Page images
PDF
EPUB

H. B. NO. 143.

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR A STATE ENGINEER, DEFINING HIS DUTIES AND REGULATING HIS COMPEN

SATION, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ACCEPTANCE BY THE STATE OF IDAHO FROM THE UNITED STATES OF CERTAIN LANDS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECLAMATION, OCCUPATION AND DISPOSAL OF THE SAME.

SEC. 4.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

CHAPTER I. To Provide for a State Engineer, Defining His Duties and Regulating His

Compensation. SECTION 1. As soon as inay be after the passage of this Act, there shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a State Engineer, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, and until his siiccessor is appointed and qualified. No persou shall be appointed as such State Engineer who is not known to have such theoretical and practical qualifications as shall fit him for the position. The Governor may remove such State Engineer for cause, and, in case of such removal, or in case of death or resignation, appoint a successor.

SEC. 2. Such State Engineer shall have his office at the State capitol in an office to be provided for him by the Secretary of State.

Sec. 3. Before entering upon the duties of his office, said State Engineer shall take and subscribe an oath before some duly authorized officer to faithfully perform the duties of his office, and shall file such oath with the Secretary of State.

Before enteriug upon the duties of his office, said State Exgineer shall file with the Secretary of State an official bond in the penal sum of thirty thousand dollars, with not less than two sureties, to be approved by the Governor, and conditioned upon the faithful discharge of his duties and for delivery to his successor all property belonging to the State then in his possession or control.

Sec. 5. Said State Engineer shall receive a salary of two thousand dollars per year payable monthly by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn by the State Auditor, together with his actual expenses, as shown by an itemized bill, necessarily incurred when called away from the State capital in the discharge of his duties in a sum uot to exceed five hundred ($500.00) per annum.

SEC. 6. The State Engineer shall make or cause to be made careful measurements of the flow in cubic feet per second of the various streams in the State whose waters are, or are likely to be, appropriated and used, through that part of the season which he may deem necessary or expedient, to afford information for irrigating purposes, commencing with those streams most used for irrigation. He shall collect facts and make surveys to ascertain suitable locations for reservoirs upon streams where such reservoirs may be possible and beneficial, and shall, as far as possible, determine the cost of constructing such reservoirs, and all other facts possible in regard to quantity of water possible to be stored, the character and extent of land that may be reclaimed by the water from such reservoirs, together with all other information possible that may bear upon the subject. He shall become familiar with the waterways and irrigable land in the State and the needs of the State as to irrigation matters, and all records of any such information shall be the property of the State and open to public inspection. He shall keep full and complete records of all measurements of streams, surveys, examinations or other valuable information that may come into his possession concerning any of the duties of his office, and shall furnish reasonable information in regard to such measurements or surveys to the newspapers of the State upon proper request.

SEC. 7. Any person,'association or corporation who shall desire to construct any dam or dyke, for the purpose of storing or appropriating or diverting any of the waters of this State, when the same is to be more than ten feet in height, except as otherwise in this Act provided, shall submit duplicate plans, drawings and specifications of the proposed work to the State Engineer who shall as speedily as possible and within forty-five days examine such plans, drawings and specifications, and, if he approve them, he shall affix his approval thereto, and return one copy of each such plan, drawing or specification, with his approval, to the party or parties proposing to construct the works. If the State Engineer shall disapprove of such plans, drawings or specifications, he shall return the same with his written objections thereto and suggestions of changes to the party or parties filing the same: Provided, Where said dam or dyke is, in the opinion of said Engineer, not of sufficient importance to have the provisions of this section apply to such dam or dyke, then said Engineer shall have power upon written application to suspend the provisions of this section in regard to such dam or dyke.

In cases of works of great importance, especially where life or property would be endangered by the failure of such works, the State Engineer may require excavations to be made to determine the character of the foundation, and require a statement of the facts in the case to be filed in his office before approving such plans, drawings or specifications; or he may, if he deems the public interest demands, visit the locality of such proposed works before approval of said plans, drawings or specifications; and no rights of any kind under the laws of this State shall be deemed to be obtained, where the proposed works, as in this section provided, have not been approved by the State Engineer.

Sec. 8. Whenever any party or parties feel themselves aggrieved by the determination of the State Engineer in refusing to approve any plan or specification as mentioned in the preceding section, then such party or parties may have an appeal to the courts.

The State Engineer shall inspect, or cause to be inspected, as often as he thinks advisable, every dam or embankment used for holding water in this State, where the same is more than twenty feet in height; and, if after any such inspection such dam or embankment, in the opinion of the State Engineer, is unsafe and life or property liable to be endangered by reason thereof, he shall order the owner or owners to repair the same so as to make it safe; and, if such owner or owners shall neglect or refuse to repair the same after a reasonable notice to that effect has been given in writing by the State Engineer, then said State Engineer shall report the facts in the case to the judge of the district court of the district in which such dam or embankment is situated, who shall, after hearing such facts, if he deem it necessary for the public welfare, order the water master of the district in which such dam or embankment is situated, if there be one, if not, the sheriff of the county, - to draw off such water from behind said

SEC. 9.

SEC. 13

SEC. 14.

dam or embankment, and to keep said water drawn off till such time as the orders of the State Engineer shall be complied with. SEC. 10.

If any person or persons shall report in writing to the State Engineer that any dam or embankment, used for holding water, is unsafe and endangering life or property, then it shall be the duty of said State Engineer to inspect, or cause to be inspected, such dam or embankment as soon as possible, and, if he considers it unsafe, shall proceed as provided in section ten of this chapter and Act.

SEC. II. The State Engineer shall, free of charge, give any information desired by any person as to the proper method of measuring water, or of constructing an apparatus for such measurement, upon proper application being made; and shall give special instructions to all water masters as to measurement of water so as to secure a just distribution of the same.

SEC. I 2. The State Engineer may require, and shall receive, from the Attorney General of the State advice upon any question of public interest arising in the performance of his duties under this Act, which advice shall be in writing when so desired by said Engineer.

The State Engineer shall make and render to the Governor, biennially, or oftener, if required, full and true reports of his work performed by virtue of his office, which reports shall contain any recommendations he may have to make in reference to legislation affecting his office, or in reference to matters of interest in regard to irrigation that his experience and information may cause him to make.

In addition to the duties prescribed in this Act, the State Engineer shall perform such other professional duties as may be required of him by the Governor, and shall give advice on any matters of a professional nature, when called upon by the Governor to do so; and shall prepare all maps required for the use of the Board of Land Commissioners.

CHAPTER II. To Provide for the Acceptance by the State of Idaho from the United States

of Certain Lands, and to Provide for the Reclamation, Occupation and

Disposal of the Same. SECTION I. That the State of Idaho hereby accepts the conditions of section four of an act of Congress, entitled, "An act making appropriations for sundry civil expenses of the government for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1894, and for other purposes," approved August 18, A. D. 1894, together with all the grants of land to the State under the provisions of the aforesaid act. SEC. 2.

The selection, management and disposal of said land shall be vested in the State Board of Land Commissioners, as constituted by section seven of article nine of the Constitution of the State of Idaho. Said State Board of Land Commissioners shall be hereinafter designated as the Board.

The Board shall meet at least once in each month on the second Wednesday thereof for the transaction of business. The Governor shall be president of the Board, and it shall be his duty to sign all contracts, papers or documents that shall be approved, made or directed by the Board. Any three of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any and all business; and, in the absence of the Governor, one of the other members may act as president pro tempore and may preside at such meeting.

SEC. 4. The president shall have power to call together a special meeting, if in his judgment, public good requires the same to be done, for any

SEC. 3

SEC. 5.

purposes contemplated in this Act or any other act prescribing the duty of said Board; and such call may be either a personal or written notice. The object of such meeting shall be made a matter of record by the secretary. The Attorney General shall be secretary of the Board, whose duty it shall be to keep a careful record of the transactions of the Board, in a substantially bound book to be kept for that purpose, which shall be known as the Record and Proceedings of the State Board of Land Commissioners. He shall countersign all papers, instruments or documents approved, made or directed by the Board and bearing the signature of the president.

The Board shall have an office in the capitol building in a room set apart by the capitol commission. Said office shall be in charge of the secretary.

He shall have the custody of the records of the Board; and shall receive and file all proposals for the construction of irrigation works to reclaim lands selected under the provisions of this Act; keep for public inspection maps or plats, on a scale of two inches to the mile, of all lands selected; receive entries of settlers on these lands, and hear or receive the final proof of their reclamation; and do any and all work required by the Board in carrying out the provisions of this Act. He shall have authority to administer oaths whenever necessary in the performance of his duties as secretary of the Board.

SEC. 6. Any person, company or persons, association or incorporated company constructing, having constructed or desiring to construct, ditches, canals or other irrigation works to reclaim land under the provisions of this Act, shall file with the Board a request for the selection on behalf of the State by the Board of the land to be reclaimed, designating said land by legal subdivisions.

This request shall be accompanied by a proposal to construct the ditch, canal or other irrigation works necessary for the complete reclamation of the land asked to be selected. The proposal shall be prepared in accordance with the rules of the Board and with the regulations of the Department of the Interior; and shall be accompanied by the certificate of the State Engineer that application for permit to appropriate water has been filed in his office, together with the State Engineer's report thereon. It shall state the source of water supply, the location and dimensions of the proposed works, the estimated cost thereof, the price and terins per acre at which perpetual water rights will be sold to settlers on the land to be reclaimed, said perpetual rights to embrace a proportionate interest in the canal or other irrigation works, together with all the rights and franchises attached thereto. In the case of incorporated coinpanies it shall state the name of the company, the purpose of its incorporation, the names and places of residence of its directors and officers, the amount of its authorized and of its paid up capital. If the applicant is not an incorporated company, the proposal shall set forth the name or names of the party or parties and such other facts as will enable the Board to determine his or their financial ability to carry out the proposed undertaking.

A certified check for a sum not less than two hundred and fifty dollars, nor more than two thousand five hundred dollars, as may be determined by the rules of the Board, shall accompany each request and proposal, the same to be held as a guarantee of the execution of the contract with the State, in accordance with its terms, by the party submitting such proposal, in case of the approval of the same and the selection of the land by the Board, and to be forfeited to the State in case of

SEC. 7.

SEC. 9.

failure of said parties to enter into a contract with the State in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 8. The person, coinpany of persons, association or incorporated company making application to the Board for the selection of lands by the State, shall have filed with the State Engineer an application for a permit to appropriate water for the reclamation of the lands described in the request to the Board. This application for a permit shall be of a form prescribed by the State Engineer, and shall be accompanied by two copies of a map of the land to be selected, and it shall show accurately the location and dimensions of the proposed irrigation works. The maps of the lands and proposed irrigation works shall be prepared in accordance with the regulations of the State Engineer's office and the rules of the Department of the Interior.

Immediately upon the receipt of any request and proposal, as designated in section six, it shall be the duty of the secretary to examine the same and ascertain if it complies with the rules of the Board and the regulations of the Department of the Interior. If it does not, it is to be returned for correction; but, if it does so comply, it shall be submitted to the State Engineer, who shall examine the same and inake a written report to the Board, stating whether or not the proposed works are feasible; whether the proposed diversion of the public waters of the State will prove beneficial to the public interest; whether there is sufficient unappropriated water in the source of supply; and whether or not a permit to divert and appropriate water through the proposed works has been approved by him; whether the capacity of the proposed works is adequate to reclaim the land described; whether or not the proposed cost of construction is reasonable; and whether or not the maps filed in his office comply with the requirements of said office and the regulations of the Department of the Interior; also whether or not the lands proposed to be irrigated are desert in character and such as may properly be set apart under the provisions of the aforesaid act of Congress and the rules and regulations of the Department of the Interior thereunder. Whenever the State Engineer shall be unable, from an examination of the maps and field notes submitted for his examination, to determine whether or not the proposed irrigation works are feasible and adequate, whether or not the proposed cost of construction is reasonable, or whether or not the proposed diversion of the public water is beneficial to public interest, and whether or not the lands proposed to be irrigated are of such a character as to come under the provisions of the aforesaid act of Congress, it shall be his duty to make, or cause to be made by some qualified assistant, such survey or examination as will enable him to report intelligently thereon to the Board. SEC. 10.

On receipt of the report of the State Engineer the secretary shall place the request and proposal with the Engineer's report thereon before the Board for its consideration, In case of approval the Board shall instruct the secretary to file in the local land office a request for the withdrawal of the land described in said proposal. No request on which the State Engineer has reported adversely, either as to the water supply, the feasibility of the construction, the cost or capacity of the works, or as to the character of the lands sought to be irrigated, shall be approved by the Board.

SEC. 11. In case the State Engineer shall report adversely upon the

« PreviousContinue »