United States v. Alford
274 U.S. 264 (1927)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Alford, 274 U.S. 264 (1927)

United States v. Alford

No. 983

Argued April 28, 1927

Decided May 16, 1927

274 U.S. 264

Syllabus

1. In the Act of June 25, 1910, providing that

"whoever shall build a fire in or near any forest, timber, or other inflammable material upon the public domain, or upon any Indian reservation . . . shall, before leaving said fire, totally extinguish the same, and whoever shall fail to do so shall"

be punished, etc., the words "upon the public domain" are to be referred to the words immediately preceding, viz., "forest, timber, or other inflammable material," so that the statute applies where the fire is on private lands, but "near" to inflammable grass on the public domain. P. 274 U. S. 266.

Page 274 U. S. 265

2. The Act, so construed, is constitutional, for Congress may prohibit the doing of acts upon privately owned lands that imperil the publicly owned forests. P. 274 U. S. 267.

3. The word "near" is not too indefinite. P. 274 U. S. 267.

Reversed.

Error to a judgment of the district court sustaining a demurrer to an indictment.

Page 274 U. S. 266

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