Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3090 (rh) To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to restore certain lands to the Elim Native Corporation, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...

H.R. 3090 (rh) To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to restore certain lands to the Elim Native Corporation, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 3090

  To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to restore certain 
     lands to the Elim Native Corporation, and for other purposes.



                           November 10, 1999


                           November 19, 1999

    Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural 


                                 AN ACT

  To amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to restore certain 
     lands to the Elim Native Corporation, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    Section 19 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 
1618) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(c)(1) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
            ``(A) approximately 350,000 acres of land were withdrawn by 
        Executive orders in 1917 for the use of the United States 
        Bureau of Education and of the Natives of Indigenous Alaskan 
            ``(B) these lands comprised the Norton Bay Reservation 
        (later referred to as Norton Bay Native Reserve) and were set 
        aside for the benefit of the Native inhabitants of the Eskimo 
        Village of Elim, Alaska;
          ``(C) in 1929, 50,000 acres of land were deleted from the 
        Norton Bay Reservation by Executive order.
            ``(D) the lands were deleted from the Reservation for the 
        benefit of others;
            ``(E) the deleted lands were not available to the Native 
        inhabitants of Elim under subsection (b) of this section at the 
        time of passage of this Act;
            ``(F) the deletion of these lands has been and continues to 
        be a source of deep concern to the indigenous people of Elim; 
            ``(G) until this matter is dealt with, it will continue to 
        be a source of great frustration and sense of loss among the 
        shareholders of the Elim Native Corporation and their 
    ``(2) Withdrawal.--The lands depicted and designated `Withdrawal 
Area' on the map dated October 19, 1999, along with their legal 
descriptions, on file with the Bureau of Land Management, and entitled 
`Land Withdrawal Elim Native Corporation', are hereby withdrawn, 
subject to valid existing rights, from all forms of appropriation or 
disposition under the public land laws, including the mining and 
mineral leasing laws, for a period of 2 years from the date of the 
enactment of this subsection, for selection by the Elim Native 
Corporation (hereinafter referred to as `Elim').
    ``(3) Authority To Select and Convey.--Elim is authorized to select 
in accordance with the rules set out in this paragraph, 50,000 acres of 
land (hereinafter referred to as `Conveyance Lands') within the 
boundary of the Withdrawal Area described in paragraph (2). The 
Secretary is authorized and directed to convey to Elim in fee the 
surface and subsurface estates to 50,000 acres of valid selections in 
the Withdrawal Area, subject to the covenants, reservations, terms and 
conditions and other provisions of this subsection.
            ``(A) Elim shall have 2 years from the date of the 
        enactment of this subsection in which to file its selection of 
        no more than 60,000 acres of land from the area described in 
        paragraph (2). The selection application shall be filed with 
        the Bureau of Land Management, Alaska State Office, shall 
        describe a single tract adjacent to United States Survey No. 
        2548, Alaska, and shall be reasonably compact, contiguous, and 
        in whole sections except when separated by unavailable land or 
        when the remaining entitlement is less than a whole section. 
        Elim shall prioritize its selections made pursuant to this 
        subsection at the time such selections are filed, and such 
        prioritization shall be irrevocable. Any lands selected shall 
        remain withdrawn until conveyed or full entitlement has been 
            ``(B) The selection filed by Elim pursuant to this 
        subsection shall be subject to valid existing rights and may 
        not supercede prior selections of the State of Alaska, any 
        Native corporation, or valid entries of any private individual 
        unless such selection or entry is relinquished, rejected, or 
        abandoned prior to conveyance to Elim.
            ``(C) Upon receipt of the Conveyance Lands, Elim shall have 
        all legal rights and privileges as landowner, subject only to 
        the covenants, reservations, terms and conditions specified in 
        this subsection.
            ``(D) Selection by Elim of lands under this subsection and 
        final conveyance of those lands to Elim shall constitute full 
        satisfaction of any claim of entitlement of Elim with respect 
        to its land entitlement.
    ``(4) Covenants, Reservations, Terms, and Conditions.--The 
covenants, reservations, terms and conditions set forth in this 
paragraph and in paragraphs (5) and (6) with respect to the Conveyance 
Lands shall run with the land and shall be incorporated into the 
interim conveyance, if any, and patent conveying the lands to Elim.
            ``(A) Consistent with paragraph (3)(C) and subject to the 
        applicable covenants, reservations, terms, and conditions 
        contained in this paragraph and paragraphs (5) and (6), Elim 
        shall have all rights to the timber resources of the Conveyance 
        Lands for any use including, but not limited to, construction 
        of homes, cabins, for firewood and other domestic uses on any 
        Elim lands: Provided, That cutting and removal of Merchantable 
        Timber from the Conveyance Lands for sale shall not be 
        permitted: Provided further, That Elim shall not construct 
        roads and related infrastructure for the support of such 
        cutting and removal of timber for sale or permit others to do 
        so. 'Merchantable Timber' means timber that can be harvested 
        and marketed by a prudent operator.
            ``(B) Public Land Order 5563 of December 16, 1975, which 
        made hot or medicinal springs available to other Native 
        Corporations for selection and conveyance, is hereby modified 
        to the extent necessary to permit the selection by Elim of the 
        lands heretofore encompassed in any withdrawal of hot or 
        medicinal springs and is withdrawn pursuant to this subsection. 
        The Secretary is authorized and directed to convey such 
        selections of hot or medicinal springs (hereinafter referred to 
        as `hot springs') subject to applicable covenants, 
        reservations, terms and conditions contained in paragraphs (5) 
        and (6).
            ``(C) Should Elim select and have conveyed to it lands 
        encompassing portions of the Tubutulik River or Clear Creek, or 
        both, Elim shall not permit surface occupancy or knowingly 
        permit any other activity on those portions of land lying 
        within the bed of or within 300 feet of the ordinary high 
        waterline of either or both of these water courses for purposes 
        associated with mineral or other development or activity if 
        they would cause or are likely to cause erosion or siltation of 
        either water course to an extent that would significantly 
        adversely impact water quality or fish habitat.
    ``(5) Rights Retained by the United States.--With respect to 
conveyances authorized in paragraph (3), the following rights are 
retained by the United States:
            ``(A) To enter upon the conveyance lands, after providing 
        reasonable advance notice in writing to Elim and after 
        providing Elim with an opportunity to have a representative 
        present upon such entry, in order to achieve the purpose and 
        enforce the terms of this paragraph and paragraphs (4) and (6).
            ``(B) To have, in addition to such rights held by Elim, all 
        rights and remedies available against persons, jointly or 
        severally, who cut or remove Merchantable Timber for sale.
            ``(C) In cooperation with Elim, the right, but not the 
        obligation, to reforest in the event previously existing 
        Merchantable Timber is destroyed by fire, wind, insects, 
        disease, or other similar manmade or natural occurrence 
        (excluding manmade occurrences resulting from the exercise by 
        Elim of its lawful rights to use the Conveyance Lands).
            ``(D) The right of ingress and egress over easements under 
        section 17(b) for the public to visit, for noncommercial 
        purposes, hot springs located on the Conveyance Lands and to 
        use any part of the hot springs that is not commercially 
            ``(E) The right to enter upon the lands containing hot 
        springs for the purpose of conducting scientific research on 
        such hot springs and to use the results of such research 
        without compensation to Elim. Elim shall have an equal right to 
        conduct research on the hot springs and to use the results of 
        such research without compensation to the United States.
            ``(F) A covenant that commercial development of the hot 
        springs by Elim or its successors, assigns, or grantees shall 
        include the right to develop only a maximum of 15 percent of 
        the hot springs and any land within \1/4\ mile of the hot 
        springs. Such commercial development shall not alter the 
        natural hydrologic or thermal system associated with the hot 
        springs. Not less than 85 percent of the lands within \1/4\ 
        mile of the hot springs shall be left in their natural state.
            ``(G) The right to exercise prosecutorial discretion in the 
        enforcement of any covenant, reservation, term or condition 
        shall not waive the right to enforce any covenant, reservation, 
        term or condition.
    ``(6) General.--
            ``(A) Memorandum of understanding.--The Secretary and Elim 
        shall, acting in good faith, enter into a Memorandum of 
        Understanding (hereinafter referred to as the `MOU') to 
        implement the provisions of this subsection. The MOU shall 
        include among its provisions reasonable measures to protect 
        plants and animals in the hot springs on the Conveyance Lands 
        and on the land within \1/4\ mile of the hot springs. The 
        parties shall agree to meet periodically to review the matters 
        contained in the MOU and to exercise their right to amend, 
        replace, or extend the MOU. Such reviews shall include the 
        authority to relocate any of the easements set forth in 
        subparagraph (D) if the parties deem it advisable.
            ``(B) Incorporation of terms.--Elim shall incorporate the 
        covenants, reservations, terms and conditions, in this 
        subsection in any deed or other legal instrument by which it 
        divests itself of any interest in all or a portion of the 
        Conveyance Lands, including without limitation, a leasehold 
            ``(C) Section 17(b) easements.--The Bureau of Land 
        Management, in consultation with Elim, shall reserve in the 
        conveyance to Elim easements to the United States pursuant to 
        subsection 17(b) that are not in conflict with other easements 
        specified in this paragraph.
            ``(D) Other easements.--The Bureau of Land Management, in 
        consultation with Elim, shall reserve easements which shall 
        include the right of the public to enter upon and travel along 
        the Tubutulik River and Clear Creek within the Conveyance 
        Lands. Such easements shall also include easements for trails 
        confined to foot travel along, and which may be established 
        along each bank of, the Tubutulik River and Clear Creek. Such 
        trails shall be 25 feet wide and upland of the ordinary high 
        waterline of the water courses. The trails may deviate from the 
        banks as necessary to go around man-made or natural 
        obstructions or to portage around hazardous stretches of water. 
        The easements shall also include one-acre sites along the water 
        courses at reasonable intervals, selected in consultation with 
        Elim, which may be used to launch or take out water craft from 
        the water courses and to camp in non-permanent structures for a 
        period not to exceed 24 hours without the consent of Elim.
            ``(E) Inholders.--The owners of lands held within the 
        exterior boundaries of lands conveyed to Elim shall have all 
        rights of ingress and egress to be vested in the inholder and 
        the inholder's agents, employees, co-venturers, licensees, 
        subsequent grantees, or invitees, and such easements shall be 
        reserved in the conveyance to Elim. The inholder may not 
        exercise the right of ingress and egress in a manner that may 
        result in substantial damage to the surface of the lands or 
        make any permanent improvements on Conveyance Lands without the 
        prior consent of Elim.
            ``(F) Iditarod trail.--The Bureau of Land Management may 
        reserve an easement for the Iditarod National Historic Trail in 
        the conveyance to Elim.
    ``(7) Implementation.--There are authorized to be appropriated such 
sums as may be necessary to implement this subsection.''.


    Section 7(h)(1)(C)(iii) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
(43 U.S.C. 1606(h)(1)(C)(iii)) is amended by inserting before the 
period at the end the following: ``, notwithstanding an adoption, 
relinquishment, or termination of parental rights that may have altered 
or severed the legal relationship between the gift donor and 


    Section 3(t)(2) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 
U.S.C. 1602(t)(2)) is amended by striking ``sole'' and all that follows 
through ``Stock'' and inserting ``benefit of shareholders, Natives, and 
descendants of Natives,''.

            Passed the House of Representatives November 9, 1999.


                                                  JEFF TRANDAH,


Pages: 1

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