30 U.S. Code § 171 - Disposal as agricultural lands
Except as otherwise provided in chapter 3A of this title, all public lands within the State of Alabama, whether mineral or otherwise, shall be subject to disposal only as agricultural lands. All lands which had been reported to the General Land Office prior to March 3, 1883, as containing coal and iron shall first be offered at public sale.
Section is from act Mar. 3, 1883, which contained an additional provision relating to pending homesteads, which was omitted because of its temporary nature.
1920—The exception clause was inserted at beginning of this section because of act Feb. 25, 1920, which provided that deposits of coal, phosphate, sodium, oil, oil shale, or gas, and lands containing such deposits owned by the United States, shall be subject to disposition in the form and manner provided by such act.