UTILIZATION OF THE RESERVES
Farmers on patented land are, of course, in full possession of their lands, just as much as if the farm were outside of the reserve.
Farmers or agricultural settlers on land not patented stand as follows:
1. If the land was settled on prior to the creation of the reserve, is surveyed land and the claim duly filed, the settler obtains title just as if the land were outside of the reserve.
2. If the land was settled on prior to the creation of the reserve, but is unsurveyed land, and, therefore, the claim is not filed in a United States land office, the settler may so file on the land when it is surveyed, but must do so within three months after the survey plats covering his land are filed in the local land office.
3. Settlers on unsurveyed lands, who, when survey is made, and that they are on the grant of some railway company (railroad land within the primary limits), come under two classes, viz:
(a) Settlers who settled on the land before it was a railroad grant. Such settlers have the superior right and can file on the land and obtain title subject to the time limitations stated in paragraph 2.
(b) Settlers who settled after the land became a grant. Such settlers have to deal with the railway company.
The fact that the railway company may have relinquished the land to the Government under the act of June 4, 1897 (practically sold it), does not alter the case; the claims of the settlers remain invalid.
4. Any person who purchases a farm which is not patented, a mere "claim" (unperfected settlement claim), subsequent to the creation of the reserve, gains no rights whatever. For here, as elsewhere, the principle holds that no person acquires any rights by the purchase of the settlement claim of another.
5. Anyone settling on agricultural lands after the creation of the reserve commits trespass, and gains no rights by his settlement.
Concerning timber on agricultural claims, see p. 25.
PROSPECTING AND MINING IN FOREST RESERVES.
Prospecting and mining in forest reserves is not prohibited or interfered with, and location and entry of claims is allowed under the general mining laws of the United States and the particular State or Territory.
Concerning timber on mining claims, see p. 24.
BUILDING OF ROADS AND TRAILS.
The permit to construct, enlarge, and repair roads and trails in reserves is granted only by the Secretary of the Interior, and never by rangers or other forest officers.
Anyone wishing to construct a road or trail should make application to the Secretary of the Interior.
This application should state:
1. Name of reserve.
2. Name and address of party desiring to build the road.
3. Location and length of the road, giving terminal points and course. This should be accompanied by a map.
4. Width of road and width of right of way intended to be cleared.
5. Character of land, or whether the road passes through timber, burns, or open parks.
6. Amount of timber and stone desired for purposes of construction.
7. When and by whom it will be built.
8. What demand there is for such road.
This application may be sent to the Secretary of the Interior direct or transmitted through the supervisor. In any case, an investigation and full report of the forest officer is required before it can be considered. For this reason all applications of this kind should be made in good season, and not deferred to the last moment.
RIGHTS OF WAY FOR IRRIGATION DITCHES, CANALS, PIPE LINES, AND RESERVOIRS.
The law says that:
All waters on such reservations may be used for domestic, mining, milling, or irrigation purposes, under the laws of the State wherein such forest reservations are situated, or under the laws of the United States and the rules and regulations established thereunder.
The manner of dealing with projects of this kind is laid down by law.
The permit to build and use such ditches, etc., can be granted only by the Secretary, and not by any forest officer. Anyone wishing to construct a canal, etc., should apply, by letter, to the Secretary of the Interior, since a full explanation of the requirements is beyond the scope of this manual.
Generally, it requires an application with proper survey, map, and field notes; execution of a bond; investigation and report of forest officer; consideration by the Department, and granting or refusal of permit.
While the law distinctly permits the use of water for these purposes, it is equally distinct in stating:
That no such right of way shall be so located as to interfere with the proper occupation by the Government of any such reservation. * * *
As in all cases of this kind, to begin work before permission is given by the Department, is trespass, and should be promptly stopped and reported by forest officers.
RAILWAYS, TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE LINES.
The manner of dealing with these enterprises is similar to that prescribed for canals, etc.
A formal application with maps and field notes of a regular survey is submitted, a bond is executed, and the report of a forest officer on the nature of the ground along the line, and the effect of the construction of the line in the reserve, and its management, are considered in connection with the papers of the company.
After permit is issued the construction can begin. The forest officer in charge of the particular district should in every case make certain that a permit has been granted; and, in case no permit has been issued, he should stop the work and report the case as a trespass, according to the form provided for such cases.
SITES FOR SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES IN RESERVES.
Schoolhouses or churches may be erected on reserve lands, but the amount of land used for any one school or church site must not exceed 2 acres. The matter is simply a privilege; the title to the land remains in the Government. To obtain the privilege, application is made according to the prescribed form; see p. 68.
HOTELS, ROAD RANCHES, STORES, AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTERPRISES IN FOREST RESERVES.
Establishments of this kind are permitted wherever the demand for them appears to warrant the granting of a permit for their construction and maintenance.
The Secretary alone grants the privilege. So far, it is granted free of charge. The application is made as per form on page 68.
A report of the forest officer in regular form accompanies the application or is made afterwards.
The applicant in all cases of this kind signs a definite contract in which he agrees to observe the several rules and regulations governing forest reserves, especially those relating to the protection of timber against fire and trespass. Where the importance of the case appears to warrant, the applicant is required to give bond to assure proper fulfillment of his agreement.
Where the rapid development of some mining districts leads to the sudden "springing, up" of little hamlets or towns, the mistake has frequently been made to build on bogus or fraudulent mineral claims, commonly placer claims, without any showing of mineral. Since this use of the placer claim, and the removal of the timber for such purposes, is trespass, and is almost certain to lead to complications and prosecution, forest officers should inform the people to this effect, and induce them to make applications to the Department for use and occupancy of the ground, in the manner set forth above for hotels, stores, etc.
Application for permit to erect a sawmill on land within a forest reserve is made in the same form as for other privileges. In addition to the information reported in other cases, the applicant will state the kind of mill, water or steam power, its daily capacity, and the kind of machinery, whether circular or band saw, and whether shingle, lath, or other additional machinery will be used. Also, whether the lumber is dried on the ground, necessitating a large yard, or is hauled away green.
Applicants for sawmill permits are required to enter into a contract (see form of contract on p. 79) and execute a bond for its proper fulfillment.
The proper disposition of refuse especially is insisted upon in every case.
SANITARIUMS AND HOTELS AT MINERAL, MEDICINAL, OR OTHER SPRINGS.
Land about such springs can be leased.
The Secretary alone grants permit and leases such lands.
The proceeds of such leasing go to a special fund and are expended in the care of the forest reserves.
The application is made in the same manner as prescribed for ordinary hotels, stores, etc.
The time for which the lease may be drawn, and the amount to be paid per year, are determined by the Department.
TRAVEL IN AND ACROSS THE RESERVES.
All law-abiding people are permitted to travel in forest reserves for purposes of prospecting, surveying, to go to and from their own lands or claims, and for pleasure or recreation.
But in every case the person or persons so traveling, camping, etc., must obey the rules established by the Department for forest reserves, and particularly will they be expected to refrain from doing anything which may result in injury to the forests. See information concerning fires.
GRAZING IN FOREST RESERVES.
The Secretary of the Interior, in being charged with the proper protection of the forest reserves, has the right to forbid any and all kinds of grazing therein.
Whenever the grazing appears to do no marked damage to the forests of the reserve, grazing is allowed by the Department; but until the Secretary has decided that it will do no harm, and that a certain number of either sheep and goats or cattle and horses may graze in a reserve or part of a reserve, the grazing of stock is prohibited; and all parties responsible for its presence in the reserve prior to such decision by the Secretary of the Interior, are liable to criminal and civil suits for trespass and damage.
The grazing is generally governed by the following conditions:
1. Only citizens of the United States, or those who have declared their intention to become citizens, are entitled to the grazing privilege.
2. Stock owned by residents of one State or Territory is not allowed to graze in a forest reserve in another State or Territory.
3. The grazing of sheep, goats, and horses in herds is generally prohibited. If allowed, it is only in those reserves or in parts of reserves where special conditions warrant special privileges.
4. Cattle are generally allowed to graze in all reserves, and excluded only in cases where unfavorable conditions make all grazing undesirable.
5. The few head of horses of prospectors and travelers are not considered in matters of grazing, and require no permit.
6. When the grazing has been allowed by the Secretary, all persons who desire the grazing privilege must make application on a blank form furnished by the Department and to be had of the forest supervisor. These applications must cover no more nor no less stock than the applicant actually owns and intends to graze in the reserve.
7. The applications for sheep grazing are handled in two ways:
(a) Where a woolgrowers' association exists, which includes a majority of the persons who are interested in the use of the reserve, the association may allot the range and sheep among the applicants, the allotment being to individual applicants, except when circumstances make necessary the allotment of joint ranges; but in no case is the reserve to be used in common, regardless of such allotments. The applications for the allotted ranges and the number of sheep allowed each applicant are then to be approved by the association and forwarded the supervisor. The application, together with the recommendations of the supervisor, is then submitted to the Department, where it is approved or refused, and where the necessary permits are issued.
(b) Where such an association does not exist, or does not care to assume responsibility, all applications are made to the forest supervisor direct, who acts upon and forwards the same to the Commissioner of the General Land Office, with his approval or other recommendation.
8. No stock of any kind is allowed to graze in a reserve without a permit based on the the application made. All permits, except those for 100 head or less of cattle and horses owned by persons who live in the reserve, are issued by the Department.
9. The supervisor may issue permits himself for not more than 100 head of cattle and horses combined, to any one person who actually lives in the reserve and who does not own more than 100 head; but the permit must not cover more stock than he owns, be it few or many, up to 100. These reserve residents or farmers must make application, the same as outsiders, before the supervisor will issue the permit.
10. The applications of all reserve residents who have more than 100 head of cattle and horses are to be forwarded to the General Land Office the same as the applications of outsiders, and the Department will issue the permits thereon.
11. Reserves in which grazing is allowed by the Department will be divided into sheep and cattle ranges whenever this can be done without injury to either interest; but such division must first be determined by the Department. At the end of each grazing season the supervisor should report fully on any such existing divisions, and recommend any changes or further divisions which are warranted by existing conditions.
12. Sheep are always herded and restricted to the limits fixed by the Department.
13. Cattle and horses need not be herded, and may roam at large.
14. When the owner of cattle or horses who has a permit, is ready to drive in his stock, he should notify the supervisor, stating the number and brand.
15. Cattle and horses of persons who graze on the reserve only part of the time, some days off and some days on, require a permit; but such cases should be fully explained by the supervisor when he makes his recommendations and estimates.
16. Applicants for the grazing privilege are given preference in the following order:
(a) Persons residing within the reserve.
(b) Persons owning ranches within the reserve, but not residing thereon.
(c) Persons living in the vicinity of the reserve owning what may be called neighboring stock.
(d) Persons living at a distance from the reserve who have some equitable claim to use the reserve.
17. Class (b) under paragraph 16 should not be construed so as to allow large stock owners to obtain the preference therein given, by simply buying or obtaining small ranches inadequate for their business. This will not be tolerated.
18. All persons holding grazing permits pledge themselves to assist in protecting the reserve and in preventing and fighting fires.
19. All persons who violate any of the reserve rules, or the terms of their applications and permits, will be debarred from the use of the reserve.
20. Persons who own, or who have leased from owners, lands within any reserve which they desire to use for grazing purposes, and who must cross the reserve lands with their stock to reach such private holdings, must make application to the supervisor for the privilege of crossing. The application must be accompanied with an abstract of title showing the ownership of the land, and, if leased from an owner, a certified copy of the lease, and must state the number of stock to be taken in, the length of time required to cross the reserve land, the route over which the stock is to be driven, and the date of starting, and the time when the stock will start out again; also how much stock the owned or leased lands will carry during the period it is proposed to keep the stock thereon. When any such application is made to the supervisor, he will examine it with care, and, if he finds it reasonable and just and made in good faith for the purpose of utilizing such private holdings only, he will approve the same and forward it to the Commissioner of the General Land Office. After the Secretary approves the application, due notice thereof will be given the applicant, through the supervisor, and he may then take his stock in; but owners of lands within a reserve where grazing is allowed, may avail themselves of the grazing privilege under paragraph 16 of this circular.
21. The total number of cattle and horses or sheep that may be allowed in a reserve is fixed by the Secretary of the Interior for the following year at the end of each grazing season. At the end of each season the supervisor should, therefore, go over the grazing grounds and examine into the effect the grazing has had on the reserve and make a full report thereon, with such recommendations as to changes in the number to be allowed the following year, and such changes as to the areas to be opened to grazing, as are warranted by the season's experience.
For forms of grazing applications and permits see p. 80.