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U.S.-Dept. of the interior-General land office.
PUBLIC TIMBER LAWS
REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS THEREUNDER.
ISSUED JANUARY 21, 1897.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C., January 21, 1897.
The following compilation of existing laws relative to timber on the public lands, with the rules and regulations thereunder, and decisions, opinions, and rulings in relation thereto, is issued for the information of those concerned.
S. W. LAMOREUX,
SYNOPSIS OF LAWS RELATING TO TIMBER ON PUBLIC LANDS.
Section 2161, U. S. R. S., provides a fine of not less than triple the value of the timber and imprisonment not exceeding twelve months in instances in which timber is cut or removed from public lands reserved or purchased for the use of the Navy or from any other public lands for use other than for the Navy of the United States. (See sec. 4751, U. S. R. S.) See also the following: Act of March 1, 1817, 3 Stat., 347 (secs. 2458 and 2459, U. S. R. S.); and act of February 23, 1822, 3 Stat., 651 (sec. 2460, U. S. R. S.).
Section 2462, U. S. R. S., provides for the forfeiture to the United States of any vessel having on board, with knowledge of the master, owner, or consignee, timber taken from Naval Reserve or other public lands with intent to transport the same to any port or place within the United States or for export to any foreign country, and further provides that the captain or master of such vessel shall pay to the United States a sum not exceeding $1,000. (See sec. 4751, U. S. R. S.)
Section 2463, U. S. R. S., provides that collectors of customs in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, before allowing clearance to any vessel having on board live-oak timber, must ascertain that the same was cut from private lands, or if from public lands, by consent of the Navy Department; and also provides that timely prosecution be instituted against parties guilty of depredations on live oak in those States. (See secs. 4205 and 4751, U. S. R. S.)
Section 4205, U. S. R. S., reads as follows: "Collectors of the collection districts within the States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, before allowing a clearance to any vessel laden in whole or in part with live-oak timber, shall ascertain satisfactorily that such timber was cut from private lands, or if from public lands, by consent of the Department of the Navy." (See sec. 2463.) Section 4751, U. S. R. S., provides that all penalties and forfeitures under sections 2462 and 2463 shall be recovered, etc., under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy-one-half to be paid to the informers or captors and the other half to the Secretary of the Navy; and also authorizes the Secretary to mitigate any fine, penalty or forfeiture so incurred.
Section 5388, U. S. R. S., provides a fine of not more than $500 and imprisonment not more than twelve months in every instance in which timber is unlawfully cut or injured on lands reserved or purchased for military or other purposes. (See secs. 2460 and 2463, U. S. R. S. See also act of June 4, 1888; 25 Stat., 166, amending this section.)
Act of March 3, 1875 (18 Stat., 481), section 1 provides a fine of not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding twelve months in instances in which ornamental or other trees on surveyed public lands which have been reserved have been cut or injured. Section 2 provides a fine not exceeding $200 or imprisonment not exeeding six months for the breaking open or destroying of any gate, fence, hedge, or wall inclosing any lands reserved or purchased by the United States. Section 3 provides a penalty of not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding twelve months for the breaking in of any inclosure around lands reserved or purchased by the United States, and permitting cattle, horses and hogs to enter therein when they may or can destroy the grass, trees, or other property of the United States.