[Rev. 11/21/2013 10:51:43 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 324 - LANDS UNDER CAREY ACT

NRS 324.010           Definitions.

NRS 324.020           Acceptance of terms and conditions of Carey Act.

NRS 324.030           Division of State Lands: Selection, management and disposal of land.

NRS 324.040           State Registrar of Lands Under Carey Act: Designation; powers and duties; compensation.

NRS 324.050           Report of State Registrar of Lands Under Carey Act; pending proceedings not made public.

NRS 324.060           Regulations: Adoption; publication and distribution.

NRS 324.070           Division to determine time, manner and conditions under which lands open for entry or sale.

NRS 324.080           Division to fix price of lands; Carey Act Account created.

NRS 324.090           Fees.

NRS 324.100           Deposit and use of proceeds and fees; appropriation for Carey Act Account.

NRS 324.110           Compensation of State Engineer.

NRS 324.120           Applications for segregations: Contents; filing fee.

NRS 324.130           Report of State Engineer on application for segregation; action by Division.

NRS 324.140           Deposits required of applicants to cover costs; reimbursements.

NRS 324.160           Contract between Division and applicant: Contents; conditions; bond; forfeiture.

NRS 324.170           Further conditions of contracts; exceptions to forfeitures.

NRS 324.180           Modifications of contracts.

NRS 324.200           Payment not required until water available, bond deposited or guarantees made.

NRS 324.210           Forfeiture of contract and bond: Notice; sale of uncompleted works.

NRS 324.220           Entry upon land: Conditions.

NRS 324.230           Final proof of reclamation, settlement and occupation; patents.

NRS 324.240           Issuance of patent to settler.

NRS 324.250           Water rights: Attachment to land; liens.

NRS 324.290           Division not to obligate State under contracts.

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      NRS 324.010  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

      1.  “Carey Act” means the provisions of 43 U.S.C. §§ 641 et seq., and all acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto.

      2.  “Division” means the Division of State Lands of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

      [Part 1:76:1911; RL § 3064; NCL § 5475] + [Part 2:76:1911; A 1915, 335; 1919 RL § 3065; NCL § 5476] + [Part 28:76:1911; RL § 3091; NCL § 5502]—(NRS A 1977, 373, 1192; 1979, 228)

      NRS 324.020  Acceptance of terms and conditions of Carey Act.  The State of Nevada accepts the terms and conditions of the Carey Act, and all acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto which may be passed by the Congress of the United States, together with all the grants of land made to the State by the Federal Government under the provisions of that act.

      [Part 1:76:1911; RL § 3064; NCL § 5475]—(NRS A 1979, 228)

      NRS 324.030  Division of State Lands: Selection, management and disposal of land.  The selection, management and disposal of such land is vested in the Division.

      [Part 2:76:1911; A 1915, 335; 1919 RL § 3065; NCL § 5476] + [Part 28:76:1911; RL § 3091; NCL § 5502]—(NRS A 1957, 649; 1959, 91; 1969, 1428; 1975, 108; 1977, 373, 1192)

      NRS 324.040  State Registrar of Lands Under Carey Act: Designation; powers and duties; compensation.

      1.  The Administrator of the Division is designated as the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act.

      2.  The State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act:

      (a) Is the custodian of all papers, documents, maps and plats relating to Carey Act lands.

      (b) Shall receive and give a receipt for all fees and payments required to be paid pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or any regulation of the Division.

      (c) Shall deposit all fees and payments received by him or her with the State Treasurer to the credit of the Carey Act Account.

      (d) Shall conduct all correspondence relating to Carey Act lands.

      3.  The State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act is designated as the authorized agent of the State to dispose of lands under the Carey Act.

      4.  For services performed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter the Administrator of the Division is not entitled to receive additional compensation.

      [Part 2:76:1911; A 1915, 335; 1919 RL § 3065; NCL § 5476] + [Part 25:76:1911; A 1915, 333; 1919 RL § 3088; NCL § 5499]—(NRS A 1957, 649; 1975, 108; 1977, 1192; 1979, 228, 664; 1991, 1764)

      NRS 324.050  Report of State Registrar of Lands Under Carey Act; pending proceedings not made public.

      1.  Before September 1 of each even-numbered year, for the biennium ending June 30 of such year, the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act shall prepare a detailed report of the transactions concerning Carey Act lands and file one copy of the report with the Secretary of State.

      2.  All pending proceedings before the Division and the State Engineer, except applications for permits for water rights, must not be made public or be open to public inspection until the application for segregation is filed in the Bureau of Land Management.

      [29:76:1911; RL § 3092; NCL § 5503]—(NRS A 1969, 1456; 1975, 108; 1977, 1193; 1979, 228)

      NRS 324.060  Regulations: Adoption; publication and distribution.

      1.  The Division may establish and require the observance of such regulations as the Division may deem necessary, proper or expedient, not in conflict with law or the regulations of the Department of the Interior, for the administration of the provisions of this chapter.

      2.  Such regulations shall be published from time to time in pamphlet form for free distribution.

      [24:76:1911; RL § 3087; NCL § 5498]—(NRS A 1977, 1193)

      NRS 324.070  Division to determine time, manner and conditions under which lands open for entry or sale.  The Division shall determine the time, manner and conditions under which lands and water rights of any segregation, or any part thereof, are thrown open for entry by or sale to intending settlers.

      [16:76:1911; RL § 3079; NCL § 5490]—(NRS A 1977, 1193)

      NRS 324.080  Division to fix price of lands; Carey Act Account created.

      1.  The Division may fix the price at which the State disposes of lands in each segregation to settlers at the time of their entry, which must not be less than $10 per acre nor more than the fair market value, including costs incidental to the application.

      2.  The proceeds must be deposited with the Treasurer for credit to the Carey Act Account, which is hereby created in the State General Fund.

      [13:76:1911; RL § 3076; NCL § 5487]—(NRS A 1977, 374, 1193; 1979, 229, 664; 1991, 1764)

      NRS 324.090  Fees.  A nonrefundable fee of $100 must be collected by the Division pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and deposited with the State Treasurer for credit to the Carey Act Account. The fee covers one copy each of all original documents from the time of application to the time of issuance of patent, including the application for segregation. Other fees may be charged as are established by regulations of the Division.

      [26:76:1911; RL § 3089; NCL § 5500]—(NRS A 1977, 374, 1193; 1979, 229, 664; 1991, 1764)

      NRS 324.100  Deposit and use of proceeds and fees; appropriation for Carey Act Account.

      1.  The proceeds derived by the State from fees and the sale of Carey Act lands must be deposited in the Carey Act Account. The money is subject to control and disposition by the Division and may be used by the Division for the following purposes only:

      (a) For the payment of all necessary expenses incurred by the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act for administering Carey Act lands.

      (b) For the reclamation, under the control and direction of the Division, of desert lands in the State, other than those included in any segregation by any applicant except the State.

      (c) For advertisement and publicity of the desert lands of the State to advance their settlement and reclamation.

      2.  Until the Carey Act Account has received deposits from fees and sales of land under the provisions of this chapter sufficient to meet the necessary disbursements arising pursuant to paragraph (a) of subsection 1, the State Controller and the State Treasurer are authorized and directed to transfer from the State General Fund to the Carey Act Account from time to time, sufficient money to meet those disbursements, not exceeding $10,000, and that sum is hereby appropriated for that purpose. As soon as deposits to the Carey Act Account, derived from fees and sales of lands, are sufficient to provide an adequate operating balance in the Carey Act Account, all sums so transferred must be restored to the State General Fund.

      3.  All disbursements from the Carey Act Account must be on claims of the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act and approved by the State Board of Examiners.

      [30:76:1911; RL § 3093; NCL § 5504]—(NRS A 1975, 108; 1977, 374, 1193; 1979, 229, 664; 1991, 1764)

      NRS 324.110  Compensation of State Engineer.

      1.  The State Engineer must be compensated for his or her services by such fees and expense allowances as are authorized by law to be assessed against an applicant for a water right. The expense of the inspection, supervision and report of the State Engineer upon the proposed irrigation works of an applicant and all other services of the State Engineer, if it is not covered by law, must be assessed against the applicant, and is required in advance. The State Engineer shall submit a statement to the Division.

      2.  Except in special cases and for unusual services, the work of the State Engineer in connection with the Carey Act must be done under the fee and compensation system of his or her office.

      [27:76:1911; RL § 3090; NCL § 5501]—(NRS A 1977, 1194; 1979, 230)

      NRS 324.120  Applications for segregations: Contents; filing fee.

      1.  Any natural person, association, company or corporation desiring to construct impounding dams, canals, ditches or other irrigation works, pumping plants, or artesian wells to reclaim lands under the provisions of this chapter, may file with the Division an application for any land which is listed by the Division as being available for reclamation through the Division.

      2.  Any person who is a citizen of the United States, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and who is more than 18 years of age may file an application with the Division for that land in an amount not exceeding 160 acres.

      3.  An application must:

      (a) Be prepared and submitted in accordance with such regulations as the Division may adopt, which must conform with applicable regulations of the Department of the Interior.

      (b) Be accompanied by proof that an active application for a permit to appropriate water is on file in the Office of the State Engineer.

      (c) Be accompanied by the fee prescribed by this chapter.

      (d) State that the applicant desires the land for actually reclaiming, cultivating and settling it in accordance with the Carey Act and the laws and regulations of this State.

      (e) State that the applicant, if granted the amount of land requested in the application, will not have received a total amount of land through the provisions of this chapter exceeding 160 acres.

      [3:76:1911; RL § 3066; NCL § 5477] + [4:76:1911; RL § 3067; NCL § 5478]—(NRS A 1977, 375, 1194; 1979, 230)

      NRS 324.130  Report of State Engineer on application for segregation; action by Division.

      1.  All applications for Carey Act lands which are prepared and submitted in accordance with the regulations of the Division and of the Department of the Interior must be referred to the State Engineer. The State Engineer shall submit a written report which includes information regarding the water supply, the status of the water right, and other data necessary to enable the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act to make the proper application and certification required by the Bureau of Land Management in such cases.

      2.  No application on which the State Engineer has reported adversely may be approved by the Division. If the State Engineer reports favorably on an application, the Division shall, at its earliest convenience, consider the application. If the Division approves the application, or if the applicant accepts and the Division approves a modified application, the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act shall file in the proper office of the Bureau of Land Management a request for the segregation of the lands described.

      [5:76:1911; RL § 3068; NCL § 5479]—(NRS A 1975, 109; 1977, 1195; 1979, 231)

      NRS 324.140  Deposits required of applicants to cover costs; reimbursements.

      1.  Immediately after an application has been approved by the Division, and before the filing of the request for the segregation of land with the Bureau of Land Management, the applicant shall deposit with the Division a sum which, according to the estimate of the Division, will cover the entire cost of the surveys, determinations, maps and plats required by the Secretary of the Interior before it approves a segregation and allotment of those lands to the State.

      2.  The deposit is a guarantee that the surveys, determinations, maps and plats are made properly and in good faith by the applicant, and will be completed and filed with the Division for its examination within 90 days after the Division receives the deposit. As work on the surveys, determinations, maps and plats progresses, the Division shall, upon request, reimburse the applicant from the deposit amounts which equal the aggregate cost of the work done. An applicant desiring to relinquish and abandon the project before completion of the surveys and determinations may serve written notice to that effect upon the Division, accompanied with a relinquishment to the State of his or her application for a water right, and the Division shall refund to the applicant the unexpended balance of his or her deposit.

      [6:76:1911; RL § 3069; NCL § 5480]—(NRS A 1977, 1195; 1979, 231)

      NRS 324.160  Contract between Division and applicant: Contents; conditions; bond; forfeiture.

      1.  Upon approval by the Secretary of the Interior of the application for a segregation, the Division must enter into a contract with the applicant for the segregation. The contract must contain:

      (a) Such complete specifications with respect to the system of irrigation works proposed to reclaim the lands of the segregation as the Division prescribes by regulation.

      (b) The price, conditions and terms per acre at which the irrigation works and perpetual water rights will be sold to settlers.

      (c) The price, terms and conditions on which the State is to dispose of the lands to settlers.

      (d) Such additional requirements and stipulations as are necessary to protect the good reputation of the State and the rights of all parties in interest from the date of the contract to the complete consummation of the enterprise.

      2.  The contract must not be entered into until the contractor has filed a satisfactory bond in a penal sum equal to 5 percent of the estimated cost of the works which is conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract with this state.

      3.  If, within 3 months after notice by the Division to the applicant, by registered or certified letter addressed to the applicant’s last known address, that the segregation has been approved by the Secretary of the Interior, the applicant or his or her agent fails to appear and execute a contract with the State and supply the bond as required, the applicant defaults his or her interest in the land to the State, unless the Division grants an extension of time which may not exceed 30 days. The Division may advertise the interest of the applicant for sale and sell it to the highest bidder under such regulations as the Division prescribes, and sell the interest and enter into a contract covering the segregation with the purchaser. In such a case the State Engineer shall transfer the application for the water right to the purchaser. The proceeds of the sale must be used to reimburse the Division for the costs of the advertisement and sale. The surplus, if any, must be deposited in the Carey Act Account.

      [8:76:1911; RL § 3071; NCL § 5482]—(NRS A 1969, 95; 1977, 1196; 1979, 232, 665; 1991, 1765)

      NRS 324.170  Further conditions of contracts; exceptions to forfeitures.

      1.  All contracts shall state:

      (a) That the works covered by the contract shall begin within 6 months from the date of the contract;

      (b) That the construction shall be prosecuted diligently and continuously to completion; and

      (c) That the cessation of work under the contract for a period of 6 months shall forfeit to the State all rights under the contract and the penal sum named in the bond.

      2.  No property or right which was vested in the applicant or contractor at the date of the contract shall be forfeited.

      3.  In cases of contractors who, at the date of the application, own or have vested rights in water, and in a reservoir site, canals or other irrigation works, the forfeitures shall extend only to such portions of the system unconstructed at the time of default and to the penalty of the bond given by such contractor.

      [9:76:1911; A 1919, 232; 1919 RL § 3072; NCL § 5483]

      NRS 324.180  Modifications of contracts.  Any contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may subsequently be modified if in the opinion of the Division the modification conserves and protects the public welfare and the rights of settlers. If the modification relates to changes in the irrigation works or to an extension of time for its completion, the consent of the State Engineer is a condition precedent to any modification by the Division.

      [10:76:1911; RL § 3073; NCL § 5484]—(NRS A 1977, 1197; 1979, 232)

      NRS 324.200  Payment not required until water available, bond deposited or guarantees made.

      1.  A person, association, company or corporation contracting with the State under the provisions of this chapter, or their assigns, shall not require any advance payment of any settler or prospective settler prior to the time when water for the irrigation of his or her entry or allotment is actually available, unless a satisfactory bond in such sum as the Division requires is deposited with the Division, conditioned on the return to the settler, with interest at 6 percent per annum, of all payments so made, if water for the irrigation of his or her entry or allotment is not available at the time stipulated in the agreement with the settler.

      2.  In lieu of a bond as provided in subsection 1, the Division may authorize advance sales to be made by or through the agency of a bank or trust company furnishing satisfactory assurances and guarantees that if the project is not consummated to deliver water for the irrigation of such settler’s entry or allotment within the time specified, such payments with interest shall be returned to the settler.

      [14:76:1911; RL § 3077; NCL § 5488]—(NRS A 1977, 1198)

      NRS 324.210  Forfeiture of contract and bond: Notice; sale of uncompleted works.

      1.  Upon the failure of any party having a contract with the State for the construction of irrigation works to begin the works within the time specified by the contract, or to complete the works within the time or in accordance with the specifications of the contract to the satisfaction of the State Engineer, the Division shall give the party written notice of the failure. If after a period of 60 days after the sending of the notice, the party fails to proceed with the work or to conform to the specifications of the contract, the bond and contract of the party and all works constructed under it are forfeited to the State. The Division shall at once so declare and give notice once a week for a period of 4 weeks in some newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties in which the work is situated, and in one newspaper at the State Capital in like manner and for a like period, of:

      (a) The forfeiture of the contract; and

      (b) That upon a fixed day proposals will be received at the office of the Division for the purchase of the uncompleted works and for the completion of the contract.

      2.  The Division shall give notice in its advertisement for proposals for the purchase of the uncompleted works that the successful bidder is required, before the transfer of ownership, to furnish a satisfactory bond in a prescribed sum conditioned for the faithful fulfillment of the uncompleted provisions of the contract.

      3.  The time of receiving bids must be at least 60 days after the issuing of the last notice of forfeiture.

      4.  The money received by the Division from the sale of partially completed works under the provisions of this section must first be applied to the expenses incurred by the State in their forfeiture and disposal and to satisfy the bond. The surplus, if any exists, must be deposited in the Carey Act Account.

      [15:76:1911; RL § 3078; NCL § 5489]—(NRS A 1975, 110; 1977, 1198; 1979, 233; 1991, 1765)

      NRS 324.220  Entry upon land: Conditions.

      1.  Before entering upon any land pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the applicant shall file with the Division:

      (a) A certified copy of a water permit or a contract for a perpetual water right into which the applicant has entered with whomever is authorized by the Division to furnish water for the reclamation of the land.

      (b) Any payments required by regulation.

      (c) A written statement from the board of county commissioners of each county in which the land for which application is made is located which certifies the land is zoned for the intended use of the applicant or will be so zoned by the time the applicant intends to put it to such use.

      2.  The Division shall file all papers submitted by the applicant and, if allowed, shall issue a certificate of location to the applicant. All certificates, when issued, must be recorded in a book kept for that purpose.

      3.  The balance unpaid on the price fixed by the Division for the land allowed an applicant is payable in such installments and at such times as the Division prescribes, but before a patent is issued the full price of the land must be paid by the settler.

      [17:76:1911; RL § 3080; NCL § 5491]—(NRS A 1971, 217; 1977, 376, 1199; 1979, 233)

      NRS 324.230  Final proof of reclamation, settlement and occupation; patents.

      1.  Within 1 year after a water right is available for the irrigation of the land described in a certificate of location, the settler shall cultivate and reclaim not less than one-sixteenth part of the land filed on, and within 2 years thereafter, shall have actually irrigated and cultivated not less than one-eighth. Within 3 years thereafter, the settler shall appear before the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act to make a final proof of reclamation, settlement and occupation, in such form and according to such requirements as may be prescribed by the Division or the Department of the Interior.

      2.  The State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act or his or her designee may administer oaths required under this chapter.

      3.  All proofs so received must be accompanied with the final payment for the land, and upon approval by the Division the settler is entitled to a patent.

      [18:76:1911; RL § 3081; NCL § 5492]—(NRS A 1975, 111; 1977, 376, 1199; 1979, 234)

      NRS 324.240  Issuance of patent to settler.

      1.  Upon the issuance of a patent to any lands by the United States, notice shall be forwarded to the settler upon such land. All patents issued by the State to the settler shall be:

      (a) Signed by the Governor.

      (b) Attested by the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act.

      (c) Under such seal as the Division may adopt for such purpose.

      (d) Recorded in the Office of the State Registrar of Lands Under the Carey Act in a book kept for that purpose.

      2.  A patent shall not issue on an assignment of a certificate of location, or by reason of a process of foreclosure, unless the assignee or purchaser under foreclosure possesses all the qualifications of an original applicant.

      [19:76:1911; RL § 3082; NCL § 5493]—(NRS A 1975, 111; 1977, 1200)

      NRS 324.250  Water rights: Attachment to land; liens.

      1.  The water rights to all lands acquired under the provisions of this chapter shall attach to and become appurtenant to the land as soon as the title passes from the United States to the State. Any person or persons, association, company or corporation furnishing water for any tract of land shall have a first and prior lien on the water right and land upon which the water is used, for all deferred payments for the water right. The lien shall be in all respects prior to any other and all other liens created or attempted to be created by the owner and possessor of the land, and the lien shall remain in full force and effect until the last deferred payment for the water right is fully paid and satisfied according to the terms of the contract under which the water right is acquired.

      2.  The contract for the water right upon which the lien is founded shall be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county where the land is situated.

      [20:76:1911; RL § 3083; NCL § 5494]

      NRS 324.290  Division not to obligate State under contracts.  This chapter does not authorize the Division to obligate the State to pay for any work constructed under any contract or to hold the State in any way responsible to settlers for the failure of contractors to complete the work according to the terms of their contracts with the State.

      [11:76:1911; RL § 3074; NCL § 5485]—(NRS A 1977, 1200)