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For surface entry, selection, etc., of coal lands, see Homesteads."

Revised statutes.--Sections 2347–2352—Entry of coal landsLimits of area--PricePreemptions-One entry-Priority of rights.


Preemption of coal lands.

SEC. 2347. Every person above the age of twenty-one Entry of coal years, who is a citizen of the United States, or who has Mar. 3, 1873, declared his intention to become such, or any association 17 S. 607. of persons severally qualified as above, shall, upon application to the register of the proper land office, have the right to enter, by legal subdivisions, any quantity of vacant coal lands of the United States not otherwise appropriated or reserved by competent authority, not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres to such individual person, or three hundred and twenty acres to such association, upon payment to the receiver of not less than ten dollars per acre for such lands, where the same shall be situated more than fifteen miles from any completed railroad, and not less than twenty dollars per acre for such lands as shall be within fifteen miles of such road.

Sec. 2348. Any person or association of persons severally qualified, as above provided, who have opened Ibid. and improved, or shall hereafter open and improve, any coal mine or mines upon the public lands, and shall be in actual possession of the same, shall be entitled to a preference right of entry, under the preceding section, of the mines so opened and improved : Provided, That when any association of not less than four persons, severally qualified as above provided, shall have expended not less than five thousand dollars in working and improving any such mine or mines, such association may enter not exceeding six hurdred and forty acres, including such mining improvements. Sec. 2349. All claims under the preceding section must

Preemption be presented to the register of the proper land district land to be pre within sixty days after the date of actual possession sixty days, etc. and the commencement of improvements on the land, Ibid. by the filing of a declaratory statement therefor; but when the township plat is not on file at the date of such improvement, filing must be made within sixty days from the receipt of such plat at the district office; and where the improvements shall have been made prior to the expiration of three months from the third day of March, eighteen hundred and seventy-three, sixty days

claims of coal




from the expiration of such three months shall be allowed for the filing of a declaratory statement, sale under the provisions of this section shall be allowed until the expiration of six months from the third day of

March, eighteen hundred and seventy-three. Only one try alowed. Sec. 2350. The three preceding sections shall be held

to authorize only one entry by the same person or association of persons; and no association of persons any member of which shall have taken the benefit of such sections, either as an individual or as a member of any other association, shall enter or hold any other lands under the provisions thereof; and no member of any association • which shall have taken the benefit of such sections shall enter or hold any other lands under their provisions; and all persons claiming under section twenty-three hundred and forty-eight shall be required to prove their respective rights and pay for the lands filed upon within one year from the time prescribed for filing their respective claims; and upon failure to file the proper notice, or to pay for the land within the required period, the same

shall be subject to entry by any other qualified applicant. Conflicting Sec. 2351. In case of conflicting claims upon coal-lands

where the improvements shall be commenced, after the third day of March, eighteen hundred and seventy-three, priority of possession and improvement, followed by proper filing and continued good faith, shall determine the preference-right to purchase. And also where improvements have already been made prior to the third day of March, eighteen hundred and seventy-three, division of the land claimed may be made by legal subdivisions, to include, as near as may be, the valuable improvements of the respective parties. The Commissioner of the General Land Office is authorized to issue all needful rules and regulations for carrying into effect the provi

sions of this and the four preceding sections. Rights reserved. Sec. 2352. Nothing in the five preceding sections shall Ibid.

be construed to destroy or impair any rights which may have attached prior to the third day of March, eighteen hundred and seventy-three, or to authorize the sale of lands valuable for mines of gold, silver, or copper.'



1 These laws have been superseded by the leasing law of Feb. 25, 1920. See “ Mineral lands."




“ Rec





For desert-land entries on lands containing coal, oil, phosphate, etc., see

these subjects under “Homesteads ". For desert-land entries within Government reclamation projects, exten

sion of time within which to make proof, and assignments, see

lamation lands". Act of March 3, 1877—Entry-Payment of 25 cents per acre-Appropria

tion of water-Additional payment of $1 per acreDesert lands de

fined Act of March 3, 1891—Map showing plan of irrigation-Expenditure of

$1 per acre per year for three years for irrigation and improvementAnnual proof-Forfeiture Cultivation of one-eighth of land-Pay

ment-Final proof within four years—Limit of 320 acres--Act of March 28, 1908—Restricted to surveyed lands-Preference right

prior to survey-Assignees must be qualified to make entry-Exten

sion of time within which to make proof. Act of June 25, 1910_Certain assignments may be completed-Bona fide

holders of second entries confirmed-Applies to Imperial County,

Calif., only --
Act of April 30, 1912——Extension of time for final proof--
Act of September 5, 1914-Second desert-land entries_
Act of March 4, 1915—Extension of time for final proof on entries prior

to July 1, 1914-May, in certain cases, complete as homesteads, or
may complete on making certain payments and proof as to improve-

ments -Act of April 11, 1916–Extension of time in Riverside County, Calif.. Act of February 27, 1917—Enlarged homestead entrymen may make

desert-land entry-
Act of August 7, 1917--Desert-land entrymen protected while in mili-

tary service
Act of March 21, 1918-The act of March 4, 1915, extended.-
Act of January 6, 1921-Desert land laws extended to Colorado---
Act of June 24, 1921–Extension of time in Riverside County, Calif.-
Act of December 15, 1921-Proofs by persons incapacitated in the war

with Germany---

88 89 90

90 91



91 86 92


An Act To provide for the sale of desert lands in certain States and .


may be pur.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for any citizen of the Desert land United States, or any person of requisite age“ who may chased. be entitled to become a citizen, and who has filed his declaration to become such ” and upon payment of twenty-five cents per acre-to file a declaration under Declaration. oath with the register and the receiver of the land district in which any desert land is situated, that he intends to reclaim a tract of desert land not exceeding one section,' by conducting water upon the same, within the

1 Limited to 320 acres by act of Mar, 3, 1891.

Right to water.

lic lands to be free.


Perfection title

period of three years ? thereafter: Provided, however, use That the right to the use of water by the person so con

ducting the same, on or to any tract of desert land of six hundred and forty acres shall depend upon bona fide prior appropriation; and such right shall not exceed

the amount of water actually appropriated, and necesWaterpon pub- sarily used for the purpose of irrigation and reclama

tion; and all surplus water over and above such actual appropriation and use, together with the water of all lakes, rivers, and other sources of water supply upon the public lands, and not navigable, shall remain and be held free for the appropriation and use of the public

for irrigation, mining, and manufacturing purposes subdeclaration.

ject to existing rights. Said declaration shall describe particularly said section of land if surveyed, and, if

unsurveyed, shall describe the same as nearly as possible of without a survey. At any time within the period of

three years after filing said declaration, upon making satisfactory proof to the register and receiver of the reclamation of said tract of land in the manner aforesaid, and upon the payment to the receiver of the additional sum of one dollar per acre for a tract of land not

exceeding six hundred and forty acres to any one person, Limit to quan- a patent for the same shall be issued to him: Provided, thxable.and pur- That no person shall be permitted to enter more than

one tract of land and not to exceed six hundred and

forty acres, which shall be in compact form. Desert lands Sec. 2. That all lands exclusive of timberlands and

mineral lands which will not, without irrigation, produce some agricultural crop, shall be deemed desert lands, within the meaning of this Act, which fact shall be ascertained by proof of two or more credible witnesses under oath, whose affidavits shall be filed in the land office in which said tract of land may be situated.

Sec. 3. That this Act shall only apply to and take which act to ap. effect in the States of California, Oregon, and Nevada,

and the Territories of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, and Dakota, and the determination of what may be considered desert land shall be subject to the decision and regulation of the Commissioner of the General Land Office.

Approved, March 3, 1877 (19 Stat. 377).


Localities in


An Act To repeal timber-culture laws, and for other purposes.

SEC. 2. That an Act to provide for the sale of desert lands in certain States and Territories, approved March

* Time extended to four years by act of Mar. 3, 1891, and may be further extended. See the acts of Mar. 28, 1908, Apr. 30, 1912, and Mar. 4, 1915. * Restricted to surveyed lands by act of Mar. 28. 1908. Extended to Colorado by the act of Mar. 3, 1891.

Plan of pro.



Minimum ex penditure to ac


third, eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:

“ SEC. 4. "That at the time of filing the declaration hereinbefore required the party shall also file a map of said posed irrigation. land, which shall exhibit a plan showing the mode of contemplated irrigation, and which plan shall be sufficient to thoroughly irrigate and reclaim said land, and prepare it to raise ordinary agricultural crops, and shall also show the source of the water to be used for irrigation and reclamation. Persons entering or proposing to enter separate sections, or fractional parts of sections, of desert lands may associate together in the construction of canals and ditches for irrigating and reclaiming all of said tracts, and may file a joint map or maps showing their plan of internal improvements.

“Sec. 5. That no land shall be patented to any person under this Act unless he or his assignors shall have ex- quire patent. pended in the necessary irrigation, reclamation, and cultivation thereof, by means of main canals and branch ditches, and in permanent improvements upon the land, and in the purchase of water rights for the irrigation of the same, at least three dollars per acre of whole tract reclaimed and patented in the manner following: Within Distribution of one year after making entry for such tract of desert land as aforesaid, the party so entering shall expend not less than one dollar per acre for the purposes aforesaid; and he shall in like manner expend the sum of one dollar per acre during the second and also during the third year thereafter, until the full sum of three dollars per acre is so expended. Said party shall file during each year with the register, proof, by the affidavits of two or more credible witnesses, that the full sum of one dollar per acre has been expended in such necessary improvements during such year, and the manner in which expended, and at the expiration of the third year a map or plan showing the character and extent of such improvements. If any party who has made such application shall fail during any year to file the testimony aforesaid, the lands shall revert to the United States, and the twenty-five cents advanced payment shall be forfeited to the United States, and the entry shall be canceled. Nothing herein contained shall mations prevent a claimant from making his final entry and receiving his patent at an earlier date than hereinbefore prescribed, provided that he then makes the required proof of reclamation to the aggregate extent of three dollars per acre: Provided, That proof be further required proof of cultiof the cultivation of one-eighth of the land.

“Sec. 6. That this Act shall not affect any valid rights Walldete tights heretofore accrued under said Act of March third, eighteen hundred and seventy-seven, but all bona fide claims heretofore lawfully initiated may be perfected, upon due compliance with the provisions of said Act, in the same manner, upon the same terms and conditions, and subject





not affected.

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