(a) The appropriate regional corporation may apply to the Secretary for the conveyance of existing cemetery sites or historical places pursuant to section 14(h) of the Act. The Secretary may give favorable consideration to these applications: Provided, That the Secretary determines that the criteria in these regulations are met: And provided further, That the regional corporation agrees to accept a covenant in the conveyance that these cemetery sites or historical places will be maintained and preserved solely as cemetery sites or historical places by the regional corporation, in accordance with the provisions for conveyance reservations in § 2653.11.
(b) A historical place may be granted in a National Wildlife Refuge or National Forest unless, in the judgment of the Secretary, the events or the qualities of the site from which it derives its particular value and significance as a historical place can be commemorated or found in an alternative site outside the refuge or forest, or if the Secretary determines that the conveyance could have a substantial detrimental effect on (1) a fish or wildlife population, (2) its habitat, (3) the management of such population or habitat, or (4) access by a fish or wildlife population to a critical part of its habitat.
(c) Although the existence of a cemetery site or historical place and a proper application for its conveyance create no valid existing right, they operate to segregate the land from all other forms of appropriation under the public land laws. Conveyances of lands reserved for the National Wildlife Refuge System made pursuant to this subpart are subject to the provisions of section 22(g) of the Act and § 2650.4-6 as though they were conveyances to a village corporation.
(d) For purposes of evaluating and determining the eligibility of properties as historical places, the quality of significance in Native history or culture shall be considered to be present in places that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association, and:
(1) That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the history of Alaskan Indians, Eskimos or Aleuts, or
(2) That are associated with the lives of persons significant in the past of Alaskan Indians, Eskimos or Aleuts, or
(3) That possess outstanding and demonstrably enduring symbolic value in the traditions and cultural beliefs and practices of Alaskan Indians, Eskimos or Aleuts, or
(4) That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or
(5) That have yielded, or are demonstrably likely to yield information important in prehistory or history.
(e) Criteria considerations for historic places: Ordinarily, cemeteries, birthplaces, or graves of historical figures, properties owned by religious institutions or used for religious purposes, structures that have been moved from their original locations, reconstructed historic buildings, properties primarily commemorative in nature, and properties that have achieved significance within the past 50 years shall not be considered eligible as a historical place unless they fall within one of the following categories:
(1) A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance;
(2) A building or structure removed from its original location but which is the surviving structure most importantly associated with a historic person or event;
(3) A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance if there is no appropriate site or building directly associated with his productive life;
(4) A cemetery which derives its primary significance from graves of persons of transcendent importance, from age, from distinctive design features, or from association with historic events;
(5) A reconstructed building when accurately executed in a suitable environment and preserved in a dignified manner as part of a restoration master plan and when no other building or structure with the same association has survived;
(6) A property primarily commemorative in intent if design, age, tradition, or symbolic value has invested it with its own historical significance; or
(7) A property achieving significance within the past 50 years if it is of exceptional importance.
(f) Applications by a regional corporation under section 14(h)(1) of the Act for conveyance of existing cemetery sites or historical places within its boundaries shall be filed with the proper office of the Bureau of Land Management in accordance with § 2650.2(a) of this chapter. The regional corporation shall include as an attachment to its application for a historical place a statement describing the events that took place and the qualities of the site from which it derives its particular value and significance as a historical place. In making the application, the regional corporation should identify accurately and with sufficient specificity the size and location of the site for which the application is made as an existing cemetery site or historical place to enable the Bureau of Land Management to segregate the proper lands. The land shall be described in accordance with § 2650.2(e) of this chapter, except that if the site under application is less than 2.50 acres or if it cannot be described by a protracted survey description, it shall be described by a metes and bounds description.
(g) Upon receipt of an application for an existing cemetery site or historical place, the Bureau of Land Management shall segregate from all other appropriation under the public land laws the land which it determines, adequately encompasses the site described in the application.
(h) Notice of filing of such application specifying the regional corporation, the size and location of the segregated lands encompassing the site for which application has been made, the date of filing, and the date by which any protest of the application must be filed shall be published once in the Federal Register and in one or more newspapers of general circulation in Alaska once a week for three consecutive weeks by the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau of Land Management shall then forward the application to the Director, Juneau Area Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, for investigation, report, and certification and supply a copy to the National Park Service. When an application pertains to lands within a National Wildlife Refuge or National Forest, the Bureau of Land Management shall also forward informational copies of the application and the size and location of segregated lands to the agency or agencies involved.
(i) If, during its investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs finds that the location of the site as described in the application is in error, it shall notify the applicant, the Bureau of Land Management, and other affected Federal agencies, of such error. The applicant shall have 60 days from receipt of such notice to file with the Bureau of Land Management an amendment to its application with respect to the location of the site. Upon acceptance of such amendment the Bureau of Land Management shall reprocess the application, including segregation of lands and publication of notice.
(j) The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall identify on a map and mark on the ground, including gravesites or other important items, the location and size of the site or place with sufficient clarity to enable the Bureau of Land Management to locate on the ground said site or place. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, after consultation with the National Park Service and, in the case of refuges and forests, the agency or agencies involved, shall certify as to the existence of the site or place and that it meets the criteria in this subpart.
(1) Cemetery sites. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall certify specifically that the site is the burial place of one or more Natives. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall determine whether the cemetery site is in active or inactive use, and if active, it shall estimate the degree of use by Native groups and villages in the area which it shall identify.
(2) Historical places. The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall describe the events that took place and qualities of the site which give it particular value and significance as a historical place.
(k) The Bureau of Indian Affairs shall submit its report and certification along with the written comments and recommendations of the National Park Service and any other Federal agency, to the Bureau of Land Management. If the land is available, the Bureau of Land Management shall issue a decision to convey. However, where the issues in § 2653.5(b) are raised by the reports of the Fish and Wildlife Service or the Forest Service, the State Director, Bureau of Land Management shall submit the record including a land status report, to the Secretary for a resolution of any conflicts. If the land is available for that purpose, the Secretary shall make his determination to convey or not to convey the site to the applicant.
(l) The decision of the Bureau of Land Management or the Secretary shall be served on the applicant and all parties of record in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR part 4, subpart E and shall be published in accordance with § 2650.7 of this part. The decision of the Bureau of Land Management shall become final unless appealed to the Board of Land Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR part 4, subpart E. Any agency adversely affected by the certification of BIA or the decision of the Bureau of Land Management may also appeal the matter to the Board of Land Appeals. After a decision to convey an existing cemetery site or historical place has become final, the Bureau of Land Management shall adjust the segregation of the lands to conform with said conveyance.
(m) For inactive cemeteries, the boundaries of such cemetery sites shall include an area encompassing all actual gravesites including a reasonable buffer zone of not more than 66 feet. For active cemeteries, the boundaries of such sites shall include an area of actual use and reasonable future expansion of not more than 10 acres, but the BLM in consultation with any affected Federal agency may include more than 10 acres upon a determination that special circumstances warrant it. For historical places, the boundaries shall include an area encompassing the actual site with a reasonable buffer zone of not more than 330 feet.