43 CFR 20.401 - Interests in Federal lands.
(a) Statutory prohibition applicable to employees of the Bureau of Land Management. (1) In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 11, employees of the Bureau of Land Management are prohibited from voluntarily acquiring a direct or indirect interest in Federal lands.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of applying the prohibition in 43 U.S.C. 11:
(i) Federal lands. means public lands or resources or an interest in lands or resources administered or controlled by the Department, including, but not limited to, all submerged lands lying seaward outside of the area of “lands beneath navigable water” as defined in 43 U.S.C. 1301(a), and of which the subsoil and seabed appertain to the United States and are subject to its jurisdiction and control.
(ii) Direct interest in Federal lands means any employee ownership or part ownership in Federal lands or any participation in the earnings therefrom, or the right to occupy or use the property or to take any benefits there from, based upon a contract, grant, lease, permit, easement, rental agreement, or application. Direct interest in Federal lands also includes:
(A) Membership or outside employment in a business which has interests in Federal lands; and.
(B) Ownership of stock or other securities in corporations determined by the Department to have an interest in Federal lands directly or through a subsidiary.
(iii) Indirect interest in Federal lands means any ownership or part ownership of an interest in Federal lands by an employee in the name of another where the employee still reaps the benefits. Indirect interest in Federal lands also includes:
(A) Holdings in land, mineral rights, grazing rights or livestock which in any manner are connected with or involve the substantial use of the resources or facilities of the Federal lands; or
(B) Substantial holdings of a spouse or minor child.
(b) Statutory prohibition applicable to employees of the U.S. Geological Survey. (1) In accordance with 43 U.S.C. 31(a), the Director and members of the U.S. Geological Survey are prohibited from having any personal or private interests in the lands or mineral wealth of the region under survey.
(2) Definitions. For purposes of applying the prohibition in 43 U.S.C. 31(a):
(i) Personal or private interest means ownership of an interest in, or employment with a person or enterprise which leases or uses, Federal lands for commercial purposes.
(ii) Region under survey means Federal lands which are administered or controlled by the Department.
(c) Exclusions. (1)(i) Except for U.S. mineral surveyors, an individual employed on an intermittent or seasonal basis for a period not exceeding 180 working days in each calendar year, and a special Government employee (SGE) engaged in field work relating to land, range, forest, and mineral conservation and management activities, and the spouse of such an individual or SGE, shall not be precluded from retaining any interest, including renewal or continuation of existing rights, in Federal lands, provided that such individual or SGE or spouse shall not acquire any additional interest in Federal lands during employment.
(ii) A U.S. mineral surveyor is a person appointed under the authority of 30 U.S.C. 39, and as such is included within the term “officers, clerks, and employees” of the Bureau of Land Management as that term is used in 43 U.S.C. 11 and construed in Waskey v. Hammer, 223 U.S. 85 (1912). U.S. mineral surveyors are also considered to be special government employees.
(2) A Bureau of Land Management employee or any member of the employee's family may acquire wild free-roaming horses or burros from Federal lands for maintenance and protection through a cooperative agreement entered into in accordance with 43 CFR part 4700.
(3) A Bureau of Land Management employee may retain a direct or indirect interest in Federal lands when:
(i) There is little or no relationship between the employee's functions or duties and the particular interest in Federal lands, and
(ii) The employee, or the spouse or dependent child of the employee, acquired such an interest:
(A) By gift, devise, bequest, or court award or settlement, or
(B) Prior to the time the employee entered on duty in the Department.
(5) The recreational or other personal and noncommercial use of the Federal lands by an employee, the employee's spouse or dependent child, on the same terms as use of the Federal lands is available to the general public, is not prohibited.
(6) Advisory councils. Nothing in 43 U.S.C. 11 shall disqualify individuals appointed pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1739, as members of advisory boards or councils, from acquiring or retaining grazing licenses or permits issued pursuant to section 3 of the Taylor Grazing Act (43 U.S.C. 315b), or any other interest in land or resources administered by the Bureau of Land Management: Provided, that in no case shall the member of any such board or council participate in any advice or recommendation concerning such license or permit in which such member is directly or indirectly interested.
(d) Request for advice. When an employee is in doubt as to whether the acquisition or retention of any interest in lands or resources administered by the Department would violate the provisions of this section, a statement of the facts should be submitted promptly by the individual involved to his or her servicing ethics counselor for guidance.