43 U.S. Code § 870 - Grants of land in aid of common or public schools; extension to those mineral in character; effect of leases
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Subject to the provisions of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the several grants to the States of numbered sections in place for the support or in aid of common or public schools be, and they are, extended to embrace numbered school sections mineral in character, unless land has been granted to and/or selected by and certified or approved, to any such State or States as indemnity or in lieu of any land so granted by numbered sections.
(a) The grant of numbered mineral sections under this section shall be of the same effect as prior grants for the numbered nonmineral sections, and titles to such numbered mineral sections shall vest in the States at the time and in the manner and be subject to all the rights of adverse parties recognized by existing law in the grants of numbered nonmineral sections.
(b) The additional grant made by this section is upon the express condition that all sales, grants, deeds, or patents for any of the lands so granted shall hereafter be subject to and contain a reservation to the State of all the coal and other minerals in the lands so sold, granted, deeded, or patented, together with the right to prospect for, mine, and remove the same. The coal and other mineral deposits in such lands not heretofore disposed of by the State shall be subject to lease by the State as the State legislature may direct, the proceeds and rentals and royalties therefrom to be utilized for the support or in aid of the common or public schools: Provided, That any lands or minerals hereafter disposed of contrary to the provisions of this section shall be forfeited to the United States by appropriate proceedings instituted by the Attorney General for that purpose in the United States district court for the district in which the property or some part thereof is located.
(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, any lands included within the limits of existing reservations of or by the United States, or specifically reserved for water-power purposes, or included in any pending suit or proceeding in the courts of the United States, or subject to or included in any valid application, claim, or right initiated or held under any of the existing laws of the United States, unless or until such reservation, application, claim, or right is extinguished, relinquished, or canceled, and all lands in the Territory of Alaska, are excluded from the provisions of this section.
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, the fact that there is outstanding on any numbered school section, whether or not mineral in character, at the time of its survey a mineral lease or leases entered into by the United States, or an application therefor, shall not prevent the grant of such numbered school section to the State concerned as provided by this section and section 871 of this title.
(2) Any such numbered school section which has been surveyed prior to July 11, 1956, and which has not been granted to the State concerned solely by reason of the fact that there was outstanding on it at the time of the survey a mineral lease or leases entered into by the United States, or an application therefor, is hereby granted by the United States to such State under this section as if it had not been so leased; and the State shall succeed the position of the United States as lessor under such lease or leases.
(3) Any such numbered school section which is surveyed on or after July 11, 1956, and on which there is outstanding at the time of such survey a mineral lease or leases entered into by the United States, shall (unless excluded from the provisions of this section by subsection (c) of this section for a reason other than the existence of an outstanding lease) be granted to the State concerned immediately upon completion of such survey; and the State shall succeed to the position of the United States as lessor under such lease or leases.
(4) The Secretary of the Interior shall, upon application by a State, issue patents to the State for the lands granted by this section and section 871 of this title, in accordance with section 871a  of this title. Such patent shall, if the lease is then outstanding, include a statement that the State succeeded to the position of the United States as lessor at the time the title vested in the State.
(5) Where at the time rents, royalties, and bonuses accrue the lands or deposits covered by a single lease are owned in part by the State and in part by the United States, the rents, royalties, and bonuses shall be allocated between them in proportion to the acreage in said lease owned by each.
 See References in Text note below.
Source(Jan. 25, 1927, ch. 57, § 1,44 Stat. 1026; May 2, 1932, ch. 151, § 1,47 Stat. 140; Apr. 22, 1954, ch. 169, 68 Stat. 57; July 11, 1956, ch. 572, 70 Stat. 529.)
References in Text
Section 871a of this title, referred to in subsec. (d)(4), was repealed by Pub. L. 94–579, title VII, § 705(a),Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2792.
1956—Subsec. (d). Act July 11, 1956, provided that numbered school sections under mineral leases may be granted to a State, whether or not the sections are mineral in character, and added subpar. (6).
1954—Subsec. (c). Act Apr. 22, 1954, § 2, substituted “Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, any” for “any”.
Subsec. (d). Act Apr. 22, 1954, § 1, added subsec. (d).
1932—Subsec. (b). Act May 2, 1932, inserted “hereafter” in two places and “not heretofore disposed of by the State” after “mineral deposits in such lands”.
Subsec. (c). Act May 2, 1932, inserted “reservation” before “application”.
Effective Date of 1932 Amendment
Act May 2, 1932, ch. 151, § 2,47 Stat. 141, provided that: “This amendatory Act [amending this section] shall take effect as of January 25, 1927; and in any case in which a State has selected lieu lands since such date under the Act approved February 28, 1891 (26 Stat. 796) [sections 851 and 852 of this title], and still retains title thereto, such State may, within ninety days after the date of the enactment of this Act [May 2, 1932], relinquish to the United States all right, title, and interest in such lands and shall thereupon be entitled to all the benefits of the Act of January 25, 1927 [sections 870 and 871 of this title], as amended by this Act.”
Admission of Alaska as State
Admission of Alaska into the Union was accomplished Jan. 3, 1959, on issuance of Proc. No. 3269, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 81, 73 Stat. c16, as required by sections 1 and 8(c) ofPub. L. 85–508, July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 339, set out as notes preceding section 21 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.