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50 U.S. Code § 4237 - Attu Island restitution program

(a) Purpose of section

In accordance with section 1132(c) of title 16, the public lands on Attu Island, Alaska, within the National Wildlife Refuge System have been designated as wilderness by section 702(1) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (94 Stat. 2417; 16 U.S.C. 1132 note). In order to make restitution for the loss of traditional Aleut lands and village properties on Attu Island, while preserving the present designation of Attu Island lands as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, compensation to the Aleut people, in lieu of the conveyance of Attu Island, shall be provided in accordance with this section.

(b) Acreage determination

Not later than 90 days after August 10, 1988, the Secretary shall, in accordance with this subsection, determine the total acreage of land on Attu Island, Alaska, that, at the beginning of World War II, was subject to traditional use by the Aleut villagers of that island for subsistence and other purposes. In making such acreage determination, the Secretary shall establish a base acreage of not less than 35,000 acres within that part of eastern Attu Island traditionally used by the Aleut people, and shall, from the best available information, including information that may be submitted by representatives of the Aleut people, identify any such additional acreage on Attu Island that was subject to such use. The combination of such base acreage and such additional acreage shall constitute the acreage determination upon which payment to the Corporation under this section is based. The Secretary shall promptly notify the Corporation of the results of the acreage determination made under this subsection.

(c) Valuation
(1) Determination of valueNot later than 120 days after August 10, 1988, the Secretary shall determine the value of the Attu Island acreage determined under subsection (b), except that—
such acreage may not be valued at less than $350 per acre nor more than $500 per acre; and
the total valuation of all such acreage may not exceed $15,000,000.
(2) Factors in making determinationIn determining the value of the acreage under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into consideration such factors as the Secretary considers appropriate, including—
fair market value;
environmental and public interest value; and
established precedents for valuation of comparable wilderness lands in the State of Alaska.
(3) Notification of determination; appeal

The Secretary shall promptly notify the Corporation of the determination of value made under this subsection, and such determination shall constitute the final determination of value unless the Corporation, within 30 days after the determination is made, appeals the determination to the Secretary. If such appeal is made, the Secretary shall, within 30 days after the appeal is made, review the determination in light of the appeal, and issue a final determination of the value of that acreage determined to be subject to traditional use under subsection (b).

(d) In lieu compensation payment
(1) Payment

The Secretary shall pay, subject to the availability of funds appropriated for such purpose, to the Corporation, as compensation for the Aleuts’ loss of lands on Attu Island, the full amount of the value of the acreage determined under subsection (c), less the value (as determined under subsection (c)) of any land conveyed under subsection (e).

(2) Payment in full settlement of claims against the United States

The payment made under paragraph (1) shall be in full satisfaction of any claim against the United States for the loss of traditional Aleut lands and village properties on Attu Island.

(e) Village site conveyance

The Secretary may convey to the Corporation all right, title, and interest of the United States to the surface estate of the traditional Aleut village site on Attu Island, Alaska (consisting of approximately 10 acres) and to the surface estate of a parcel of land consisting of all land outside such village that is within 660 feet of any point on the boundary of such village. The conveyance may be made under the authority contained in section 1613(h)(1) of title 43, except that after August 10, 1988, no site on Attu Island, Alaska, other than such traditional Aleut village site and such parcel of land, may be conveyed to the Corporation under such section 1613(h)(1).

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 to the Secretary to carry out this section.

Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 1132(c) of title 16, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original “section (3)(c) of the Wilderness Act (78 Stat. 892; 16 U.S.C. 1132(c))” and was translated as meaning section 3(c) of Pub. L. 88–577 to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Section 702(1) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is section 702(1) of Pub. L. 96–487, title VII, Dec. 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 2417, which is listed in a table of wilderness areas set out under section 1132 of Title 16, Conservation.


Section was formerly classified to section 1989c–6 of the former Appendix to this title prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.