Is There Any Desert Land
By: Lin Stone
| Some people don't believe there is any Desert Land Still Available For FREE.|
They are wrong. There is still some available.
Certain restrictions do apply. For example: You must be a resident in one of these states where the desert land is available ... Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. No State residency is required in the State of Nevada
Politicians tell us that the Desert Land Act was passed specifically to encourage the economic development of arid and semi-arid public lands of the Western United States. You may apply for one or more said tracts of land totaling no more than 320 acres.
Individuals may apply for a desert-land entry to reclaim, irrigate, and cultivate those self-same arid and semiarid public lands.
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| You'd better take note before heading off across the landscape, most of the suitable lands for agricultural development have already been placed into private ownership. The remaining acres are managed for multiple uses. There is fierce competition among users for these public lands. Along with the problems of finding suitable public land, you can expect to find limited water available for irrigation, and an extremely high cost of development. On top of that, it is extremely difficult to acquire a desert land entry. But, and this is a big but, you can turn the land into very high cash value property. Just for an example, worhtless land I walked over as a child was worth thousands of dollars per acre by the time I was grown. What made the difference? It was mostly natural population expansion and highways coming through. |
There are other ways to improve the land.. #1, cash crops that thrive in the desert, like the jo-joba bean plant. Then there are plants that should be cash crops like your mesquite beans and cactus pears. Given just a tad of water in dry years mesquite beans are sweet and delicious. In two years out of five the tree doesn't even need the tad of water. Cactus pears and cactus pads are becoming more acceptable to American palates all the time. #2, Get your land first, then you could be the one that convinces Congress to pipe ocean water back up along the Gila River Bed and create ocean front property all along the way with dams like the one at Painted Rock.
With huge surges of population growth in the States of Utah, Idaho and Montana Congress could see the wisdom of diverting streams of fresh water down into areas now called arid. The only railroad left in the United States that is making a profit is the Union Pacific. By issuing contracts for trainloads of ice to be delivered to reservoirs in these regions. Where could the ice come from? Tugging ice bergs to Washington and Oregon for loading. When you import water into the area in front of the Rocky Mountains Congress will increase the flow of rain and moisture in this area.
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| I want you to look for pressure points where the lay of the land tries to rise, and strategic points where the flow wants to escape and just a little effort can make a major difference. If you think NATURAL PLATEAU farming you can take a dozer in there and follow the contours of the land to produce plateaus of small acreage, five acres here, twenty there -- that with just a little bit of earth moving can be prepared to produce a crop on a plateau. Those plateaus don't have to be the same size, or even go in the same direction either. The last piece of land I leveled this way was only 19 acres altogether and it had huge ravines running through it in every direction. Using a dozer and pulling a land plane behind me I leveled that ground to farmable smoothness in less than one day, but it was in three plateaus which fed each other and the last plateau drained to the middle and ran out from the middle between plateaus three and one. No, it wasn't conventional, but it worked.|
Remember too that the term "agriculture" includes animal husbandry. Instead of bringing in holsteins or thoroughbreds, bring in MINIATURE horses, miniature donkeys and even goats. These can be easy maintenance, high value "crops." Again, look for strategic points where the flow wants to escape and with just a little effort you can dam up natural outlets to create your own reservoirs for your stock, and you will only need to haul in a minimum amount of hay and water to sustain your animals.
After you have found lands that you feel can be economically developed you'll have to determine the legal land description. Then you contact the BLM State Office where the lands are located and have them verify that the lands are available for desert land application. Next you must acquire an application from the State Office and also find out which BLM District administers the lands.
The application form you want to use is No. 2520-1. Two copies are required. File your application with the administering BLM District Office.
In the application you will include the description of the lands. You must include evidence of your legal right to the use of any water for irrigation. That means you must secure a permit from the State Department of Water Administration to explain where your water is coming from. You must include a detailed description of soil characteristics, irrigation requirements, and economic feasibility.
Here's the worst part of it.. You must include full disclosure of your plans, arrangements--financial and otherwise--pertaining to the development and operation of your desert-land entry. Your application must be accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $15.00 and a partial payment of 25 cents per acre.
The BLM will approve your application if it decides the lands are classified suitable for desert-land entry. The BLM will reject your application if it decides the lands are classified unsuitable for desert-land entry.
After your application is approved you have four years to develop an adequate water supply to reclaim, irrigate, and cultivate all of the lands. At least one eighth of the land applied for must be properly cultivated and irrigated by the end of those four years. Each year for three years from the date your application is approved, you must account for the money you spend on improvements to reclaim, irrigate, and cultivate the lands.
You must submit statements of two credible witnesses who can testify to the expenditures made for improvements on your desert-land entry during the preceding year. You must submit itemized statements showing the manner in which the expenditures were made. At the end of the third year you must submit a map or plan showing the character and extent of the improvements placed on the desert-land entry.
Under no normal circumstances will the BLM extend your time to meet the annual proof of compliance. To wit: the BLM will cancel your entry.
There is an out for some of these problems; a group of applicants can band together to develop a common water delivery system and share in the cost of a common water delivery system to reclaim the land parcels. The group as a whole must show that each individual desert-land entry involved in a group proposal is economically and physically feasible.
Before you get your title the BLM will conduct an on-site examination of your desert-land entry to determine whether the requirements of the act have been met. If you meet the final proof requirement, you will receive a patent from the BLM which delivers a completely legal title to the land tracts into your hands. Your FREE land is now YOURS!
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About the Author: Independently less than wealthy, Lin Stone is the author of: HOW TO BUY LAND AT TAX SALES. That book was so good it is still selling after seven years. Check out the newest revised and updated edition at http://www.talewins.com/rs002.htm His latest articles can be found on http://www.talewins.com/percon1.htm ** If you investigate a move to Canada you will discover that you must first support yourself there for three years. Then, and only then, are you permitted to take a job away from a Canadian citizen. Why aren't we poor Americans treated with similar respect by our politicians? HERE for his views on the value of Money.
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