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Where it is found that money has been collected in excess of the sum properly assessable for cutting timber on National Forest land, * the excess may be refunded as “erroneously collected for the use of any lands." (Case of Lopez, Comp. Dec., Dec. 27, 1911.)
Money collected under a timber-sale contract for timber supposed to have been cut from National Forest land, but afterwards found to have been cut from private land, may be refunded to the owner of the land under the amending act. (2 Šol. Op., 743.)
No refund can be made to a special-use pasture permittee for deprivation of use by a mere trespasser who removes his fence and grazes part of the land. (1 Sol. Op., 662.)
Unliquidated damages due on account of a trespass can not be set off against moneys in the hands of the Government which should be refunded under the act of March 4, 1907. (2 Sol. Op., 355.) Purchase of land, and rights of way.
In view of section 3736 of the Revised Statutes, providing that no land shall be purchased on account of the United States except under a law authorizing such purchase, held, that an appropriation authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture "to erect necessary buildings” does not imply authority to purchase lands upon which to erect such buildings. (Solicitor's opinion in Mink Creek Ranger Station case, dated Nov. 17, 1914.)
In view of the long-continued practice of the Department of Agriculture in using appropriations for the construction and maintenance of roads, trails, etc., for the acquisition of rights of way necessary in the construction of such roads, the assumption is justified that Congress made the appropriations with knowledge that the roads were to be constructed over privately owned lands, and it was the intention of Congress, in making the appropriations, to authorize the acquisition of such necessary rights of way. (Mss. Dec. Comp., Nov. 9, 1915; see also 2 Sol. Op., 973; 21 Comp. Dec., 326.)
The word “purchase,” as used in section 3736 of the Revised Statutes, will not operate to prohibit the acceptance by the United States of a gift of real property. (2 Sol. Op., 991.)
Acceptance by the United States of a grant of realty upon a consideration of $1 is not a purchase within the meaning of section 3736 of the Revised Statutes. (2 Sol. Op., 991.) Reimbursement for property lost, damaged, or destroyed.
Reimbursement can not be made to a Government employee who at his own expense replaces equipment belonging to another which has been “lost, damaged, or destroyed.” The act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat., 843), provides for the reimbursement of the owners” of such property. (Sol. Op., Nov. 12, 1914.)
The act of March 4, 1913, supra, is broad enough in its terms to permit of reimbursement for the loss of an animal, resulting from sickness or disease, if the loss occurred while the animal was being used by the Government and as an incident to such use. (Sol. Op., Nov. 2, 1914.)
The act of March 4, 1913, supra, vests the Secretary of Agriculture with authority to determine whether the loss of, or damage to, the property for which reimbursement is sought resulted “while it was
being used for necessary fire-fighting, trail, or official business," and as an incident to such use, and the amount of loss or damage. (21 Comp. Dec., 250.)
Employees of the Forest Service who are required by the terms of their contract of employment to furnish horses, wagons, etc., as part of their equipment, are not entitled to reimbursement for such property lost, damaged, or destroyed while being used on official business of the Forest Service. (Mss. Decision of Comptroller, Aug. 5, 1914.)
If horses, or other articles of equipment, are hired from an employee of the Forest Service, not in his capacity as an employee but as an owner, such owner is entitled to reimbursement under the provisions of the law as is an owner who is not an employee of the Forest Service. In such case there must be a bona fide contract of hiring, the cost of which is to be charged against the same appropriation available for hiring from outside parties on the same project, and an agreement for hire should not be made by the same person cting as agent for the Government and as owner. (Mss. Decision of Comptroller, Sept. 16, 1914.) Transportation of personal effects.
A regulation made by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to or in execution of the act of March 4, 1911, relating to the transfer by officers and employees of effects and personal property used in official work, can not be changed by a waiver or exception thereto, but only by an Executive modification of the old regulation, which makes a new regulation thereafter. (21 Comp. Dec., 482.) Operating motor-driven vehicles.
The forest officers may be reimbursed for the actual cost of operating motor-driven vehicles, provided such allowances are not in excess of actual cost of operation to the owner. (Decision of Comptroller, dated June 13, 1914.)
A claim submitted by a forest officer for expenditures made by him for repairs to his own motor cycle, the rent of another machine while his own was being repaired, and the furnishing of gasoline, etc., can not be allowed where such officer had agreed to furnish a motor cycle and gasoline for his official use and nothing was said regarding repairs to the machine. _(2 Sol. Op., 1061.)
The State of South Dakota is without authority to require a license for the operation of a motor cycle owned by the Government and used by a forest officer in his official capacity. (Sol. Op., dated May
a 16, 1914.)
9, 29, 120
24, 118, 119
27, 119, 120
9, 10, 18, 34
sale of fire-killed and insect-infested timber, decisions.. 100
expenses of officers, payment, decisions.
school lands, status, decision.
Baker, Oreg., water supply...