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PUBLIC LANDS IN IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
An act to promote the reclamation of arid lands.1 (Act August 11, 1916, ch. 319, 39
[Sec. 1. Public lands within irrigation districts made subject to State laws Benefits of State laws to be extended to holders of public landsAct not applicable to districts with majority acreage of unentered lands.]— That when in any State of the United States under the irrigation district laws of said State there has heretofore been organized and created or shall hereafter be organized and created any irrigation district for the purpose of irrigating the lands situated within said irrigation district, and in which irrigation district so created or to be created there shall be included any of the public lands of the United States, such public lands so situated in said irrigation district, when subject to entry, and entered lands within said irrigation district, for which no final certificates have been issued, which may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior in the approval by him of the map and plat of an irrigation district as provided in section three, are hereby made and declared to be subject to all the provisions of the laws of the State in which such lands shall be situated relating to the organization, government, and regulation of irrigation districts for the reclamation and irrigation of arid lands for agricultural purposes, to the same extent and in the same manner in which the lands of a like character held under private ownership are or may be subject to said laws: Provided, That the United States and all persons legally holding unpatented lands under entry made under the public land laws of the United States are accorded all the rights, privileges, benefits, and exemptions given by said State laws to persons holding lands of a like character under private ownership, except as hereinafter otherwise provided: Provided further, That this act shall not apply to any irrigation district comprising a majority acreage of unentered land. (39 Stat. 506.)
Textual note.-The substance of the above section is codified as section 621, title 43, United States Code.
Amendment.-This act amended by act May 15, 1922 (42 Stat. 541), 49 L. D.
Validity of tax deed. The regulation of the Secretary of the Interior requiring filing in the local land office of assignment of homestead entry within an irrigation district, as authorized by section 1, act of August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 506), was for the benefit of the United States and its land office only, and did not authorize subsequent purchasers of tax deeds to question the validity of a previous deed for failure to comply with the regulation. (Clinton v. Elder et al. (Wyo. 1929), 277 Pac. 968.)
Regulations. For General Land Office regulations under this act, see 46 L. D. 307-317, and 52 L. D. 155.
1 Popularly known as the Smith Act, being so named for Representative in Congress Addison T. Smith, of Idaho.
PUBLIC LANDS IN IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
Neither the act of April 21, 1928, nor the amendatory act of June 13, 1930, enlarges, abridges, or impairs the act of August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 506), in re irrigation districts in their relation to the public lands of the United States, and both the act of April 21, 1928, as amended, and said act of August 11, 1916. may have harmonious operation within their proper spheres. (Regulations of General Land Office, amending Circular 1176-52 I. D. 511.)
Sec. 2. [Irrigation costs to be apportioned against all lands-Certain charges certified to land offices-No obligation against United StatesCharges made lien upon public lands-Lands may be sold thereforLimitations Reclamation act.]-That the cost of constructing, acquiring, purchasing, or maintaining the canals, ditches, reservoirs, reservoir sites, water, water right, rights of way, or other property incurred in connection with any irrigation project under said irrigation district laws shall be equitably apportioned among lands held under private ownership, lands legally covered by unpatented entries, and unentered public lands included in said irrigation district. Officially certified lists of the amounts of charges assessed against the smallest legal subdivision of said lands shall be furnished to the register and receiver of the land district within which the lands affected are located as soon as such charges are assessed; but nothing in this act shall be construed as creating any obligation against the United States to pay any of said charges, assessments, or debts incurred.
That all charges legally assessed shall be a lien upon unentered lands and upon lands covered by unpatented entries included in said irrigation district; and said lien upon said land covered by unpatented entries may be enforced upon said unpatented lands by the sale thereof in the same manner and under the same proceeding whereby said assessments are enforced against lands held under private ownership: Provided, That in the case of entered unpatented lands the title or interest which such irrigation district may convey by tax sale, tax deed, or as a result of any tax proceeding shall be subject to the following conditions and limitations: If such unpatented land be withdrawn under the act of Congress of June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two (Thirty-second Statutes, page three hundred and eighty-eight), known as the reclamation act, or subject to the provisions of said act, then the interest which the district may convey by such tax proceedings or tax deed shall be subject to a prior lien reserved to the United States for all the unpaid charges authorized by the said act of June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two, but the holder of such tax deed or tax title resulting from such district tax shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges in the land included in such tax title or tax deed of an assignee, under the provisions of the act of Congress of June twenty-third, nineteen hundred and ten (Thirty-sixth Statutes, page five hundred and ninety-two), and upon submission to the United States land office of the district in which the land is located of satisfactory proof of such tax title the name of the holder thereof shall be indorsed upon the records of such land office as entitled to the rights of one holding a complete and valid assignment under the said act of June twenty-third, nineteen hundred and ten, and such person may at any time thereafter receive patent upon submitting satisfactory proof of the reclamation and
PUBLIC LANDS IN IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
irrigation required by the said act of Congress of June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two, and acts amendatory thereto, and making the payments required by said acts. (39 Stat. 507.)
Textual note. The substance of the first paragraph of the above section, and the clause down to the semicolon of the second paragraph, are codified as section 622, title 43, United States Code. The substance of the second paragraph, beginning with "Said lien" in the third line, is codified as section 626, title 43, United States Code. In the code the last eight words, viz., "and making the payments required by said acts," have been omitted.
The words "and receiver," in the first paragraph of this section, should be omitted by virtue of the act of March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1145; sec. 71, title 43, U. S. C.), abolishing the office of receiver.
Sec. 3. [Before lien becomes effective, Secretary of the Interior to approve project-After 10 years he may remove lien if water is not available—In districts with constructed works, public lands made subject to assessments previously made.]-That no unentered lands and no entered lands for which no final certificates have been issued shall be subject to the lien or liens herein contemplated until there shall have been submitted by said irrigation district to the Secretary of the Interior, and approved by him, a map or plat of said district and sufficient detailed engineering data to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior the sufficiency of the water supply and the feasibility of the project, and which shall explain the plan or mode of irrigation in those irrigation districts where the irrigation works have not been constructed, and which plan shall be sufficient to thoroughly irrigate and reclaim said land and prepare it to raise ordinary agricultural crops, and which shall also show the source of water to be used for irrigation of land included in said district: Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior may, upon the expiration of ten years from the date of his approval of said map and plan of any irrigation district, release from the lien authorized by this act any unentered land or lands upon which final certificate has not issued, for which irrigation works have not been constructed and water of such district made available for the land: Provided further, That in those irrigation districts already organized and whose irrigation works have been constructed and are in operation as soon as a satisfactory map, plat, and plan shall have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior, as in this act provided, such entered and unentered lands shall be subject to all district taxes and assessments theretofore actually levied against the lands in said district and in the same manner in which lands of a like character held under private ownership are subject to liens and assessments. (39 Stat. 507.)
Textual note.-The substance of this section, with the exception of the first proviso, is codified as section 623, title 43, United States Code. The first proviso is codified as section 625, title 43, United States Code.
Sec. 4. [Record of approval in land offices.]-That upon the approval of the district map or plat as hereinbefore provided by the Secretary of the Interior the register and receiver will note said approval upon their records where any unentered or entered and unpatented lands are affected. (39 Stat. 508.)
Textual note.-Codified as section 624, title 43, United States Code, the introductory word "That" being omitted.
The words "and receiver" in this section should be omitted for the reason that the act of March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1145), abolishes the office of receiver.
PUBLIC LANDS IN IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
Sec. 5. [Unentered lands not to be sold for taxes-Lien to be continuing-Payment to be made by entryman.]—That no public lands which were unentered at the time any tax or assessment was levied against same by such irrigation district shall be sold for such taxes or assessments, but such tax or assessment shall be and continue a lien upon such lands, and not more than one hundred and sixty acres of such land shall be entered by any one person; and when such lands shall be applied for, after said approval by the Secretary of the Interior, under the homestead or desert-land laws of the United States the application shall be suspended for a period of thirty days to enable the applicant to present a certificate from the proper district or county officer showing that no unpaid district charges are due and delinquent against said land. (39 Stat. 508.)
Textual note.-Codified as section 627, title 43, United States Code, the introductory word "That" being omitted.
Sec. 6. [Public lands sold under tax lien patented to purchaser-Payment to United States of minimum price of $1.25 per acre-Qualifications and limitations-Purchaser to make complete payment within 90 days or land may be purchased by another-Conditions-Disposal of vacant entered land. ]-That any entered but unpatented lands not subject to the reclamation act of June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two (Thirty-second Statutes, page three hundred and eighty-eight), sold in the manner and for the purposes mentioned in this act may be patented to the purchaser thereof or his assignee at any time after the expiration of the period of redemption allowed by law under which it may have been sold (no redemption having been made) upon the payment to the receiver of the local land office of the minimum price of $1.25 per acre, or such other price as may be fixed by law for such lands, together with the usual fees and commissions charged in entries of like lands under the homestead laws, and upon a satisfactory showing that the irrigation works have been constructed and that water of the district is available for such land; but the purchaser or his assignee shall, at the time of application for patent, have the qualification of a homestead entryman or desert-land entryman, and not more than one hundred and sixty acres of said land shall be patented to any one purchaser under the provisions of this act.
These limitations shall not apply to sales to irrigation districts, but shall apply to purchasers from such irrigation districts of such land bid in by said district.
That unless the purchaser or his assignee of such lands shall, within ninety days after the time for redemption has expired, pay to the proper receiver all fees and commissions and the purchase price to which the United States shall be entitled as provided for in this act, any person having the qualification of a homestead entryman or a desert-land entryman may pay to the proper receiver, for not more than one hundred and sixty acres of said lands, for which payment has not been made, the unpaid purchase price, fees, and commissions to which the United States may be entitled; and upon satisfactory proof that he has paid to the purchaser at the tax sale, or his assignee, or to the proper officer of the district for such purchaser or for the district, as the case may be, the sum for which the land was sold at
PUBLIC LANDS IN IRRIGATION DISTRICTS
sale for irrigation district charges or bid in by the district at such sale, and in addition thereto the interest and penalties on the amount bid at the rate allowed by law, shall be subrogated to the rights of such purchaser to receive patent for said land.
In any case where any tract of entered land lying within such approved irrigation district shall become vacant by relinquishment or cancellation for any cause, any subsequent applicant there for shall be required, in addition to the qualifications and requirements otherwise provided, to furnish satisfactory proof by certificate from the proper district or county officer that he has paid all charges then due to the district upon said land and also has paid to the proper district or county officer for the holder or holders of any tax certificates, delinquency certificates, or other proper evidence of purchase at tax sale the amount for which the said land was sold at tax sale, together with the interest and penalties thereon provided by law. (39 Stat. 508.)
Textual note.-The substance of this section is codified as section 628, title 43, United States Code.
The word "receiver," in the first and third paragraphs of this section, should read "register" by virtue of the act of March 3, 1925, 43 Stat. 1145 (sec. 71, title 43, U. S. C.) abolishing the office of receiver and transferring his duties to the register.
Sec. 7. [Issue and delivery of district notices-Petition, appeal, etc.— Rights of redemption.]-That all notices required by the irrigation district laws mentioned in this act shall, as soon as such notices are issued, be delivered to the register and receiver of the proper land office in cases where unpatented lands are affected thereby, and to the entryman whose unpatented lands are included therein, and the United States and such entryman shall be given the same rights to be heard by petition, answer, remonstrance, appeal, or otherwise as are given to persons holding lands in private ownership, and all entrymen shall be given the same rights of redemption as are given to the owners of lands held in private ownership. (39 Stat. 509.)
Textual note. This is codified as section 629, title 43, United States Code, the introductory word "That" being omitted, and the words "and receiver" being omitted. The act of March 3, 1925, 43 Stat. 1145 (sec. 71, title 43, U. S. C.) abolished the office of receiver and transferred his duties to the register.
Sec. 8. [Disposal of receipts.]—That all moneys derived by the United States from the sale of public lands herein referred to shall be paid into such funds and applied as provided by law for the disposal of the proceeds from the sale of public lands. (39 Stat. 509.)
Textual note.-Codified as section 630, title 43, United States Code, the introductory word "That", being omitted, and the words "herein referred to" changed to read "referred to in this chapter."