Joel Cederberg

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since Apr 17, 2013
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Recent posts by Joel Cederberg ---> so if i understood this properly, in the state of arizona you are not allowed to be dependent upon percolating waters for reclamation because of how the state defines prior appropriation. therefore, in arizona one must buy the rights to water in order to reclaim land.
from what i understand you must purchase the right to use any water found in a channel with a definable bed and banks.
how does buying water rights work? it doesnt have to be a full on year round stream does it? could i buy the water rights for an erosion gully? would i need to?

andrew, administrators designating areas available for development sounds like a wrench in the gears for sure.
however, i have not found anything that would elude to this. i will have to look into it more.
as for all the surface water being claimed, im not sure how i feel about that.

when you say " You need to have a copy of the rules that have evolved in the implementation of the law." are you referring to the amendments to the desert land act?
i havent found any cheap land anywhere. it seems theres nothing out the cheaper than 1000 dollars an acre. unless you buy in bulk.

miles, the good thing about a bureaucrat is that theres nothing personal. its like how a gas station employee wont sell cigs without id. what concerns me it the idea that an administrator designates the areas to be developed. not sure how that would play out. probably by them informing me that my chosen land is not in a designated area for a desert land act entry and then never give me a list of places that are designated.
it seems from that link you sent about desert land entries that idaho had the most entries and land given out, but i couldnt make heads or tales for sure. its a very vague layout filled with numbers with no descriptions.
hopefully it is just jumping through alot of hoops. however, i do not plan on using the assistance of a lawyer. so who knows how far ill take this.

its a shame our government is not for us and instead seems to want us all huddled up in cities eating subpar food and working our lives away for slave wages. (personal view)

5 years ago
do you think the blm would have been more friendly to you were there no stream on your property and were the land a lot less pretty/more barren/ugly/ useless?
what sort of barriers and excuses has the blm erected to keep you from moving forward?
the people who have done it, do you know them personally or anecdotally?
do you think that different blm offices would behave differently? as in, would maybe nevada be more welcoming of people undertaking such pursuits and washington less so? (this question is also generally directed at anyone)

do you know of or have any links about the water regulations for commercial irrigation in this regaurd? ideally I would be catching rainwater off roofs for irrigation, but i would also be utilizing earthworks and drought resistant natives to supplament that. i would be irrigating the whole property with caught rainwater.
" Storage in the soil, protecting that moisture from evaporating, choosing the right plants to grow are all better adapted to typical conditions in the high desert than setting up efficient drip irrigation systems. " ----i agree fully

could you supply more details of your experience?
how long and hard have you tried and researched this? what administrative barriers have you encountered?
what is the water requirment defined by the blm? who told you rainwater did not meet the irrigation requirements?
what if i were to claim 5 acres? would it not cut through alot of this red tape? (this one is directed at everyone)
did you attempt to do this in utah? from what i understand they are the most unfriendly state to rainwater catchment.
ive already looked into buying mineral rights and mining claims, unfortionatly building permenant structures on the land (like cisterns) is prohibited. of course, if this desert land act thing falls through,i might just revert back to mining claims and go nabatean on their asses and just dam up a whole bunch of wadis and live in a tent on their lands.

here are some references about irrigation ive found in the cfr:
(* Reclamation requires conducting water in adequate amounts and quality to the land so as to render it available for distribution when needed for irrigation and cultivation
*Irrigation requires the application of water to land for the purpose of growing crops.
* An entry of lands within an irrigation district which the Secretary of the Interior or his delegate has approved under the Act of August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 506; 43 U.S.C. 621-630), is limited to 160 acres. ----->would this here indicate rainwatr unsuitable for irrigation in that the lands bust be within an irrigation district?
*(b) Acceptable expenditures. (1) Expenditures for the construction and maintenance of storage reservoirs, dams, canals, ditches, and laterals to be used by claimant for irrigating his land; for roads where they are necessary; for erecting stables, corrals, etc.; for digging wells, where the water therefrom is to be used for irrigating the land; for stock or interest in an approved irrigation company, or for taxes paid to an approved irrigation district through which water is to be secured to irrigate the land; and for leveling and bordering land proposed to be irrigated, will be accepted. Expenditures for fencing all or a portion of the claim, for surveying for the purpose of ascertaining the levels for canals, ditches, etc., and for the first breaking or clearing of the soil are also acceptable.
*(e) Showing as to irrigation system. The final proof must show specifically the source and volume of the water supply and how it was acquired and how it is maintained. The number, length, and carrying capacity of all ditches, canals, conduits, and other means to conduct water to and on each of the legal subdivisions must also be shown. The claimant and the witnesses must each state in full all that has been done in the matter of reclamation and improvements of the land, and must answer fully, of their own personal knowledge, all of the questions contained in the final-proof blanks. They must state plainly whether at any time they saw the land effectually irrigated, and the different dates on which they saw it irrigated should be specifically stated. ----->this one here is particularly vague as to if rainwater is an approved method or not
*f) Showing as to lands irrigated and reclaimed. While it is not required that all of the land shall have been actually irrigated at the time final proof is made, it is necessary that the one-eighth portion which is required to be cultivated shall also have been irrigated in a manner calculated to produce profitable results, considering the character of the land, the climate, and the kind of crops being grown. (Alonzo B. Cole, 38 L.D. 420.) The cultivation and irrigation of the one-eighth portion of the entire area entered may be had in a body on one legal subdivision or may be distributed over several subdivisions. The final proof must clearly show that all of the permanent main and lateral ditches, canals, conduits, and other means to conduct water necessary for the irrigation of all the irrigable land in the entry have been constructed so that water can be actually applied to the land as soon as it is ready for cultivation. If pumping be relied upon as the means of irrigation, the plant installed for that purpose must be of sufficient capacity to render available enough water for all the irrigable land. If there are any high points or any portions of the land which for any reason it is not practicable to irrigate, the nature, extent, and situation of such areas in each legal subdivision must be fully stated. If less than one-eighth of a smallest legal subdivision is practically susceptible of irrigation from claimant's source of water supply and no portion thereof is used as a necessary part of his irrigation scheme, such subdivision must be relinquished. (43 L.D. 269.)
(the following comments are just general ramblings and questions to anyone)
rain is not even mentioned once in the whole desert land act. neither is rainwater mentioned, neither in a way indicative of it being an appropriate method of irrigation or an inappropriate one.
has anyone tried this in nevada? nevada is the only state you do not even have to be a resident of in order to claim a desert land act, it might just be the most lax of all the states participating in this program.
are blm office workers dicks in general, or ar they just dicks when you mention the desert land acts?
does anyone know/ have any geusses as to why the federal register last updated this law on june 13 1970?
thanks for reading. post any useful links you might have about this subject please.
5 years ago
miles, i just saw your post, but after writing one right now i dont have time to reply, thank you for the info. i have a lot of questions.
5 years ago
The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer supports the wise and efficient use of the state's
water resources; and, therefore, encourages the harvesting, collection and use of rainwater
from residential and commercial roof surfaces for on-site landscape irrigation and other on-site
domestic uses.

The collection of water harvested in this manner should not reduce the amount of runoff that
would have occurred from the site in its natural, pre-development state. Harvested rainwater
may not be appropriated for any other uses (NM OSE, 2004).

it seems to me as though the states acknowledge the use of rainwater from a cistern as a form of irrigation. there were a couple other legalish (.gov, .org) type sites that eluded to rainwater catchment being a type of irrigation. wayne, you are allowed to irrigate 2 acres with your well, but do they put a cap on the amount you can irrigate with rainwater?
len, yes, i do plan on growing many trees. of course this is all planning for the future and therefore isnt very tangible at the moment. my wife and i are attempting to get some jobs out west and make (10$/hour x 2 people x 8 hours a day x 5 days a week) 800 $ a week for a season and then get to it with 8 to 10 grand as a budget and a spartan lifestyle to support our under budgeted dream. we plan to basically facilitate what naturally grows. mesquites, mormon tea, creosote bush, prickly pear and other cacti and succulents. hopefully have a lot bee hives. well see what comes.
from what i understand the products made on such lands do not have to be for sale, however you have to give the blm a budget before they authorize the project, so it wouldnt hurt to sell things at least on paper.
as for animals, i can only assume that they would expect hay fields to be made of the desert, but one could keep animals as well as have a mesquite grove or something. and also, i do not think i recall them stipulating edibility. it could be white sage and lavendar you grow and distill for essential oils. once irrigated and planted, the land will have timber value, but thats understandable. and appearantly the 1/8 can be in multiple places. i think. i am contemplating claiming 80 acres, i think that 10 acres of irrigation is a modest and achievalble goal under the right circumstances. and i wouldnt know what to do with 320 acres.
ill try not to go overboard.
thanks for the help.
5 years ago

I was unaware of this until this week, but apparently the homesteading act which was repealed by tricky dick nixon in way back when had a sort of ugly cousin called the desert land act. (links above)
anyway, apparently you can get up to 320 acres of land for 1.25 dollars an acre as long as special conditions pertain.
the land cannot have any claims on it
the land must have 0 useful mineral potential
the land must have 0 timber value
basically the land must be shitty desert wasteland. thats why its going for so cheap.

once such land is found, the person wanting the land has to get it surveyed out and give this along with a budget and some other documents and dirt samples to the local blm office. from what ive read there is a waiting list described as "large, or big" but also from what ive read, 60 percent of all desert land claims are in utah.
colorado new mexico, arizona, nevada, and idaho are also participating states, so i question the legitimate grandeur of such a waiting list.

once all this has happened you must take it upon yourself to irrigate at least 1/8 of the total land you have claimed ( 40/320 acres ) within 4 years (there are cases where they will extend this). if you have only irrigated 20 acres of 320, it seems as though they can take away all land that has not yet been irrigated.
however, when done well, at the end of the 4 years, you get a patent for the land.

my question is then, if anyone could enlighten me on a few key issues.

from what i understand only utah and colorado have blanket bans on rainwater collection. this makes it sound as though arizona and new mexico have laws about rainwater harvesting, but few. from what ive studied, it seems as though since rainwater only contributes 3-15 percent of all ground water and surface water, its pretty much ok to harvest since it doesnt conflict much with the first come first serve water laws. is this a correct conclusion? im thinking of utilizing roof runoff into cisterns as well as creating water catching earthworks (they arent really holders, but they catch and hold water for a short amount of time).

im also wondering if anyone knows anything about the desert land act. what have you heard of it? is it one of those things where the government makes that you can have but really cant? a catch 22 of sorts?

also, if anyone is already doing something of this sort, it would be cool to pick your brain.

thanks for reading.
5 years ago
thanks everyone for all the helpful replies.

id like to update that we are currently staying with "back to the land project" a little south of mountain home arkansas. its a pretty cool project focused on helping neighbors lead a more production oriented lifestyle and less of a consumer oriented one. our duties vary and arent as many as wed like to have during the winter, but come spring gardening will be the main focus.
not too sure how long we will stay here, however i have no desire to stay in arkansas past october of this year.

so yea, happy new years everyone.
5 years ago
so, i grew up in the negev in israel.
i think that inherently put a bug in my head that greening the desert is possible and good.
i also like the thought of facilitating the creation of an oasis.
i think permaculture is common sense, cheap, and proven to work beneficially.
therefore, my wife and i plan on purchasing land with obvious faults such as absent water, huge rocks, and erosion gullies. we will make it green.

but, thats all future talk, and not real life.

real life is that right now we are trucking around the usa working farm jobs and saving up 20 grand or so to start out our future plans.
ive watched every bill mollison/geoff lawton permaculture lecture on youtube and taken notes. i am reading the pdm and taking notes, i am going out and digging swales on public property wherever we go to see how they work off paper.

my point is i am not a fountain of knowledge.
the secondary point is that it would not be prudent to go off greening the desert with my notebooks and books and zero real life experience.

so, we are headed to new mexico/arizona/utah/colorado around december. i was thinking it would be cool to throw a line out and see if anyone is willing to give me a tour of their permaculture.
it would be cool to stay and help out, but if your not looking for a farm hand, thats ok. i can just park nearby and show up and look at your operation and see things in action.
if you know of anyone who needs help in exchange for money that would be cool too.

i am a fantastic grunt worker.

my wife and i have two cats and a small rv, we keep to ourselves mainly, arent felons, dont do drugs, eat anything people make for us, live frugally, do unto others, etc.

so send me a moosage if your down, and well figure something out.

i am interested in learning:

-about the local wildlife, plant and animal
-plant propagation
-alternative building methods
-permaculteral techniques, gabions, swales, dams, etc.
-animal husbandry
-bee keeping
-wild edible foraging
-rainwater collection
-alternative collection of atmospheric water. dew traps, transpiration, rock mulch, etc.
-driving large equipment
-becoming a better designer, seeing the larger picture, identifying patterns. using resources well and reusing them.

i could go on, but it would get vague and stupid if i did.

skills i have

-im a pretty descent forager where i come from, its hard to forage nomadically though.
-good with manual labour.
-eager to learn
-my wife is all these with the addition of being good with horses. really good with horses.
-i pick and grin, so if you havent someone to play with, i can kick it pretty good.

thank you for your time.
5 years ago
i have been musing about the possible benefits and uses of circular swales on areas with virtually no slope to them. in my head i imagine a circle about 50 feet wide, the berm planted with mesquite tree. the center of the swale circle would be dug out to create a low point, here you could maybe plant a tree that does well sheltered from the wind and grows a little taller. i havent really thought of the species i would plant on this idea. anyway, the berm has a mesquite thicket and we'll say the middle is a pomegranate tree made to grow tall, and all around the pomegranate is grazing for sheep or goats or what have you.

anyway, i was just wondering how real life this idea was. i like the idea of digging large circular swales on flat terrain because it satisfies a subtle need i feel for things to be circular. i just like circular things i guess. but regaurdless, i feel as though it would trap more water into less area, has applications for growing food for animal and human consumption, increases soil fertility, a source of timber, a structual pen for animals.

has anyone seen anything like this? i was looking at a picture in a forum about airwells

anyway, that was the inspiration, i saw that and said, hey, those rocks should be a swale and that whole thing should be a lot bigger.

so yea.
5 years ago
regardless of your water situation, do you think this idea is plausible as a method to recycle non potable water into potable water while simultaneously creating food and collecting rainwater?
if not, why? what are the main issues you find to be faulty with this design?
also, i think this could have applications in filtering fluoride and other harmful toxins (fukushima) out of water. (youd have to throw out the plants and close off the rain hole,but youd have non radio active drinking water)
because from what i understand, the plants would hold in any impurities in their bodies and transpire only pure water.
do you think this idea is plausible?
5 years ago
i remember when i first started foraging i bought linda runyon's books. they were worthless on their own. (the pictures are not good, the information is).
anyway, i really didnt feel comfortable eating anything more than clover. so then i bought john kallas' book on wild edibles and positively identified purslane. i was so terrified of putting that purslane in my mouth and so terrified of swallowing it because apparently purslane has like 2 toxic look alikes.

after two years i know a good amount of plants and am able to differentiate between the good ones and the bad ones easily.

mushrooms are a different story. they scare me because of all of the information/misinformation i have heard about it.

to add to my plight, i have not met in person any living person who knows of any mushroom aside from a morel. these people do not go into the woods. they are useless to my needs.

so my question is this,
is there a book about mushrooms like john kallas' book?

john's book takes the beginner by the hand and shows only 10 wild edibles in a two inch volume. chalk full of pictures, chalk full of information, chalk full of confidence. a few edibles, a lot of details.

enough details to empower a person with no living breathing mushroom mentor to consume the most basic and common of mushrooms.

do you know of such a book?
if i was dead sure i had an edible mushroom and ate a small (small small small) amount and waited 30 minutes, then more, and so on. would that be a good strategy to get started?

because im tired of not being able to eat these things.

5 years ago