Acquisition of Lands for the Geological Survey

B-55105: Feb 26, 1946

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The Secretary of the Interior may, on behalf of the United States and for use of the Geological Survey in gaging streams, acquire lands by donation or when funds have not been appropriated by Congress by purchase or condemnation but not in excess of ten acres for any one stream-gaging stations. The question has now arisen as to the proper charging of costs incurred in connection with the recent purchase of several easements for stream-gaging station sites.

It seems evident from the foregoing that that purpose of the authorizing language contained in the current appropriation was to conform to the limitation in the basic statute that lands may be acquired by purchase or condemnation only "when funds have been appropriated by Congress," and since, as before indicated, that restriction appears to be applicable only to land acquisitions involving fee simple titles, it reasonably may be concluded that the $10,000 appropriation limitation relates to acquisitions of that nature, and that the purchase of easements, licenses, rights-of-way and leases are not required to be charged to said limitation.