18 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 91 - PUBLIC LANDS
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 91—PUBLIC LANDS

Sec.
1851.
Coal depredations.
1852.
Timber removed or transported.
1853.
Trees cut or injured.
1854.
Trees boxed for pitch or turpentine.
1855.
Timber set afire.
1856.
Fires left unattended and unextinguished.
1857.
Fences destroyed; livestock entering.
1858.
Survey marks destroyed or removed.
1859.
Surveys interrupted.
1860.
Bids at land sales.
1861.
Deception of prospective purchasers.
[1862.
Repealed.]
1863.
Trespass on national forest lands.
1864.
Hazardous or injurious devices on Federal lands.

        

Amendments

1990—Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXV, §3554, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4927, struck out item 1862 “Trespass on Bull Run National Forest”.

1988—Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §6254(g), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4367, added item 1864.

1949—Act May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §41, 63 Stat. 95, substituted in analysis “1859” for “1959”, and added item 1863.

§1851. Coal depredations

Whoever mines or removes coal of any character, whether anthracite, bituminous, or lignite, from beds or deposits in lands of, or reserved to the United States, with intent wrongfully to appropriate, sell, or dispose of the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This section shall not interfere with any right or privilege conferred by existing laws of the United States.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 787; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §601(a)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§103a, 103b (July 3, 1926, ch. 780, §§1, 2, 44 Stat. 891).

Section consolidates sections 103a and 103b of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed.

Words “deemed guilty of misdemeanor” were deleted as unnecessary in view of definitive section 1 of this title. (See also reviser's note under section 212 of this title.)

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in first par.

§1852. Timber removed or transported

Whoever cuts, or wantonly destroys any timber growing on the public lands of the United States; or

Whoever removes any timber from said public lands, with intent to export or to dispose of the same; or

Whoever, being the owner, master, pilot, operator, or consignee of any vessel, motor vehicle, or aircraft or the owner, director, or agent of any railroad, knowingly transports any timber so cut or removed from said lands, or lumber manufactured therefrom—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This section shall not prevent any miner or agriculturist from clearing his land in the ordinary working of his mining claim, or in the preparation of his farm for tillage, or from taking the timber necessary to support his improvements, or the taking of timber for the use of the United States; nor shall it interfere with or take away any right or privilege under any existing law of the United States to cut or remove timber from any public lands.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 787; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §601(a)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §103 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §49, 35 Stat. 1098).

Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of “principal” in section 2 of this title.

Words “motor vehicle or aircraft” were inserted in third paragraph to remove any doubt as to scope of section in view of rapidly advancing methods of transportation.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in fourth par.

§1853. Trees cut or injured

Whoever unlawfully cuts, or wantonly injures or destroys any tree growing, standing, or being upon any land of the United States which, in pursuance of law, has been reserved or purchased by the United States for any public use, or upon any Indian reservation, or lands belonging to or occupied by any tribe of Indians under the authority of the United States, or any Indian allotment while the title to the same shall be held in trust by the Government, or while the same shall remain inalienable by the allottee without the consent of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 787; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §601(a)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §104 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §50, 35 Stat. 1098; June 25, 1910, ch. 431, §6, 36 Stat. 857).

Reference to persons aiding or procuring was deleted as unnecessary since such persons are made principals by section 2 of this title.

Maximum fine was increased from $500 to $1,000 to conform to other comparable sections of this chapter. (See sections 1851 and 1852 of this title.)

Minor changes were also made in phraseology.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000”.

§1854. Trees boxed for pitch or turpentine

Whoever cuts, chips, chops, or boxes any tree upon any lands belonging to the United States, or upon any lands covered by or embraced in any unperfected settlement, application, filing, entry, selection, or location, made under any law of the United States, for the purpose of obtaining from such tree any pitch, turpentine, or other substance; or

Whoever buys, trades for, or in any manner acquires any pitch, turpentine, or other substance, or any article or commodity made from any such pitch, turpentine, or other substance, with knowledge that the same has been so unlawfully obtained—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 788; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §601(a)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3498.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §105 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §51, 35 Stat. 1098).

Reference to persons aiding, encouraging, or causing was deleted as unnecessary since such persons are made principals by section 2 of this title.

Maximum fine was increased from $500 to $1,000 to conform to other comparable sections of this chapter. (See sections 1851 and 1852 of this title.)

Minor changes also were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1996—Pub. L. 104–294 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $1,000” in last par.

§1855. Timber set afire

Whoever, willfully and without authority, sets on fire any timber, underbrush, or grass or other inflammable material upon the public domain or upon any lands owned or leased by or under the partial, concurrent, or exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or under contract for purchase or for the acquisition of which condemnation proceedings have been instituted, or upon any Indian reservation or lands belonging to or occupied by any tribe or group of Indians under authority of the United States, or upon any Indian allotment while the title to the same shall be held in trust by the Government, or while the same shall remain inalienable by the allottee without the consent of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

This section shall not apply in the case of a fire set by an allottee in the reasonable exercise of his proprietary rights in the allotment.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 788; Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §6254(j), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4368.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §106 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §52, 35 Stat. 1098; Nov. 15, 1941, ch. 472, §1, 55 Stat. 763).

Surplus verbiage and unnecessary enumerations were omitted.

Words “without authority” were inserted near beginning of section so as to remove any doubt as to scope or meaning of section.

Reference to persons causing or procuring was omitted as unnecessary in view of definition of “principal” in section 2 of this title.

Minor verbal changes were made.

Amendments

1988—Pub. L. 100–690 substituted “under this title” for “not more than $5,000” in first par.

§1856. Fires left unattended and unextinguished

Whoever, having kindled or caused to be kindled, a fire in or near any forest, timber, or other inflammable material upon any lands owned, controlled or leased by, or under the partial, concurrent, or exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, including lands under contract for purchase or for the acquisition of which condemnation proceedings have been instituted, and including any Indian reservation or lands belonging to or occupied by any tribe or group of Indians under the authority of the United States, or any Indian allotment while the title to the same is held in trust by the United States, or while the same shall remain inalienable by the allottee without the consent of the United States, leaves said fire without totally extinguishing the same, or permits or suffers said fire to burn or spread beyond his control, or leaves or suffers said fire to burn unattended, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 788; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §107 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §53, 35 Stat. 1908; June 25, 1910, ch. 431, §6, 36 Stat. 857; Nov. 15, 1941, ch. 472, §2, 55 Stat. 764).

Words “without hard labor” which followed “six months” and preceded “or both” were omitted as unnecessary. (See reviser's note under section 1 of this title.)

Enumeration of applicable condemnation statutes was deleted and section extended and made applicable to all lands in process of condemnation by the government. This does no violence to the intent of Congress and clarifies the section considerably.

Other changes in phraseology were made.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $500”.

§1857. Fences destroyed; livestock entering

Whoever knowingly and unlawfully breaks, opens, or destroys any gate, fence, hedge, or wall inclosing any lands of the United States reserved or purchased for any public use; or

Whoever drives any cattle, horses, hogs, or other livestock upon any such lands for the purposes of destroying the grass or trees on said lands, or where they may destroy the said grass or trees; or

Whoever knowingly permits his cattle, horses, hogs, or other livestock to enter through any such inclosure upon any such lands of the United States, where such cattle, horses, hogs, or other livestock may or can destroy the grass or trees or other property of the United States on the said lands—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

This section shall not apply to unreserved public lands.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 788; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §111 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §56, 35 Stat. 1099).

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $500” in fourth par.

§1858. Survey marks destroyed or removed

Whoever willfully destroys, defaces, changes, or removes to another place any section corner, quarter-section corner, or meander post, on any Government line of survey, or willfully cuts down any witness tree or any tree blazed to mark the line of a Government survey, or willfully defaces, changes, or removes any monument or bench mark of any Government survey, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 789; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(E), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2146.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §111 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §57, 35 Stat. 1099).

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $250”.

§1859. Surveys interrupted

Whoever, by threats or force, interrupts, hinders, or prevents the surveying of the public lands, or of any private land claim which has been or may be confirmed by the United States, by the persons authorized to survey the same in conformity with the instructions of the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 789; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §42, 63 Stat. 95; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(J), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

1948 Act

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §112 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §58, 35 Stat. 1099).

Mandatory punishment provision was rephrased in the alternative.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

1949 Act

This section [section 42] substitutes, in section 1859 of title 18, U.S.C., “Director of the Bureau of Land Management” for “Commissioner of the General Land Office,” in view of the abolishment of the General Land Office, and the office of Commissioner thereof, by 1946 Reorganization Plan No. 3, §403, effective July 16, 1946 (11 F.R. 7876). Such plan consolidated the functions of the General Land Office and of the Grazing Service to form a new agency, the Bureau of Land Management, in the Department of the Interior and headed by a Director.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $3,000”.

1949—Act May 24, 1949, substituted “Director of the Bureau of Land Management” for “Commissioner of the General Land Office”.

§1860. Bids at land sales

Whoever bargains, contracts, or agrees, or attempts to bargain, contract, or agree with another that such other shall not bid upon or purchase any parcel of lands of the United States offered at public sale; or

Whoever, by intimidation, combination, or unfair management, hinders, prevents, or attempts to hinder or prevent, any person from bidding upon or purchasing any tract of land so offered for sale—

Shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 789.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §113 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §59, 35 Stat. 1099).

Imprisonment provision was reduced from “two years” to “one year,” thus placing the offense in the category of misdemeanors which may be prosecuted on information. The lesser punishment seems adequate.

Minor changes were made in phraseology and arrangement.

§1861. Deception of prospective purchasers

Whoever, for a reward paid or promised to him in that behalf, undertakes to locate for an intending purchaser, settler, or entryman any public lands of the United States subject to disposition under the public-land laws, and who willfully and falsely represents to such intending purchaser, settler, or entryman that any tract of land shown to him is public land of the United States subject to sale, settlement, or entry, or that it is of a particular surveyed description, with intent to deceive the person to whom such representation is made, or who, in reckless disregard of the truth, falsely represents to any such person that any tract of land shown to him is public land of the United States subject to sale, settlement, or entry, or that it is of a particular surveyed description, thereby deceiving the person to whom such representation is made, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 789; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(F), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §114 (Feb. 23, 1917, ch. 115, 39 Stat. 936).

Words “deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and” which preceded “punished” were omitted as unnecessary in view of definitive section 1 of this title.

Minor changes were made in phraseology.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $300”.

[§1862. Repealed. Pub. L. 95–200, §3(c), Nov. 23, 1977, 91 Stat. 1428]

Section, act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 789, imposed a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than six months as the penalty for knowingly trespassing upon the reserve known as the Bull Run National Forest in the Cascade Mountains. See note set out under section 482b of Title 16, Conservation, for the remainder of Pub. L. 95–200, including savings provisions therein, which in addition to repealing this section created the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit, Mount Hood National Forest.

§1863. Trespass on national forest lands

Whoever, without lawful authority or permission, goes upon any national-forest land while it is closed to the public pursuant to lawful regulation of the Secretary of Agriculture, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(Added May 24, 1949, ch. 139, §43, 63 Stat. 95; amended Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330016(1)(G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

Historical and Revision Notes

This section [section 43] incorporates in revised title 18, U.S.C., as section 1863 thereof, and with changes in phraseology, the provisions of act of February 10, 1948 (ch. 51, 62 Stat. 19), which was not incorporated in title 18 when the revision was enacted. The phrase “without hard labor” is omitted from the punishment clause as unnecessary, in conformity with the uniform style of such title. (See reviser's note to sec. 1 of such revised title, appearing in H. Rept. No. 304, April 24, 1947, to accompany H.R. 3190, 80th Cong. (pp. A2, A4 of such report).) The concluding proviso that “nothing herein shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture under other law to otherwise provide for regulating the occupancy and use of national-forest lands and lands administered by the Forest Service”, is omitted as surplusage.

Amendments

1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $500”.

§1864. Hazardous or injurious devices on Federal lands

(a) Whoever—

(1) with the intent to violate the Controlled Substances Act,

(2) with the intent to obstruct or harass the harvesting of timber, or

(3) with reckless disregard to the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to such risk,


uses a hazardous or injurious device on Federal land, on an Indian reservation, or on an Indian allotment while the title to such allotment is held in trust by the United States or while such allotment remains inalienable by the allottee without the consent of the United States shall be punished under subsection (b).

(b) An individual who violates subsection (a) shall—

(1) if death of an individual results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both;

(2) if serious bodily injury to any individual results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 40 years, or both;

(3) if bodily injury to any individual results, be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both;

(4) if damage to the property of any individual results or if avoidance costs have been incurred exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate, be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both; and

(5) in any other case, be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year.


(c) Any individual who is punished under subsection (b)(5) after one or more prior convictions under any such subsection shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.

(d) As used in this section—

(1) the term “serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves—

(A) a substantial risk of death;

(B) extreme physical pain;

(C) protracted and obvious disfigurement; and

(D) protracted loss or impairment of the function of bodily member, organ, or mental faculty;


(2) the term “bodily injury” means—

(A) a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement;

(B) physical pain;

(C) illness;

(D) impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or

(E) any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary;


(3) the term “hazardous or injurious device” means a device, which when assembled or placed, is capable of causing bodily injury, or damage to property, by the action of any person making contact with such device subsequent to the assembly or placement. Such term includes guns attached to trip wires or other triggering mechanisms, ammunition attached to trip wires or other triggering mechanisms, or explosive devices attached to trip wires or other triggering mechanisms, sharpened stakes, lines or wires, lines or wires with hooks attached, nails placed so that the sharpened ends are positioned in an upright manner, or tree spiking devices including spikes, nails, or other objects hammered, driven, fastened, or otherwise placed into or on any timber, whether or not severed from the stump; and

(4) the term “avoidance costs” means costs incurred by any individual for the purpose of—

(A) detecting a hazardous or injurious device; or

(B) preventing death, serious bodily injury, bodily injury, or property damage likely to result from the use of a hazardous or injurious device in violation of subsection (a).


(e) Any person injured as the result of a violation of subsection (a) may commence a civil action on his own behalf against any person who is alleged to be in violation of subsection (a). The district courts shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties, in such civil actions. The court may award, in addition to monetary damages for any injury resulting from an alleged violation of subsection (a), costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any prevailing or substantially prevailing party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate.

(Added Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, §6254(f), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4366; amended Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXV, §3555, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4927; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §330007, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2142; Pub. L. 104–134, title I, §101(c) [title III, §330], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–156, 1321–208; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, §1(a), May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327.)

References in Text

The Controlled Substances Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is title II of Pub. L. 91–513, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1242, as amended, which is classified principally to subchapter I (§801 et seq.) of chapter 13 of Title 21, Food and Drugs. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of Title 21 and Tables.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(1)(A)], substituted “40” for “twenty”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(1)(B)], substituted “20” for “ten”.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(1)(C), (D)], substituted “if damage to the property of any individual results or if avoidance costs have been incurred exceeding $10,000, in the aggregate,” for “if damage exceeding $10,000 to the property of any individual results,” and “20” for “ten”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(2)], substituted “20” for “ten”.

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(3)], added par. (4).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–134, §101(c) [title III, §330(4)], added subsec. (e).

1994—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “(b)(5)” for “(b)(3), (4), or (5)”.

1990—Subsec. (d)(1)(D), (E). Pub. L. 101–647 struck out “and” at end of subpar. (D) and substituted “; and” for period at end of subpar. (E).