(a) Each eligible Village Corporation may select the maximum surface acreage entitlement under sections 12(a) and (b) and section 16(b) of the Act. Village Corporations selecting lands under sections 12(a) and (b) may not select more than:
(2) 69,120 acres of land from the National Wildlife Refuge System; and
(b) To the extent necessary to obtain its entitlement, each eligible Village Corporation shall select all available lands within the township or townships within which all or part of the village is located, and shall complete its selection from among all other available lands. Selections shall be contiguous and, taking into account the situation and potential uses of the lands involved, the total area selected shall be reasonably compact, except where separated by lands which are unavailable for selection. The total area selected will not be considered to be reasonably compact if (1) it excludes other lands available for selection within its exterior boundaries; or (2) lands which are similar in character to the village site or lands ordinarily used by the village inhabitants are disregarded in the selection process; or (3) an isolated tract of public land of less than 1,280 acres remains after selection.
(c) The lands selected under sections 12(a) or (b) shall be in whole sections where they are available, or shall include all available lands in less than whole sections, and, wherever feasible, shall be in units of not less than 1,280 acres. Lands selected under section 16(b) of the Act shall conform to paragraph (b) of this section and shall conform as nearly as practicable to the U.S. land survey system.
(e) Village or Regional Corporations are not required to select lands within an unpatented mining claim or millsite. Unpatented mining claims and millsites shall be deemed to be selected, unless they are excluded from the selection by metes and bounds or other suitable description and there is attached to the selection application a copy of the notice of location and any amendments thereto. If the Village or Regional Corporation selection omits lands within an unpatented mining claim or millsite, this will not be construed as violating the requirements for compactness and contiguity. If, during the selection period, the excepted mining claims or millsites are declared invalid, or under the State of Alaska mining laws are determined to be abandoned, the selection will no longer be considered as compact and contiguous. The corporation shall be required to amend its selection, upon notice from the authorized officer of the Bureau of Land Management, to include the lands formerly included in the mining claim or millsite. If the corporation fails to amend its selection to include such lands, the selection may be rejected.
(f) Eligible Village Corporations may file applications in excess of their total entitlement. To insure that a village acquires its selection in the order of its priorities, it should identify its choices numerically in the order it wishes them granted. Such selections must be filed not later than December 18, 1974, as to sections 12(a) or 16(b) selections and December 18, 1975, as to section 12(b) selections.
(g) Whenever the Secretary determines that a dispute exists between villages over land selection rights, he shall accept, but not act on, selection applications from any party to the dispute until the dispute has been resolved in accordance with section 12(e) of the Act.
(h) Village or Regional Corporations may, but are not required to, select lands within pending Native allotments. If the village or Regional Corporation selection omits lands within a pending Native allotment, this will not be construed as violating the requirements for compactness and contiguity. If, during the selection period, the pending Native allotment is finally rejected and closed, the village or Regional Corporation may amend its selection application to include all of the land formerly in the Native allotment application, but is not required to do so to meet the requirements for compactness and contiguity.