forests, for the purposes set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (5) of this subsection; and

                    (8)(A) Any portion of the 2 million acres not conveyed by this subsection shall be allocated and conveyed to the Regional Corporations on the basis of population.

                              (B) Such allocation as the Regional Corporation for southeastern Alaska shall receive under this paragraph shall be selected and conveyed from lands that were withdrawn by sections 1615(a) and 1615(d) of this title and not selected by the Village Corporations in southeastern Alaska; except lands on Admiralty Island in the Angoon withdrawal area and, without the consent of the Governor of the State of Alaska or his delegate, lands in the Saxman and Yakutat withdrawal areas are not available for selection or conveyance under this paragraph.

                              (C) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, as soon as practicable after enactment of this subparagraph [December 10, 2004], the Secretary shall allocate to a Regional Corporation eligible for an allocation under subparagraph (A) the Regional Corporation's share of 200,000 acres from lands withdrawn under this subsection, to be credited against acreage to be allocated to the Regional Corporation under subparagraph (A).

                                       (ii) Clause (i) shall apply to Chugach Alaska Corporation pursuant to the terms of the 1982 CNI Settlement Agreement.

                                       (iii) With respect to Cook Inlet Region, Inc., or Koniag, Inc. —

                                                 (I) clause (i) shall not apply; and

                                                 (II) the portion of the 200,000 acres allocated to Cook Inlet Region Inc. or Koniag, Inc., shall be retained by the United States.

                                       (iv) This subparagraph shall not affect any prior agreement entered into by a Regional Corporation other than the agreements specifically referred to in this subparagraph.

                    (9) Where the Regional Corporation is precluded from receiving the subsurface estate in lands selected and conveyed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (5), or the retained mineral estate, if any, pursuant to paragraph (6), it may select the subsurface estate in an equal acreage from other lands withdrawn for such selection by the Secretary, or, as to Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated, from those areas designated for in lieu selection in paragraph I.B.(2) of the document identified in section 12(b) of Public Law 94-204. Selections made under this paragraph shall be contiguous and in reasonably compact tracts except as separated by unavailable lands, and shall be in whole sections, except where the remaining entitlement is less than six hundred and forty acres. The Secretary is authorized to withdraw, up to two times the Corporation's entitlement, from vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved public lands, including lands solely withdrawn pursuant to section 1616(d)(1) of this title, and the Regional Corporation shall select such entitlement of subsurface estate from such withdrawn lands within ninety days of receipt of notification from the Secretary.

                    (10)(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1621(h) of this title the Secretary, upon determining that specific lands are available for withdrawal and possible conveyance under this subsection, may withdraw such lands for selection by and conveyance to an appropriate applicant and such withdrawal shall remain until revoked by the Secretary.

                             (B) If a Regional Corporation does not have enough valid selections on file to fulfill the remaining entitlement of the Regional Corporation under paragraph (8), the Secretary may use the withdrawal authority under subparagraph (A) to withdraw land that is vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved on the date of enactment of this subparagraph [December 10, 2004] for selection by, and conveyance to, the Regional Corporation to fulfill the entitlement.

                    (11) For purposes set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) of this subsection, the term Wildlife Refuges refers to Wildlife Refuges as the boundaries of those refuges exist on December 18, 1971.


Other information:

Claim to Subsurface Estate of Lands in Wildlife Refuge; Entitlement to In Lieu Surface or Subsurface Estate; Time Limitation; Waiver; Pub.L. 96-487, section 1406(e), December 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 2371 provided that:

          Any Regional Corporation which asserts a claim with the Secretary to the subsurface estate of lands selectable under section 14(h) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act which are in a Wildlife Refuge shall not be entitled to any in lieu surface or subsurface estate provided by subsections 12(c)(4) and 14(h)(9) of such Act. Any such claim must be asserted within one hundred and eighty days after the date of enactment of this Act. Failure to assert such claim within the one-hundred-and-eighty-day period shall constitute a waiver of any right to such subsurface estate in a Wildlife Refuge as the boundaries of the refuge existed on the date of enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.



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