INDIAN AFFAIRS: LAWS AND TREATIES

Vol. V, Laws     (Compiled from December 22, 1927 to June 29, 1938)

Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1941.


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PUBLIC ACTS OF THE SEVENTY-THIRD CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION, 1934
Chap. 15  |  Chap. 38  |  Chap. 43  |  Chap. 46  |  Chap. 55  |  Chap. 89  |  Chap. 93  |  Chap. 102  |  Chap. 104  |  Chap. 146  |  Chap. 147  |  Chap. 169  |  Chap. 221  |  Chap. 223  |  Chap. 319  |  Chap. 320  |  Chap. 321  |  Chap. 323  |  Chap. 337  |  Chap. 364  |  Chap. 394  |  Chap. 407  |  Chap. 442  |  Chap. 521  |  Chap. 539  |  Chap. 540  |  Chap. 548  |  Chap. 549  |  Chap. 568  |  Chap. 570  |  Chap. 573  |  Chap. 576  |  Chap. 586  |  Chap. 648  |  Chap. 664  |  Chap. 688  |  Chap. 690  |  Chap. 749  |  Chap. 756  |  Chap. 758  |  Chap. 846  |  Chap. 865

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Chapter 865
June 28, 1934. | [H.R. 6462.] 48 Stat., 1269.

An Act to stop injury to the public grazing lands by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration, to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development, to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range, and for other purposes
Section 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Margin Notes
Chap. 865 Overgrazing and soil deterioration, public lands.
Chap. 865 Grazing districts, or additions thereto, to be established. Modifying boundaries, etc., thereof. Areas excluded.
Chap. 865 Indian Reservations.
Chap. 865 Proviso. Restriction on use.
Chap. 865 Valid claims not impaired.
Chap. 865 Rights-of-way for stock driveway granted when grazing district established.
Chap. 865 Hearing to be held before districts created.
Chap. 865 Proviso. Notice thereof to affect withdrawing of all lands within exterior boundary of grazing district.
Chap. 865 Hunting, etc., not restricted.
Sec. 2 Provision for carrying Act into effect.
Sec. 3 Permits.
Sec. 3 Livestock grazing, authorized.
Sec. 3 Fees.
Sec. 3 Proviso. Restriction on issuing permits.
Sec. 3 Preferences
Sec. 3 Rights acquired during 1934.
Sec. 3 Renewals.
Sec. 3 Duration.
Sec. 3 Emergency remission, reduction, etc., of grazing fees.
Sec. 3 Provisos. Water rights not impaired.
Sec. 3 Grazing privileges to be protected.
Sec. 4 Improvements necessary for care of livestock permitted.
Sec. 4 Compliance with State laws, as to partition fences.
Sec. 4 Use of prior constructions, etc.
Sec. 5 Limited free grazing permitted in districts kept for domestic purposes.
Sec. 5 Use of material deposits by settlers, miners, etc.
Sec. 6 Rights-of-way within grazing districts not restricted.
Sec. 6 Prospecting, etc., minerals.
Sec. 7 Lands more suitable for agriculture within districts to be classified.
Sec. 7 Prior settlement forbidden.
Sec. 7 Proviso. Areas open in tracts exceeding 320 acres.
Sec. 8 Exchange with private ownership in public interest, allowed.
Sec. 8 Proviso. Notice of contemplated exchange to be given.
Sec. 8 Lands conveyed to United States to become public lands.
Sec. 8 Easements may be reserved by either party.
Sec. 8 Conditions imposed.
Sec. 8 Miner may occupy surface required.
Sec. 8 Application by a state to exchange lands within or without a grazing district.
Sec. 8 Lands in another State excluded.
Sec. 9 Rules for cooperating with local stockmen associations to be provided.
Sec. 9 Local hearings or views provided for.
Sec. 9 Acceptance of contributions for district improvernents.
Sec. 9 Appropriation.
Sec. 10 Deposit of grazing receipts; exceptions.
Sec. 10 Portion for range improvements.
Sec. 10 Apportionment to State for benefit of counties having grazing districts.
Sec. 10 Proviso. If district in more than one county.
Sec. 11 Indian lands ceded to United States.
Sec. 11 Use of grazing fees received from.
Sec. 11 Range improvements.
Sec. 11 Benefit of public schools and public roads.
Sec. 11 To credit of Indians.
Sec. 11 Continuance of public land laws.
Sec. 12 Cooperation administration with other departments. Coordination of range administration.
Sec. 13 Unappropriated lands within watersheds of national forests. President may place, under national forest administration.
Sec. 13 Proviso. Legal rights maintained. Jurisdiction of lands.
Sec. 14 R.S. sec. 2455, p. 449; U.S.C., p. 1411.
Sec. 14 Sale of isolated or disconnected tracts.
Sec. 14 R.S. sec. 2357, p. 432; U.S.C., p. 1375.
26 Stat., 391.
Sec. 14 Proviso. Preferential right to owner of contiguous property.
Sec. 14 Sale of tracts unsuitable for cultivation.
Sec. 14 Prior rights not impaired.
Sec. 14 "Person" defined.
Sec. 15 Disconnected or isolated tract may be leased to owners of contiguous lands.
Sec. 16 State laws, etc., not restricted.
Sec. 16 Proviso. No limitation on Federal authority.

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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to promote the highest use of the public lands pending its final disposal, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, in his discretion, by order to establish grazing districts or additions thereto and/or to modify the boundaries thereof, not exceeding in the aggregate an area of eighty million acres of vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved lands from any part of the public domain of the United States (exclusive of Alaska), which are not in national forests, national parks and monuments, Indian reservations, reverted Oregon and California. Railroad grant lands, or reverted Coos Bay Wagon Road grant lands, and which in his opinion are chiefly valuable for grazing and

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raising forage crops: Provided, That no lands withdrawn or reserved for any other purpose shall be included in any such district except with the approval of the head of the department having jurisdiction thereof. Nothing in this Act shall be construed in any way to diminish, restrict, or impair any right which has been heretofore or may be hereafter initiated under existing law validly affecting the public lands, and which is maintained pursuant, to such law except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, nor to affect any land heretofore or hereafter surveyed which, except for the provisions of this Act, would be a part of any grant to any State, nor as limiting or restricting the power or authority of any State as to matters within its jurisdiction. Whenever any grazing district is established pursuant to this Act, the Secretary shall grant to owners of land adjacent to such district, upon application of any such owner, such rights-of-way over the lands included in such district for stock-driving purposes as may be necessary for the convenient access by any such owner to marketing facilities or to lands not within such districts owned by such person or upon which such person has stock-grazing rights. Neither this Act nor the Act of December 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 862; U.S.C., title 43, secs. 291 and following), commonly known as the "Stock Raising Homestead Act", shall be construed as limiting the authority or policy of Congress or the President to include in national forests public lands of the character described in section 24 of the Act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1103; U.S.C., title 16, sec. 471), as amended, for the purposes set forth in the Act of June 4, 1897 (30 Stat. 35; U.S.C., title 16, sec. 475), or such other purposes as Congress may specify. Before grazing districts are created in any State as herein provided, a hearing shall be held in the State, after public notice thereof shall have been given, at such location convenient for the attendance of State officials, and the settlers, residents, and livestock owners of the vicinity, as may be determined by the Secretary of the Interior. No such district shall be established until the expiration of ninety days after such notice shall have been given, nor until twenty days after such hearing shall be held: Provided, however, That the publication of such notice shall have the effect of withdrawing all public lands within the exterior boundary of such proposed grazing districts from all forms of entry of settlement. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as in any way altering or restricting the right to hunt or fish within a grazing district in accordance with the laws of the United States or of any State, or as vesting in any permittee any right, whatsoever to interfere with hunting or fishing within a grazing district.

SEC. 2.

The Secretary of the Interior shall make provision for the protection, administration, regulation, and improvement of such grazing districts as may be created under the authority of the foregoing section, and he shall make such rules and regulations and establish such service, enter into such cooperative agreements, and do any and all things necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act and to insure the objects of such grazing districts, namely, to regulate their occupancy and use, to preserve the land and its resources from destruction or unnecessary injury, to provide for the orderly use, improvement, and development of the range; and the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to, continue the study of erosion and flood control and to perform such work as may be necessary amply to protect and rehabilitate the areas subject to the provisions of this Act, through such funds as may be made available for that purpose, and any willful violation of the provisions of this Act

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or of such rules and regulations thereunder after actual notice thereof shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500.

SEC. 3.

That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to issue or cause to be issued permits to graze livestock on such grazing districts to such bona fide settlers, residents, and other stock owners as under his rules and regulations are entitled to participate in the use of the range, upon the payment annually of reasonable fees in each case to be fixed or determined from time to time: Provided, That grazing permits shall be issued only to citizens of the United States or to those who have filed the necessary declarations of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws and to groups, associations, or corporations authorized to conduct business under the laws of the State in which the grazing district is located. Preference shall be given in the issuance of grazing permits to those within or near a district who are landowners engaged in the livestock business, bona fide occupants or settlers, or owners of water or water rights, as may be necessary to permit the proper use of lands, water or water rights owned, occupied, or leased by them, except that until July 1, 1935, no preference shall be given in the issuance of such permits to any such owner, occupant, or settler, whose rights were acquired between January 1, 1934, and December 31, 1934, both dates inclusive, except, that no permitteee complying with the rules and regulations laid down by the Secretary of the Interior shall be denied the renewal of such permit, if such denial will impair the value of the grazing unit of the permittee, when such unit is pledged security for any bona fide loan. Such permits shall be for a period of not more than ten years, subject to the preference right of the permittees to renewal in the discretion of the Secretary of the interior, who shall specify from time to time numbers of stock and seasons of use. During periods of range depletion due to severe drought or other natural causes, or in case of a general epidemic of disease, during the life of the permit, the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, in his discretion to remit, reduce, refund in whole or in part, or authorize postponement of payment of grazing fees for such depletion period so long as the emergency exists: Provided further, That nothing in this Act shall be construed or administered in any way to diminish or impair any right to the possession and use of water for mining, agriculture, manufacturing, or other purposes which has heretofore vested or accrued under existing law validly affecting the public lands or which may be hereafter initiated or acquired and maintained in accordance with such law. So far as consistent with the purposes and provisions of this Act, grazing privileges recognized and acknowledged shall be adequately safeguarded, but the creation of a grazing district or the issuance of a permit pursuant to the provisions of this Act shall not create any right, title, interest, or estate in or to the lands.

SEC. 4.

Fences, wells, reservoirs, and other improvements necessary to the care and management of the permitted livestock may be constructed on the public lands within such grazing districts under permit issued by the authority of the Secretary, or under such cooperative arrangement as the Secretary may approve. Permittees shall be required by the Secretary of the Interior to comply with the provisions of law of the State within which the grazing district is located with respect to the cost and maintenance of partition fences. No permit shall be issued which shall entitle the permittee to the use of such improvements constructed and owned by a prior occupant until the applicant has paid to such prior occupant the reasonable

Page 393

value of such improvements to be determined under rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior. The decision of the Secretary in such cases is to be final and conclusive.

SEC. 5.

That the Secretary of the Interior shall permit, under regulations to be prescribed by him, the free grazing within such districts of livestock kept for domestic purposes; and provided that so far as authorized by existing law or laws hereinafter enacted, nothing herein contained shall prevent the use of timber, stone, gravel, clay, coal, and other deposits by miners, prospectors for mineral, bona fide settlers and residents, for firewood, fencing, buildings mining, prospecting, and domestic purposes within areas subject to the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 6.

Nothing herein contained shall restrict the acquisition, granting or use of permits or rights-of-way within grazing districts under existing law; or ingress or egress over the public lands in such districts for all proper and lawful purposes; and nothing herein contained shall restrict prospecting, locating, developing, mining, entering, leasing, or patenting the mineral resources of such districts under law applicable thereto.

SEC. 7.

That the Secretary is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to examine and classify any lands within such grazing districts which are more valuable and suitable for the production of agricultural crops than native grasses and forage plants, and to open such lands to homestead entry in tracts not exceeding three hundred and twenty acres in area. Such lands shall not be subject to settlement or occupation as homesteads until after same have been classified and opened to entry after notice to the permittee by the Secretary of the Interior, and the lands shall remain a part of the grazing district until patents are issued therefor, the homesteader to be, after his entry is allowed, entitled to the possession and use thereof: Provided, That upon the application of any person qualified to make homestead entry under the public-land laws, filed in the land office of the proper district, the Secretary of the Interior shall cause any tract not exceeding three hundred and twenty acres in any grazing district to be classified, and such application shall entitle the applicant to a preference right to enter such lands when opened to entry as herein provided.

SEC. 8.

That where such action will promote the purposes of the district or facilitate its administration, the Secretary is authorized and directed to accept on behalf of the United States any lands within the exterior boundaries of a district as a gift, or, when public interests will be benefited thereby, he is authorized and directed to accept on behalf of the United States title to any privately owned lands within the exterior boundaries of said grazing district, and in exchange therefor to issue patent for not to exceed an equal value of surveyed grazing district land or of unreserved surveyed public land in the same State or within a distance of not more than fifty miles within the adjoining State nearest the base lands: Provided, That before any such exchange shall be effected, notice of the contemplated exchange, describing the lands involved, shall be published by the Secretary of the Interior once each week for four successive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties in which may be situated the lands to be accepted, and in the same manner in some like newspaper published in any county in which may be situated any lands to be given in such exchange; lands conveyed to the United States under this Act shall, upon acceptance of title, become public lands and parts of the grazing district within whose exterior boundaries they are located: Provided

Page 394

further, That either party to an exchange may make reservations of minerals, easements, or rights of use, the values of which shall be duly considered in determining the values of the exchanged lands. Where reservations are made in lands conveyed to the United States, the right to enjoy them shall be subject to such reasonable conditions respecting ingress and egress and the use of the surface of the land as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary of the Interior. Where mineral reservations are made in lands conveyed by the United States, it shall be so stipulated in the patent, and any person who acquires the right to mine and remove the reserved mineral deposits may enter and occupy so much of the surface as may be required for all purposes incident to the mining and removal of the minerals therefrom, and may mine and remove such minerals, upon payment to the owner of the surface for damages caused to the land and improvements thereon. Upon application of any State to exchange lands within or without the boundary of a grazing district the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed in the manner provided for the exchange of privately owned lands in this section, to proceed with such exchange at the earliest practicable date and to cooperate fully with the State to that end, but no State shall be permitted to select lieu lands in another State.

SEC. 9.

The Secretary of the Interior shall provide, by suitable rules and regulations, for cooperation with local associations of stockmen, State land officials, and official State agencies engaged in conservation or propagation of wild life interested in the use of the grazing districts. The Secretary of the Interior shall provide by appropriate rules and regulations for local hearings on appeals from the decisions of the administrative officer in charge in a manner similar to the procedure in the land department. The Secretary of the Interior shall also be empowered to accept contributions toward the administration, protection, and improvement of the district, moneys so received to be covered into the Treasury as a special fund, which is hereby appropriated and made available until expended, as the Secretary of the Interior may direct, for payment of expenses incident to said administration, protection, and improvement, and for refunds to depositors of amounts contributed by them in excess of their share of the cost.

SEC. 10.

That, except as provided in sections 9 and 11 hereof, all moneys received under the authority of this Act shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States as miscellaneous receipts, but 25 per centum of all moneys received from each grazing district during any fiscal year is hereby made available, when appropriated by the Congress, for expenditure by the Secretary of the Interior for the construction, purchase, or maintenance of range improvements, and 50 per centum of the money received from each grazing district during any fiscal year shall be paid at the end thereof by the Secretary of the Treasury to the State in which said grazing district is situated, to be expended as the State legislature may prescribe for the benefit of the county or counties in which the grazing district is situated: Provided, That if any grazing district is in more than one State or county, the distributive share to each from the proceeds of said district shall be proportional to its area therein.

SEC. 11.

That when appropriated by Congress, 25 per centum of all moneys received from each grazing district on Indian lands ceded to the United States for disposition under the public-land laws during any fiscal year is hereby made available for expenditure by the

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Secretary of the Interior for the construction, purchase, or maintenance of range improvements; and an additional 25 per, centum of the money received from grazing during each fiscal year shall be paid at the end thereof by the Secretary of the Treasury to the State in which said lands are situated, to be expended as the State legislature may prescribe for the benefit of public schools and public roads of the county or counties in which such grazing lands are situated. And the remaining 50 per centum of all money received from such grazing lands shall be deposited to the credit of the Indians pending final disposition under applicable laws, treaties, or agreements. The applicable public land laws as to said Indian ceded lands within a district created under this Act shall continue in operation, except that each and every application for nonmineral title to said lands in a district created under this Act shall be allowed only if in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior the land is of the character suited to disposal through the Act under which application is made and such entry and disposal will not affect adversely the best public interest, but no settlement or occupation of such lands shall be permitted until ninety days after allowance of an application.

SEC. 12.

That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to cooperate with any department of the Government in carrying out the purposes of this Act, and in the coordination of range administration, particularly where the same stock grazes part time in a grazing district and part time in a national forest or other reservation.

SEC. 13.

That the President of the United States is authorized to reserve by proclamation and place under national-forest administration in any State where national forests may be created or enlarged by Executive order any unappropriated public lands lying within watersheds forming a part of the national forests which, in his opinion, can best be administered in connection with existing national-forest administration units, and to place under the Interior Department administration any lands within national forests, principally valuable for grazing, which, in his opinion, can best be administered under the provisions of this Act: Provided, That such reservations or transfers shall not interfere with legal rights acquired under any public-land laws so long as such rights are legally maintained. Lands placed under the national-forest administration under the authority of this Act shall be subject to all the laws and regulations relating to national forests, and lands placed under the Interior Department administration shall be subject to all public-land laws and regulations applicable to grazing districts created under authority of this Act. Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to limit the powers of the President (relating to reorganizations in the executive departments) granted by title 4 of the Act entitled "An Act making appropriations for the Treasury and Post Office Departments for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1934, and for other purposes", approved March 3, 1933.

SEC. 14.

That section 2455 of the Revised Statutes, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 2455. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2357 of the Revised Statutes (U.S.C., title 43, sec. 678) and of the Act of August 30, 1890 (26 Stat. 391), it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Interior to order into market and sell at public auction, at the land office of the district in which the land is situated, for not less than the appraised value, any isolated or disconnected tract or parcel of the public domain not exceeding seven hundred and sixty acres which,

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in his judgment, it would be proper to expose for sale after at least thirty days' notice by the land office of the district in which such land may be situated: Provided, That for a period of not less than thirty days after the highest bid has been received, any owner or owners of contiguous land shall have a preference right to buy the offered lands at such highest bid price, and where two or more persons apply to exercise such preference right the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to make an equitable division of the land among such applicants, but in no case shall the adjacent land owner or owners be required to pay more than three times the appraised price: Provided further, That any legal subdivisions of the public land, not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, the greater part of which is mountainous or too rough for cultivation, may, in the discretion of the said Secretary, be ordered into the market and sold pursuant to this section upon the application of any person who owns land or holds a valid entry of lands adjoining such tract, regardless of the fact that such tract may not be isolated or disconnected within the meaning of this section: Provided further, That this section shall not defeat any valid right which has already attached under any pending entry or location. The word 'person' in this section shall be deemed to include corporations, partnerships, and associations."

SEC. 15.

The Secretary of the Interior is further authorized in his discretion, where vacant, unappropriated, and unreserved lands of the public domain are situated in such isolated or disconnected tracts of six hundred and forty acres or more as not to justify their inclusion in any grazing district to be established pursuant to this Act, to lease any such lands to owners of lands contiguous thereto for grazing purposes, upon application therefor by any such owner, and upon such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe.

SEC. 16.

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as restricting the respective States from enforcing any and all statutes enacted for police regulation, nor shall the police power of the respective States be, by this Act, impaired or restricted, and all laws heretofore enacted by the respective States or any thereof, or that may hereafter be enacted as regards public health or public welfare, shall at all times be in full force and effect: Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or restricting the power and authority of the United States.

Approved, June 28, 1934.


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