(a) Availability of lands among rail properties
Lands among the rail properties of the Alaska Railroad shall not be—
(1) available for selection under section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1611, note), subject to the exception contained in section 12(b)(8)(i)(D) of such Act, as amended by subsection (d)(5) of this section;
(2) available for conveyance under section 1425 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (Public Law 96–487; 94 Stat. 2515);
(3) available for conveyance to Chugach Natives, Inc., under sections 1429 or 1430 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (Public Law 96–487; 94 Stat. 2531) or under sections 12(c) or 14(h)(8) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1611(c) and 1613(h)(8), respectively); or
(4) available under any law or regulation for entry, location, or for exchange by the United States, or for the initiation of a claim or selection by any party other than the State or other transferee under this chapter, except that this paragraph shall not prevent a conveyance pursuant to section 12(b)(8)(i)(D) of the Act of January 2, 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1611, note), as amended by subsection (d)(5) of this section.
(b) Review and settlement of claims; administrative adjudication; management of lands; procedures applicable
(A) During the ten months following January 14, 1983, so far as practicable consistent with the priority of preparing the report required pursuant to section 1204(a) of this title, the Secretary of the Interior, Village Corporations with claims of valid existing rights, and the State shall review and make a good faith effort to settle as many of the claims as possible. Any agreement to settle such claims shall take effect and bind the United States, the State, and the Village Corporation only as of the date of transfer of the railroad.
(B) At the conclusion of the review and settlement process provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare a report identifying lands to be conveyed in accordance with settlement agreements under this chapter or applicable law. Such settlement shall not give rise to a presumption as to whether a parcel of land subject to such agreement is or is not public land.
(2) The Secretary of the Interior shall have the continuing jurisdiction and duty to adjudicate unresolved claims of valid existing rights pursuant to applicable law and this chapter. The Secretary of the Interior shall complete the final administrative adjudication required under this subsection not later than three years after January 14, 1983, and shall complete the survey of all lands to be conveyed under this chapter not later than five years after January 14, 1983, and after consulting with the Governor of the State of Alaska to determine priority of survey with regard to other lands being processed for patent to the State. The Secretary of the Interior shall give priority to the adjudication of Village Corporation claims as required in this section. Upon completion of the review and settlement process required by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, with respect to lands not subject to an agreement under such paragraph, the Secretary of the Interior shall adjudicate which lands subject to claims of valid existing rights filed by Village Corporations, if any, are public lands and shall complete such final administrative adjudication within two years after January 14, 1983.
(3) Pending settlement or final administrative adjudication of claims of valid existing rights filed by Village Corporations prior to the date of transfer or while subject to the license granted to the State pursuant to section 1203(b)(1)(C) of this title, lands subject to such claims shall be managed in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding among the Federal Railroad Administration, the State, Eklutna, Incorporated, Cook Inlet Region, Incorporated (as that term is used in section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976 (Public Law 94–204; 89 Stat. 1150)), and Toghotthele Corporation, executed by authorized officers or representatives of each of these entities. Duplicate originals of the Memorandum of Understanding shall be maintained and made available for public inspection and copying in the Office of the Secretary, at Washington, District of Columbia, and in the Office of the Governor of the State of Alaska, at Juneau, Alaska.
(4) The following procedures and requirements are established to promote finality of administrative adjudication of claims of valid existing rights filed by Village Corporations, to clarify and simplify the title status of lands subject to such claims, and to avoid potential impairment of railroad operations resulting from joint or divided ownership in substantial segments of right-of-way:
(i) Prior to final administrative adjudication of Village Corporation claims of valid existing rights in land subject to the license granted under section 1203(b)(1)(C) of this title, the Secretary of the Interior may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, accept relinquishment of so much of such claims as involved lands within the right-of-way through execution of an agreement with the appropriate Village Corporation effective on or after the date of transfer. Upon such relinquishment, the interest of the United States in the right-of-way shall be conveyed to the State pursuant to section 1203(b)(1)(B) or (2) of this title.
(ii) With respect to a claim described in clause (i) of this subparagraph that is not settled or relinquished prior to final administrative adjudication, the Congress finds that exclusive control over the right-of-way by the Alaska Railroad has been and continues to be necessary to afford sufficient protection for safe and economic operation of the railroad. Upon failure of the interested Village Corporation to relinquish so much of its claims as involve lands within the right-of-way prior to final adjudication of valid existing rights, the Secretary shall convey to the State pursuant to section 1203(b)(1)(B) or (2) of this title all right, title and interest of the United States in and to the right-of-way free and clear of such Village Corporation's claim to and interest in lands within such right-of-way.
(B) Where lands within the right-of-way, or any interest in such lands, have been conveyed from Federal ownership prior to January 14, 1983, or is subject to a claim of valid existing rights by a party other than a Village Corporation, the conveyance to the State of the Federal interest in such properties pursuant to section 1203(b)(1)(B) or (2) of this title shall grant not less than an exclusive-use easement in such properties. The foregoing requirements shall not be construed to permit the conveyance to the State of less than the entire Federal interest in the rail properties of the Alaska Railroad required to be conveyed by section 1203(b) of this title. If an action is commenced against the State or the United States contesting the validity or existence of a reservation of right-of-way for the use or benefit of the Alaska Railroad made prior to January 14, 1983, the Secretary of the Interior, through the Attorney General, shall appear in and defend such action.
(c) Judicial review; remedies available; standing of State
(1) The final administrative adjudication pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be final agency action and subject to judicial review only by an action brought in the United States District Court for the District of Alaska.
(2) No administrative or judicial action under this chapter shall enjoin or otherwise delay the transfer of the Alaska Railroad pursuant to this chapter, or substantially impair or impede the operations of the Alaska Railroad or the State-owned railroad.
(3) Before the date of transfer, the State shall have standing to participate in any administrative determination or judicial review pursuant to this chapter. If transfer to the State does not occur pursuant to section 1203 of this title, the State shall not thereafter have standing to participate in any such determination or review.
(e) Liability of State for damage to land while used under license
The State shall be liable to a party receiving a conveyance of land among the rail properties of the Alaska Railroad subject to the license granted pursuant to section 1203(b)(1)(C) of this title for damage resulting from use by the State of the land under such license in a manner not authorized by such license.
References in Text
Section 12 of the Act of January 2, 1976, as amended, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1), (4) and (b)(3), is section 12 of Pub. L. 94–204, Jan. 2, 1976, 89 Stat. 1150, as amended, which is set out as a note under section 1611 of Title 43, Public Lands. Section 12(b)(8)(i)(D) of such Act as amended by subsection (d)(5) of this section is the amendment of subsection (b)(8)(i)(D) of section 12 of Pub. L. 94–204 by section 606(d)(5) of Pub. L. 97–468, title VI, Jan. 14, 1983, 96 Stat. 2566.
The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2) and (c), is Pub. L. 96–497, Dec. 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 2371, as amended. Sections 1425, 1429, and 1430 of the Act (94 Stat. 2515, 2531) were not classified to the Code. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3101 of Title 16, Conservation, and Tables.
Section is comprised of subsecs. (a)–(c) and (e) of section 606 of Pub. L. 97–468. Subsec. (d) of section 606 of Pub. L. 97–468 amended section 12 of Pub. L. 94–204, which is set out as a note under section 1611 of Title 43, Public Lands.
1984—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98–620 struck out provision that required review of agency action pursuant to this chapter to be expedited to same extent as expedited review provided by section 1108 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3168).