202, Pub. L. 84-830 (Alaska Mental Health Enabling Act, 1954)

 

Sec 202. (a) The Territory of Alaska is hereby granted and shall be entitled to select, within ten years from the effective date of this Act, not to exceed one million acres from the public lands of the United States in Alaska which are vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved at the time of their selection: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall affect any valid existing rights. All lands duly selected by the Territory of Alaska pursuant to this section shall be patented to the Territory by the Secretary of the Interior.

 

(b) The lands authorized to be selected by the Territory by subsection (a) of this section shall be selected in such manner as the laws of the Territory may provide, and in conformity with such regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe. The authority to make selections shall never be alienated or bargained away, in whole or in part, by the Territory. All selections shall be made in reasonably compact tracts, taking into account the situation and potential uses of the lands involved. Upon the revocation of any order of withdrawal in Alaska, the order of revocation shall provide for a period of not less than ninety days before the date on which it otherwise becomes effective during which period the Territory of Alaska shall have a preferred right of selection, subject to the requirements of this Act, except as against prior existing valid rights or as against equitable claims subject to allowance and confirmation. Such preferred right of selection shall have precedence over the preferred right of application created by section 4 of the Act of September 27, 1944 (58 Stat.748; 43 U.S.C., sec. 282), as now or hereafter amended, but not over other preference rights now conferred by law. As used in this subsection, the words "equitable claims subject to allowance and confirmation" include, without limitation, claims of holders of permits issued by the Department of Agriculture on lands eliminated from national forests, whose permits have been terminated only because of such elimination and who own valuable improvements on such lands.

 

(c) All grants made or confirmed under this section shall include mineral deposits: Provided, however, That mineral deposits in lands which on January 1, 1956, were subject to public land order numbered 82 of January 1943, shall not be included in said grants, but shall continue to be reserved to the United States.

 

(d) Following the selection of lands by the Territory pursuant to subsection (b), but prior to the issuance of final patent, the Territory shall be authorized to lease and to make conditional sales of such selected lands.

 

All lands granted to the Territory of Alaska under this section, together with the income therefrom and the proceeds from any dispositions thereof, shall be administered by the Territory of Alaska as a public trust and such proceeds and income shall first be applied to meet the necessary expenses of the mental health program of Alaska. Such lands, income, and proceeds shall be managed and utilized in such manner as the Legislature of Alaska may provide. Such lands, together with any property acquired in exchange therefor or acquired out of the income or proceeds therefrom, may be sold, leased, mortgaged, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of in such manner as the Legislature of Alaska may provide, in order to obtain funds or other property to be invested, expended, or used by the Territory of Alaska. The authority of the Legislature of Alaska under this subsection shall be exercised in a manner compatible with the conditions and requirements imposed by other provisions.