U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 27, 2020
(a) Citizenship. (1) Any citizen of the United States 21 years of age, or any person of that age who has declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States, and who can truthfully make the statements specified in §§ 2520.0-8(c) and 2521.2(a) can make a desert-land entry. Thus, a woman, whether married or single, who possesses the necessary qualifications, can make a desert-land entry, and, if married, without taking into consideration any entries her husband may have made.
(2) At the time of making final proof claimants of alien birth must have been admitted to citizenship, but evidence of naturalization need not be furnished if it has already been filed in connection with the original declaration or with the proof of an assignment of the entry.
(b) Second and additional entries. A person's right of entry under the desert-land law is exhausted either by filing an allowable application and withdrawing it prior to its allowance or by making an entry or by taking an assignment of an entry, in whole or in part, except under the conditions described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.
(1) Under the Act of September 5, 1914 (38 Stat. 712; 43 U.S.C. 182), if a person, otherwise duly qualified to make a desert-land entry, has previously filed an allowable application, or made such entry or entries and through no fault of his own has lost, forfeited, or abandoned the same, such person may make another entry. In such case, however, it must be shown that the prior application, entry, or entries were made in good faith, and were lost, forfeited, or abandoned because of matters beyond the applicant's control, and that the applicant has not speculated in his right, nor committed a fraud or attempted fraud in connection with such prior entry or entries. As the assignment of an entry involves no loss, forfeiture, or abandonment thereof, but carries a benefit to the assignor, it is held to exhaust his right of entry under the desert-land law. Hence, no person who has assigned such entry, in whole or in part, will be permitted to make another entry or to take one or any part thereof by assignment except where paragraph (b)(2) of this section applies.
(2) The Act of June 16, 1955 (69 Stat. 138) authorizes any person who prior to June 16, 1955, made a valid desert-land entry on lands subject to the Acts of June 22, 1910 (36 Stat. 583; 30 U.S.C. 33-85), or of July 17, 1914 (38 Stat. 509; 30 U.S.C. 121-123), if otherwise qualified to enter as a personal privilege not assignable, an additional tract of desert land, providing such additional tract shall not, together with the original entry, exceed 320 acres. Applicants and entrymen under the Act of June 16, 1955, are subject to, and must comply with, all the regulations of this part, including the acreage limitations of § 2520.0-8(b).
(a) Filing and fees. (1) A person who desires to enter public lands under the desert land laws must file an application together with a petition on forms approved by the Director, properly executed. However, if the lands described in the application have been already classified and opened for disposition under the desert land laws, no petition is required. The documents must be filed in the proper office (see § 1821.2-1 of this chapter).
(2) All applications must be accompanied by an application service fee of $15 which is not returnable, and the payment of 25 cents per acre for the lands therein described as required by law.
(b) Post-office addresses of applicants and witnesses. Applicants and witnesses must in all cases state their places of actual residence, their business or occupation, and their post-office addresses. It is not sufficient to name only the county or State in which a person lives, but the town or city must be named also; and where the residence is in a city the street and number must be given. It is especially important to claimants that upon changing their post-office addresses they promptly notify the authorizing officer of such change, for in case of failure to do so their entries may be canceled upon notice sent to the address of record but not received by them.
(c) Execution of applications and proofs; time for filing of applications. (1) Applications and proofs, except final proofs required by R.S. 2294 (43 U.S.C. 254), must be signed by the applicants but need not be under oath. Final proofs may be executed before any officer authorized to administer oaths in public land cases, as explained by § 1821.3-2 of this chapter.
(2) An application to make desert-land entry is not acceptable if dated more than 10 days before its filing at the land office.
(d) Evidence of water rights required with application. No desert-land application will be allowed unless accompanied by evidence satisfactorily showing either that the intending entryman has already acquired by appropriation, purchase, or contract a right to the permanent use of sufficient water to irrigate and reclaim all of the irrigable portion of the land sought, or that he has initiated and prosecuted, as far as then possible, appropriate steps looking to the acquisition of such a right, or, in States where no permit or right to appropriate water is granted until the land embraced within the application is classified as suitable for desert-land entry or the entry is allowed, a showing that the applicant is otherwise qualified under State law to secure such permit or right. If applicant intends to procure water from an irrigation district, corporation, or association, but is unable to obtain a contract for the water in advance of the allowance of his entry, then he must furnish, in lieu of the contract, some written assurance from the responsible officials of such district, corporation, or association that, if his entry be allowed, applicant will be able to obtain from that source the necessary water. The authorizing officer will examine the evidence submitted in such applications and either reject defective applications or require additional evidence.
(a) Lands which may be assigned. While by the Act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1096; 43 U.S.C. 329), assignments of desert-land entries were recognized, the Department of the Interior, largely for administrative reasons, held that a desert-land entry might be assigned as a whole or in its entirety, but refused to recognize the assignment of only a portion of an entry. The Act of March 28, 1908, however, provides for an assignment of such entries, in whole or in part, but this does not mean that less than a legal subdivision may be assigned. Therefore no assignment, otherwise than by legal subdivisions, will be recognized. The legal subdivisions assigned must be contiguous.
(b) Qualifications of assignees. (1) The Act of March 28, 1908, also provides that no person may take a desert-land entry by assignment unless he is qualified to enter the tract so assigned to him. Therefore, if a person is not at least 21 years of age and, excepting Nevada, a resident citizen of the State wherein the land involved is located; or if he is not a ciitzen of the United States, or a person who has declared his intention to become a citizen thereof; or, if he has made a desert-land entry in his own right and is not entitled under § 2521.1 to make a second or an additional entry, he cannot take such an entry by assignment. The language of the act indicates that the taking of an entry by assignment is equivalent to the making of an entry, and this being so, no person is allowed to take more than one entry by assignment, unless it be done as the exercise of a right of second or additional entry.
(2) A person who has the right to make a second or additional desert-land entry may exercise that right by taking an assignment of a desert-land entry, or part of such entry, if he is otherwise qualified to make a desert-land entry for the particular tract assigned.
(3) The Act of March 28, 1908, also provides that no assignment to or for the benefit of any corporation shall be authorized or recognized.
(c) Showing required of assignees; recognition of assignments. (1) As evidence of the assignment there should be transmitted to the authorizing officer the original deed of assignment or a certified copy thereof. Where the deed of assignment is recorded a certified copy may be made by the officer who has custody of the record. Where the original deed is presented to an officer qualified to take proof in desert-land cases, a copy certified by such officer will be accepted.
(2) An assignee must file with his deed of assignment, a statement on a form approved by the Director, showing his qualifications to take the entry assigned to him. He must show what applications or entries, if any, have been made by him or what entries assigned to him under the agricultural public land laws, and he must also show his qualifications as a citizen of the United States; that he is 21 years of age or over; and also that he is a resident citizen of the State in which the land assigned to him is situated, except in the State of Nevada, where citizenship of the United States only is required. If the assignee is not a native-born citizen of the United States, he should also furnish a statement as to his citizenship status in accordance with subpart 1811 of this chapter. If the assignee is a woman, she should in all cases state whether she is married, and if so, she must make the showing required by subpart 1811 of this chapter. Desert-land entries are initiated by the payment of 25 cents per acre, and no assignable right is acquired by the application prior to such payment. (6 L.D. 541, 33 L.D. 152.) An assignment made on the day of such payment, or soon thereafter, is treated as suggesting fraud, and such cases will be carefully scrutinized. The provisions of law authorizing the assignment of desert entries, in whole or in part, furnish no authority to a claimant under said law to make an executory contract to convey the land after the issuance of patent and thereafter to proceed with the submission of final proof in furtherance of such contract. (34 L.D. 383.) The sale of land embraced in an entry at any time before final payment is made must be regarded as an assignment of the entry, and in such cases the person buying the land must show that he possesses all the qualifications required of an assignee. (29 L.D. 453.) The assignor of a desert-land entry may execute the assignment before any officer authorized to take acknowledgements of deeds. The assignee must furnish a statement on a form approved by the Director as to his qualifications.
(3) No assignments of desert-land entries or parts of entries are conclusive until examined in the proper office and found satisfactory and the assignment recognized. When recognized, however, the assignee takes the place of the assignor as effectively as though he had made the entry, and is subject to any requirement that may be made relative thereto. The assignment of a desert-land entry to one disqualified to acquire title under the desert-land law, and to whom, therefore, recognition of the assignment is refused by the authorizing officer, does not of itself render the entry fraudulent, but leaves the right thereto in the assignor. In such connection, however, see 42 L.D. 90 and 48 L.D. 519.
(4) All applications for recognition of assignment of desert-land entries must be accompanied by an application service fee of $10 which will not be returnable.
(a) After final proof and payment have been made the land may be sold and conveyed to another person without the approval of the Bureau of Land Management, but all such conveyances are nevertheless subject to the superior rights of the United States, and the title so contained would fall if it should be finally determined that the entry was illegal or that the entryman had failed to comply with the law.
(b) Lands embraced in unperfected desert-land entries are not subject to taxation by the State authorities, nor to levy and sale under execution to satisfy judgments against the entrymen, except as hereinafter set forth in this section.
(c) Lands embraced in desert-land entries within an irrigation district which the Secretary of the Interior has approved under the Act of August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 506; 43 U.S.C. 621-630), may be taxed and otherwise dealt with as provided by said act, and lands in desert-land entries within irrigation projects constructed under the Reclamation Act may be taxed as provided for by the Act of June 13, 1930 (46 Stat. 581; 43 U.S.C. 455,455a.
(d) A desert-land entryman may, however, mortgage his interest in the entered land if, by the laws of the State in which the land is situated, a mortgage of land is regarded as merely creating a lien thereon and not as a conveyance thereof. The purchaser at a sale had for the foreclosure of such mortgage may be recognized as assignee upon furnishing proof of his qualifications to take a desert-land entry by assignment. Transferees, after final proof, mortgagees, or other encumbrancers may file in the proper office written notice stating the nature of their claims, and they will there upon become entitled to receive notice of any action taken by the Bureau of Land Management with reference to the entry.
(e) The filing of all notices of recordation of claim by transferees, mortgagees or other encumbrancer under this section must be accompanied by a service charge of $10 which will not be returnable.
(a) Showing required. (1) In order to test the sincerity and good faith of claimants under the desert-land laws and to prevent the segregation for a number of years of public lands in the interest of persons who have no intention to reclaim them, Congress, in the Act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat. 1096; 43 U.S.C. 327,328,and,making,in,reclamation,and,in,and,and. Said act, however, authorizes the submission of final proof at an earlier date than 4 years from the time the entry is made in cases wherein reclamation has been effected and expenditures of not less than $3 per acre have been made.
(2) Yearly or annual proof of expenditures must consist of the statements of two or more credible witnesses, each of whom must have general knowledge that the expenditures were made for the purpose stated in the proof. Annual proofs must contain itemized statements showing the manner in which expenditures were made.
(b) Acceptable expenditures. (1) Expenditures for the construction and maintenance of storage reservoirs, dams, canals, ditches, and laterals to be used by claimant for irrigating his land; for roads where they are necessary; for erecting stables, corrals, etc.; for digging wells, where the water therefrom is to be used for irrigating the land; for stock or interest in an approved irrigation company, or for taxes paid to an approved irrigation district through which water is to be secured to irrigate the land; and for leveling and bordering land proposed to be irrigated, will be accepted. Expenditures for fencing all or a portion of the claim, for surveying for the purpose of ascertaining the levels for canals, ditches, etc., and for the first breaking or clearing of the soil are also acceptable.
(2) The value to be attached to, and the credit to be given for, an expenditure for works or improvements is the reasonable value of the work done or improvement placed upon the land, according to the market price therefor, or for similar work or improvements prevailing in the vicinity, and not the amount alleged by a claimant to have been expended nor the mere proof of expenditures, as exhibited by checks or other vouchers. (Bradley v. Vasold, 36 L.D. 106.)
(c) Expenditures not acceptable. (1) Expenditures for cultivation after the soil has been first prepared may not be accepted, because the claimant is supposed to be compensated for such work by the crops to be reaped as a result of cultivation. Expenditures for surveying the claim in order to locate the corners of same may not be accepted. The cost of tools, implements, wagons, and repairs to same, used in construction work, may not be computed in cost of construction. Expenditures for material of any kind will not be allowed unless such material has actually been installed or employed in and for the purpose for which it was purchased. For instances, if credit is asked for posts and wire for fences or for pump or other well machinery, it must be shown that the fence has been actually constructed or the well machinery actually put in place. No expenditures can be credited on annual proofs upon a desert-land entry unless made on account of that particular entry, and expenditures once credited can not be again applied. This rule applies to second entries as well as to original entries, and a claimant who relinquishes his entry and makes second entry of the same land under the Act of September 5, 1914, cannot receive credit on annual proofs upon the second entry for expenditures made on account of the former entry. (41 L.D. 601 and 42 L.D. 523.)
(2) Expenditures for the clearing of the land will not receive credit in cases where the vegetation or brush claimed to have been cleared away has not been actually removed by the roots. Therefore, expenditures for clearing, where as a matter of fact there has been only crushing, or rolling, or what is known in some localities as railing the land will not be accepted.
(3) No expenditures for stock or interest in an irrigation company, through which water is to be secured for irrigating the land, will be accepted as satisfactory annual expenditure until a field examiner, or other authorized officer, has submitted a report as to the resources and reliability of the company, including its actual water right, and such report has been favorably acted upon by the Bureau of Land Management. The stock purchased must carry the right to water, and it must be shown that payment in cash has been made at least to the extent of the amount claimed as expenditure for the purchase of such stock in connection with the annual proof submitted, and such stock must be actually owned by the claimants at the time of the submission of final proof.
(d) Procedure where proof is not made when due. Authorizing officers will examine their records frequently for the purpose of ascertaining whether all annual proofs due on pending desert-land entries have been made, and in every case where the claimant is in default in that respect they will send him notice and allow him 60 days in which to submit such proof. If the proof is not furnished as required the entry will be canceled. During the pendency of a Government proceeding initiated by such notice the entry will be protected against a private contest charging failure to make the required expenditures, and such contest will neither defeat the claimant's right to equitably perfect the entry as to the matter of expenditures during the 60 days allowed in the notice nor secure to the contestant a preference right in event the entry be canceled for default under said notice.
(e) Desert land entry in more than one district. When a desert-land entry embraces land in more than one district, the required annual proofs may be filed in either district, provided proper reference is made to the portion of the entry in the adjoining district, and the entryman must notify the authorized officer of the adjoining district by letter of the date when the annual proof is filed.
(f) Extensions of time. (1) The law makes no provision for extensions of time in which to file annual proof becoming due subsequent to December 31, 1936, on desert-land entries not embraced within the exterior boundaries of any withdrawal or irrigation project under the Reclamation Act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 388), and extensions for said purpose cannot therefore be granted. However, where a township is suspended from entry for the purpose of resurvey thereof the time between the date of suspension and the filing in the local office of the new plat of survey will be excluded from the period accorded by law for the reclamation of land under a desert entry within such township and the statutory life of the entry extended accordingly (40 L.D. 223). During the continuance of the extension the claimant may, at his option, defer the making of annual expenditures and proof thereof.
(2) Extensions of time for making desert-land proofs were authorized by the Acts of June 16, 1933 (48 Stat. 274; 43 U.S.C. 256a), July 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 504; 43 U.S.C. 256a), and June 16, 1937 (50 Stat. 303; 43 U.S.C. 256a). Such acts affect only proofs becoming due on or before December 31, 1936. For that reason, the regulations which were issued thereunder have not been included in this chapter.
(g) Submission of proof before due date. Nothing in the statutes or regulations should be construed to mean that the entryman must wait until the end of the year to submit his annual proof because the proof may be properly submitted as soon as the expenditures have been made. Proof sufficient for the 3 years may be offered whenever the amount of $3 an acre has been expended in reclaiming and improving the land, and thereafter annual proof will not be required.
(a) General requirements. The entryman, his assigns, or, in case of death, his heirs or devisees, are allowed 4 years from date of the entry within which to comply with the requirements of the law as to reclamation and cultivation of the land and to submit final proof, but final proof may be made and patent thereon issued as soon as there has been expended the sum of $3 per acre in improving, reclaiming, and irrigating the land, and one-eighth of the entire area entered has been properly cultivated and irrigated, and when the requirements of the desert-land laws as to water rights and the construction of the necessary reservoirs, ditches, dams, etc., have been fully complied with.
(1) Where the proof establishes that the entryman cannot effect timely compliance with the law, the entry must be canceled unless statutory authority permits the granting of an extension of time or other relief.
(b) Notice of intention to make final proof. When an entryman has reclaimed the land and is ready to make final proof, he should apply to the authorizing officer for a notice of intention to make such proof. This notice must contain a complete description of the land, give the number of the entry and name of the claimant, and must bear an endorsement specifically indicating the source of his water supply. If the proof is made by an assignee, his name, as well as that of the original entryman, should be stated. It must also show when, where and before whom the proof is to be made. Four witnesses may be named in this notice, two of whom must be used in making proof. Care should be exercised to select as witnesses persons who are familiar, from personal observation, with the land in question, and with what has been done by the claimant toward reclaiming and improving it. Care should also be taken to ascertain definitely the names and addresses of the proposed witnesses, so that they may correctly appear in the notice.
(c) Publication of final-proof notice. The authorizing officer will issue the usual notice for publication. This notice must be published once a week for five successive weeks in a newspaper of established character and general circulation published nearest the lands (see 38 L.D. 131; 43 L.D. 216). The claimant must pay the cost of the publication but it is the duty of authorizing officers to procure the publication of proper final-proof notices. The date fixed for the taking of the proof must be at least 30 days after the date of first publication. Proof of publication must be made by the statement of the publisher of the newspaper or by someone authorized to act for him.
(d) Submission of final proof. On the day set in the notice (or, in the case of accident or unavoidable delay, within 10 days thereafter), and at the place and before the officer designated, the claimant will appear with two of the witnesses named in the notice and make proof of the reclamation, cultivation, and improvement of the land. The testimony of each claimant should be taken separately and apart from and not within the hearing of either of his witnesses, and the testimony of each witness should be taken separately and apart from and not within the hearing of either the applicant or of any other witness, and both the applicant and each of the witnesses should be required to state, in and as a part of the final-proof testimony given by them, that they have given such testimony without any actual knowledge of any statement made in the testimony of either of the others. In every instance where, for any reason whatever, final proof is not submitted within the 4 years prescribed by law, or within the period of an extension granted for submitting such proof, a statement should be filed by claimant, with the proof, explaining the cause of delay.
(e) Showing as to irrigation system. The final proof must show specifically the source and volume of the water supply and how it was acquired and how it is maintained. The number, length, and carrying capacity of all ditches, canals, conduits, and other means to conduct water to and on each of the legal subdivisions must also be shown. The claimant and the witnesses must each state in full all that has been done in the matter of reclamation and improvements of the land, and must answer fully, of their own personal knowledge, all of the questions contained in the final-proof blanks. They must state plainly whether at any time they saw the land effectually irrigated, and the different dates on which they saw it irrigated should be specifically stated.
(f) Showing as to lands irrigated and reclaimed. While it is not required that all of the land shall have been actually irrigated at the time final proof is made, it is necessary that the one-eighth portion which is required to be cultivated shall also have been irrigated in a manner calculated to produce profitable results, considering the character of the land, the climate, and the kind of crops being grown. (Alonzo B. Cole, 38 L.D. 420.) The cultivation and irrigation of the one-eighth portion of the entire area entered may be had in a body on one legal subdivision or may be distributed over several subdivisions. The final proof must clearly show that all of the permanent main and lateral ditches, canals, conduits, and other means to conduct water necessary for the irrigation of all the irrigable land in the entry have been constructed so that water can be actually applied to the land as soon as it is ready for cultivation. If pumping be relied upon as the means of irrigation, the plant installed for that purpose must be of sufficient capacity to render available enough water for all the irrigable land. If there are any high points or any portions of the land which for any reason it is not practicable to irrigate, the nature, extent, and situation of such areas in each legal subdivision must be fully stated. If less than one-eighth of a smallest legal subdivision is practically susceptible of irrigation from claimant's source of water supply and no portion thereof is used as a necessary part of his irrigation scheme, such subdivision must be relinquished. (43 L.D. 269.)
(g) Showing as to tillage of land. As a rule, actual tillage of one-eighth of the land must be shown. It is not sufficient to show only that there has been a marked increase in the growth of grass or that grass sufficient to support stock has been produced on the land as a result of irrigation. If, however, on account of some peculiar climatic or soil conditions, no crops except grass can be successfully produced, or if actual tillage will destroy or injure the productive quality of the soil, the actual production of a crop of hay of merchantable value will be accepted as sufficient compliance with the requirements as to cultivation. (32 L.D. 456.) In such cases, however, the facts must be stated and the extent and value of the crop of hay must be shown, and, as before stated, that same was produced as a result of actual irrigation.
(h) Showing as to water right. (1) In every case where the claimant's water right is founded upon contract or purchase the final proof must embrace evidence which clearly establishes the fact and legal sufficiency of that right. If claimant's ownership of such right has already been evidenced in connection with the original entry or some later proceeding, then the final proof must show his continued possession thereof. If the water right relied on is obtained under claimant's appropriation, the final proof, considered together with any evidence previously submitted in the matter, must show that the claimant has made such preliminary filings as are required by the laws of the State in which the land is located, and that he has also taken all other steps necessary under said laws to secure and perfect the claimed water right. In all cases the water right, however it be acquired, must entitle the claimant to the use of a sufficient supply of water to irrigate successfully all the irrigable land embraced in his entry, notwithstanding that the final proof need only show the actual irrigation of one-eighth of that area.
(2) In those States where entrymen have made applications for water rights and have been granted permits but where no final adjudication of the water right can be secured from the State authorities owing to delay in the adjudication of the watercourses or other delay for which the entrymen are in no way responsible, proof that the entrymen have done all that is required of them by the laws of the State, together with proof of actual irrigation of one-eighth of the land embraced in their entries, may be accepted. This modification of the rule that the claimant must furnish evidence of an absolute water right will apply only in those States where under the local laws it is impossible for the entryman to secure final evidence of title to his water right within the time allowed him to submit final proof on his entry, and in such cases the best evidence obtainable must be furnished. (35 L.D. 305.)
(3) It is a well-settled principle of law in all of the States in which the desert land acts are operative that actual application to a beneficial use of water appropriated from public streams measures the extent of the right to the water, and that failure to proceed with reasonable diligence to make such application to beneficial use within a reasonable time constitutes an abandonment of the right. (Wiel's Water Rights in the Western States, sec. 172.) The final proof, therefore, must show that the claimant has exercised such diligence as will, if continued, under the operation of this rule result in his definitely securing a perfect right to the use of sufficient water for the permanent irrigation and reclamation of all of the irrigable land in his entry. To this end the proof must at least show that water which is being diverted from its natural course and claimed for the specific purpose of irrigating the lands embraced in claimant's entry, under a legal right acquired by virtue of his own or his grantor's compliance with the requirements of the State laws governing the appropriation of public waters, has actually been conducted through claimant's main ditches to and upon the land; that one-eighth of the land embraced in the entry has been actually irrigated and cultivated; that water has been brought to such a point on the land as to readily demonstrate that the entire irrigable area may be irrigated from the system; and that claimant is prepared to distribute the water so claimed over all of the irrigable land in each smallest legal subdivision in quantity sufficient for practical irrigation as soon as the land shall have been cleared or otherwise prepared for cultivation. The nature of the work necessary to be performed in and for the preparation for cultivation of such part of the land as has not been irrigated should be carefully indicated, and it should be shown that the said work of preparation is being prosecuted with such diligence as will permit of beneficial application of appropriated water within a reasonable time.
(4) Desert-land claimants should bear in mind that a water right and a water supply are not the same thing and that the two are not always or necessarily found together. Strictly speaking, a perfect and complete water right for irrigation purposes is confined to and limited by the area of land that has been irrigated with the water provided thereunder. Under the various State laws, however, an inchoate or incomplete right may be obtained which is capable of ripening into a perfect right if the water is applied to beneficial use with reasonable diligence. A person may have an apparent right of this kind for land which he has not irrigated, and which, moreover, he never can irrigate because of the lack of available water to satisfy his apparent right. Such an imperfect right, of course, cannot be viewed as meeting the requirements of the desert-land law which contemplates the eventual reclamation of all the irrigable land in the entry. Therefore, and with special reference to that portion of the irrigable land of an entry not required to be irrigated and cultivated before final proof, an incomplete (though real) water right will not be acceptable if its completion appears to be impossible because there is no actual supply of water available under the appropriation in question.
(i) Showing where water supply is derived from irrigation project. (1) Where the water right claimed in any final proof is derived from an irrigation project it must be shown that the entryman owns such an interest therein as entitles him to receive from the irrigation works of the project a supply of water sufficient for the proper irrigation of the land embraced in his entry. Investigations by field examiners as to the resources and reliability, including particularly the source and volume of the water supply, of all irrigation companies associations, and districts through which desert-land entrymen seek to acquire water rights for the reclamation of their lands are made, and it is the purpose of the Bureau of Land Management to accept no annual or final proofs based upon such a water right until an investigation of the company in question has been made and report thereon approved. The information so acquired will be regarded as determining, at least tentatively, the amount of stock or interest which is necessary to give the entryman a right to a sufficient supply of water; but the entryman will be permitted to challenge the correctness of the report as to the facts alleged and the validity of its conclusions and to offer either with his final proof or subsequently such evidence as he can tending to support his contentions.
(2) Entrymen applying to make final proof are required to state the source of their water supply, and if water is to be obtained from the works of an irrigation company, association, or district the authorizing officer will endorse the name and address of the project upon the copy of the notice to be forwarded to the State Director. If the report on the company has been acted upon by the Bureau of Land Management and the proof submitted by claimant does not show that he owns the amount of stock or interest in the company found necessary for the area of land to be reclaimed, the authorizing officer will suspend the proof, advise the claimant of the requirements made by the Bureau of Land Management in connection with the report, and allow him 30 days within which to comply therewith or to make an affirmative showing in duplicate and apply for a hearing. In default of any action by him within the specified time the authorizing officer will reject the proof, subject to the usual right of appeal.
(j) Final-proof expiration notice. (1) Where final proof is not made within the period of 4 years, or within the period for which an extension of time has been granted, the claimant will be allowed 90 days in which to submit final proof. (44 L.D. 364.)
(2) Should no action be taken within the time allowed, the entry will be canceled. The 90 days provided for in this section must not be construed as an extension of time or as relieving the claimant from the necessity of explaining why the proof was not made within the statutory period or within such extensions of that period as have been specifically granted.
(k) Requirements where township is suspended for resurvey. No claimant will be required to submit final proof while the township embracing his entry is under suspension for the purpose of resurvey. (40 L.D. 223.) This also applies to annual proof. In computing the time when final proof on an entry so affected will become due the period between the date of suspension and the filing in the local office of the new plat of survey will be excluded. However, if the claimant so elects, he may submit final proof on such entry notwithstanding the suspension of the township.
(a) To enlarge area of desert-land entry. Amendment for the purpose of enlarging the area of a desert-land entry will be granted under and in the conditions and circumstances now to be stated.
(1) In any case where it is satisfactorily disclosed that entry was not made to embrace the full area which might lawfully have been included therein because of existing appropriations of all contiguous lands then appearing to be susceptible of irrigation through and by means of entryman's water supply, or of all such lands which seemed to be worthy of the expenditure requisite for that purpose, said lands having since been released from such appropriations.
(2) Where contiguous tracts have been omitted from entry because of entryman's belief, after a reasonably careful investigation, that they could not be reclaimed by means of the water supply available for use in that behalf, it having been subsequently discovered that reclamation thereof can be effectively accomplished by means of a changed plan or method of conserving or distributing such water supply.
(3) Where, at the time of entry, the entryman announced, in his declaration, his purpose to procure the cancellation, through contest or relinquishment, of an entry embracing lands contiguous to those entered by him, and thereafter to seek amendment of his entry in such manner as to embrace all or some portion of the lands so discharged from entry.
(b) Conditions governing amendments in exercise of equitable powers; amendments involving homestead and desert-land entries of adjoining lands. Applications for amendment presented pursuant to § 1821.6-5(a) of this chapter will not be granted, except where at least one legal subdivision of the lands originally entered is retained in the amended entry, and any such application must be submitted within 1 year next after discovery by the entryman of the existence of the conditions relied upon as entitling him to the relief he seeks, or within 1 year succeeding the date on which, by the exercise of reasonable diligence, the existence of such conditions might have been discovered: Provided, nevertheless, That where an applicant for amendment has made both homestead and desert land entries for contiguous lands, amendment may be granted whereby to transfer the desert-land entry, in its entirety, to the land covered by the homestead entry, and the homestead entry, in its entirety, to the land covered by the desert-land entry, or whereby to enlarge the desert-land entry in such manner as that it will include the whole or some portion of the lands embraced in the homestead entry, sufficient equitable reason for such enlargement being exhibited, and the area of the enlarged entry in no case exceeding 320 acres. Applications for such amendments may be made under §§ 1821.6-1 to 1821.6-5 of this chapter and on the prescribed form, in so far as the same are applicable. A supplemental statement should also be furnished, if necessary, to show the facts.
(c) Evidence of water-right to accompany application to amend desert-land entry. Application to amend desert-land entries by the addition of a new and enlarged area or by transferring the entry to lands not originally selected for entry must be accompanied by evidence of applicant's right to the use of water sufficient for the adequate irrigation of said enlarged area or of the lands to which entry is to be transferred. Such evidence must be in the form prescribed by § 2521.2.
(a) Contests may be initiated by any person seeking to acquire title to or claiming an interest in the land involved against a party to any desert-land entry because of priority of claim or for any sufficient cause affecting the legality or validity of the claim not shown by the records of the Bureau of Land Management.
(b) Successful contestants will be allowed a preference right of entry for 30 days after notice of the cancellation of the contested entry, in the same manner as in homestead cases, and the authorizing officer will give the same notice and is entitled to the same fee for notice as in other cases.