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Items of Interest
Secretary Lane of the department of the interior, in his statement of classification activities of the department for the month of March, shows that during this month the lands restored to entry exceed those withdrawn by more than one half million acres. The total restorations for March were 623,799 acres, and the total withdrawals 120,464 acres. The principal restorations were of lands heretofore held in coal and phosphate reserves. Nearly one hundred and twelve thousand acres in Colorado, more then three hundred and fifty-two thousand acres in Montana, and twenty-eight thousand five hundred acres in Utah were released from coal withdrawals and restored to unrestricted entry. Twenty-one thousand five hundred acres in Idaho and one hundred and six thousand acres in Wyoming, that had been held in phosphate reserves, were classified as non-phosphate lands and were likewise restored to unrestricted entry. Minor restorations were those of two thousand acres in Idaho and one thousand acres in Utah, that have been held heretofore in water-power reserves. The principal item in the withdrawals for the month of March was the creation of a reserve of one hundred and nineteen thousand acres in the Black Rock desert in Nevada, to be withheld from entry by the government while it continues explorations for potash that have been authorized by Congress. These lands have no agricultural value, however, and the creation of the reserve therefore does not affect agricultural development.
The net result of these actions has been to reduce the total area included in withdrawals to a little more than fifty-eight million acres; but of this total more than fifty-five million five hundred thousand acres are in coal, oil, and phosphate reserves on which agricultural entry may be made with a reservation of the withdrawn minerals to the government, so that less than three million acres are actually withheld from settlement.
Extensive deposits of alunite, a potash-bearing mineral, have been discovered near Marysvale, in southern Utah. They are high up in the Tushar range, outcropping on the crest of a ridge that leads from the main divide at an elevation of approximately eleven thousand one hundred feet above sea-level and extends down to about nine thousand nine hundred feet, the lower and being four thousand feet above the railroad at Marysvale. Capitalists recently have filed upon these deposits and are preparing to develop them; thirty-five thousand acres of potash lands have been taken up by one company, the filing fees amounting to three thousand dollars. Another company has several thousand acres in the same district.
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