U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 26, 2022

§ 2610.0-2 - Objectives.

The objective of section 4 of the Act of August 18, 1894 (28 Stat. 422), as amended (43 U.S.C. 641 et seq.), known as the Carey Act, is to aid public land States in the reclamation of the desert lands therein, and the settlement, cultivation, and sale thereof in small tracts to actual settlers.

§ 2610.0-3 - Authority.

(a) The Carey Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, with the approval of the President, to contract and agree to grant and patent to States, in which there are desert lands, not to exceed 1,000,000 acres of such lands to each State, under the conditions specified in the Act. The Secretary is authorized to contract and agree to grant and patent additional lands to certain States. After a State's application for a grant has been approved by the Secretary, the lands are segregated from the public domain for a period of from 3 to 15 years, the State undertaking within that time to cause the reclamation of the lands by irrigation. The lands, when reclaimed, are patented to the States or to actual settlers who are its assignees. If the lands are patented to the State, the State transfers title to the settler. Entries are limited to 160 acres to each actual settler.

(b) The Act of June 11, 1896 (29 Stat. 434; 43 U.S.C. 642), authorizes liens on the land for the cost of construction of the irrigation works, and permits the issuance of patents to States for particular tracts actually reclaimed without regard to settlement or cultivation.

(c) The Act of March 1, 1907 (34 Stat. 1056), extends the provisions of the Carey Act to the former Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado.

(d) The Joint Resolution approved May 25, 1908 (35 Stat. 577), authorizes grants to the State of Idaho of an additional 1,000,000 acres.

(e) The Act of May 27, 1908 (35 Stat. 347; 43 U.S.C. 645), authorizes grants of an additional 1,000,000 acres to the State of Idaho and the State of Wyoming.

(f) The Act of February 24, 1909 (35 Stat. 644; 43 U.S.C. 647), extends the provisions of the Carey Act to the former Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado.

(g) The Act of February 16, 1911 (36 Stat. 913), extends the Carey Act to the former Fort Bridger Military Reservation in Wyoming.

(h) The Act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat. 925; 43 U.S.C. 523-524), permits the sale of surplus water by the United States Bureau of Reclamation for use upon Carey Act lands.

(i) The Act of March 4, 1911 (36 Stat. 1417; 43 U.S.C. 645), authorizes grants to the State of Nevada of an additional 1,000,000 acres.

(j) The Joint Resolution of August 21, 1911 (37 Stat. 38; 43 U.S.C. 645), authorizes grants to the State of Colorado of an additional 1,000,000 acres.

§ 2610.0-4 - Responsibilities.

(a) The authority of the Secretary of the Interior to approve the applications provided for in this part, has been delegated to the Director of the Bureau of Land Management and redelegated to State Directors of the Bureau of Land Management.

(b) The grant contact must be signed by the Secretary of the Interior, or an officer authorized by him, and approved by the President.

§ 2610.0-5 - Definitions.

As used in the regulations of this part:

(a) Actual settler means a person who establishes a primary residence on the land.

(b) Cultivation means tilling or otherwise preparing the land and keeping the ground in a state favorable for the growth of ordinary agricultural crops, and requires irrigation as an attendant act.

(c) Desert lands means unreclaimed lands which will not, without irrigation, produce any reasonably remunerative agricultural crop by usual means or methods of cultivation. This includes lands which will not, without irrigation, produce paying crops during a series of years, but on which crops can be successfully grown in alternate years by means of the so-called dry-farming system. Lands which produce native grasses sufficient in quantity, if ungrazed by grazing animals, to make an ordinary crop of hay in usual seasons, are not desert lands. Lands which will produce an agricultural crop of any kind without irrigation in amount sufficient to make the cultivation reasonably remunerative are not desert. Lands containing sufficient moisture to produce a natural growth of trees are not to be classed as desert lands.

(d) Economic feasibility means the capability of an entry to provide an economic return to the settler sufficient to provide a viable farm enterprise and assure continued use of the land for farming purposes. Factors considered in determining feasibility may include the cost of developing or acquiring water, land reclamation costs, land treatment costs, the cost of construction or acquisition of a habitable residence, acquisition of farm equipment, fencing and other costs associated with a farm enterprise, such as water delivery, seed, planting, fertilization, harvest, etc.

(e) Grant contract means the contract between a State and the United States which sets the terms and conditions which the State or its assignees shall comply with before lands shall be patented.

(f) Irrigation means the application of water to the land for the purpose of growing crops.

(g) Ordinary agricultural crops means any agricultural product to which the land under consideration is generally adapted, and which would return a fair reward for the expense of producing them. Ordinary agricultural crops do not include forest products, but may include orchards and other plants which cannot be grown on the land without irrigation and from which a profitable crop may be harvested.

(h) Reclamation means the establishment of works for conducting water in adequate volume and quantity to the land so as to render it available for distribution when needed for irrigation and cultivation.

(i) Segregation means the action under the Act of August 19, 1894 (39 Stat. 422), as amended (43 U.S.C. 641), by which the lands are reserved from the public domain and closed to application or entry under the public land laws, including location under the mining laws.

(j) Smallest legal subdivision means a quarter quarter section (40 acres).

§ 2610.0-7 - Background.

The Carey Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, with the approval of the President, to contract and agree to grant and patent to States, in which there are desert lands, not exceeding 1 million acres of such lands to each State, as the State may cause to be reclaimed. The State shall also cause not less than 20 acres of each 160 acre tract to be cultivated by actual settlers. A number of amendments allowed additional acreages for certain States. Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming were allowed up to 2 million acres. Idaho was allowed up to 3 million acres.

§ 2610.0-8 - Lands subject to application.

(a) The lands shall be unreclaimed desert lands capable of producing ordinary agricultural crops by irrigation.

(b) The lands shall be nonmineral, except that lands withdrawn, classified or valuable for coal, phosphate, nitrate, potash, sodium, sulphur, oil, gas or asphaltic minerals may be applied for subject to a reservation of such deposit, as explained in subpart 2093 of this title.

(c) Lands embraced in mineral permits of leases, or in applications for such permits or leases, or classified, withdrawn or reported as valuable for any leasable mineral, or lying within the geologic structure of a field are subject to the provisions of §§ 2093.0-3 through 2093.0-7 of this title.

(d) A project or individual entry may consist of 2 or more noncontiguous parcels. However, noncontiguous lands should be in a pattern compact enough to be managed as an efficient, economic unit.