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The sum of $1,180 was deposited during the year for office work, which amount added to $1,401.30 on hand at commencement of the year, made $2,581.30 available, of which $1,070 were paid out for office work, $ 10 were withdrawn by depositor, leaving $1,470.94 unexpended.
One hundred and forty-five plats and diagrams of standard, township, and section lines were prepared in the surveyor general's office, one hundred of which were of mill-site and mining claims.
The number of miles surveyed in thirteen townships during the year was 751; area in acres, 217,616.46
The number of mill-sites and mining claims surveyed was 25 ; area of same, 395.55 acres. Total lands surveyed in Arizona up to the end of the year, 4,707,214 acres.
The estimates for the surveying service for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows:
For survey of public lands, $12,000 ; survey of private land claims, $8,000; salaries of surveyor general and clerks, $8,250; and incidental expenses, $2,000.
Congress having made appropriation whereby the title to private land claims can be investigated and reported upon, the surveyor general has given public notice that on and after September 1, 1879, such business will be duly attended to.
Attention is again called to the necessity of a survey of the White Mountain or San Carlos Reservation, so that its boundaries may be definitely located and public and private interests subserved. In the absence of such survey, there is great danger of armed conflict between the settlers and Indians.
A change in the laws applying to the survey and sale of pasturage lands is earnestly suggested. Township lines should be extended over all pasturage and mineral lands, the price per acre reduced, and the quantity purchasable from the government largely increased.
2. California.—The assignments to this district out of the appropriation for surveys of public lands during the year ending June 30, 1879, were $29,500 for agricultural lands and $10,000 for timber lands. Thirty-nine contracts were made under said assignments, and the sum of $31,111.80 was paid for work returned.
The sum of $31,979.22 was received as moneys deposited by settlers for surveys of public lands, and by railroad companies on account of surveys, &c. Thirty-five contracts for surveys were made payable from the special deposits, three of which were canceled.
The area of public lands surveyed in the year is 1,910,530.92; number of miles run and marked, 6,808. The sum assigned for survey of private land claims was $4,000, of which $3,091.28 were paid out under ten contracts. The area of private land claims surveyed was 178,546 acres.
The amount of special deposits for office work on survey of agricultural lands was $8,402.86, of which the sum of $5,394.83 was money paid by railroad companies for office work on lands selected by the companies.
The sum of $7,959.85 was deposited for office work on survey of mining claims.
One hundred and seventeen mining surveys were made. Salary paid to surveyor general, $2,750; to clerks in his office from regular appropriation, $10,998.86; to clerks out of appropriation of $3,000 for bringing up arrears, $2,998.99; and to clerks out of special deposits for office work on public lands and mining surveys, $14,642.09, leaving a balance of $1,720.62 unexpended of special deposit fund.
The amount paid from the appropriation for incidental expenses was $2,999.99.
For examinations in the field the sum of $7,171.03 was paid, it being $2,992 more than was assigned to that district.
The sum of $1,974.23 was paid for expenses of suppressing depredations on the public timber.
The number of plats, maps, and diagrams made was 1,545; number of transcripts of field notes prepared, 204.
Sixty-seven descriptive notes of decrees of court in case of private land claims were prepared and transmitted.
The surveyor general recommends that all lands now unsurveyed should be sectionized without restriction as to character, and gives his reasons therefor at considerable length, for which see the report in full.
The completion of standard and meridian lines, as well as the town. ship exteriors, is deemed imperatively necessary to avoid the serious errors resulting from the piece-meal system of projection of those lines now practiced. Subdivision of townships into sections may then be proceeded with as settlements demand and Congress makes appropriations.
Grazing and other lands being so intermingled, it is practically im. possible to properly draw the line of demarkation under the present restrictions on classes of lands to be surveyed; consequently small tracts of valuable land must be left, causing surveys to be made in a fragmentary manner. The restrictions have not proved economical to the gov. ernment, as the resurveys necessitated thereby more than offset the saving.
The provisions of section 2101 of the Revised Statutes, now applicable only to settlers under the pre-emption and homestead laws, should be extended to embrace the desert land act of March 3, 1877, and the act of June 3, 1878, providing for the sale of timber lands.
Very little of the timber land in the State has been surveyed, and as vast quantities of timber is used in the neighboring mines, the lands are consequently spoliated. The necessity of surveying these lands and permitting persons to make entries under the law is obvious.
Public attention is being directed toward the hitherto comparatively neglected belt of lands between the foot-hills and snow-line of the Sierra, where are thousands of acres sufficiently level for farming purposes.
The wine-growing interest of the southern portion of the State gives promise that California will soon rank with the foremost wine-producing countries of the world. From one and a half million vines in 1856, the number has increased to between forty and forty-five million. Exports during 1878 were 2,000,000 gallons, valued at $1,300,000. During the first six months of the present year the exports reached 1,125,409 gallons of wine and 81,345 gallons of brandy, a gain of 260,000 gallons over the same time in 1878.
The examination of surveys in the field during the past year was very expensive, owing to being extended over work done in previous years as well as during the last fiscal year. Lack of appropriations for examinations of surveys in the field has led to looseness of work, while the moral effect upon deputy surveyors of an appropriation available to send a special agent at any time into the field for an examination of work will be readily perceived.
The surveyor general states that the policy of Congress in making such limited provision for the survey of the public lands in California has operated injuriously to the best interests of the State and sinall neighborhood communities.
Occupants of unsurveyed lands are unable to obtain title thereto. While the State has passed laws for the protection of these actual set
t ers until the land may be lawfully acquired, they also protect a single individual speculator, who thereby is able to hold large tracts of thousands of acres of desirable land, without cost or taxation, by simply fencing, using, and occupying them, which it would be impossible for the party in possession to retain under existing laws if the land was surveyed, and which would furnish homes for a large number of families.
In stating the estimate, $20,000, required for clerks and draughtsmen in his office, the surveyor general gives a detailed statement of his official duties, to which he calls the attention of Congress. His reasons for the estimate of $20,000 for bringing up the arrears of office work are also stated at length.
The estimate of $9,000 for the transcribing and reproduction of the Spanish archives is also fully explained.
It is a matter of great difficulty to ascertain who are the present own. ers of unsettled private land claims. No decrees of confirmation have been filed in eighteen claims which were confirmed by the United States district court and decrees ordered ; consequently surveys cannot be proceeded with until decrees are filed. Eighteen private land cases were prepared and transmitted, the expense of thirteen of them being defrayed by interested parties.
The estimate of $8,000 for the adjustment of deficiencies in the fund of special deposits by individuals is explained, and the cause of those deficiencies given at length in the report.
The survey of mining claims forms an important branch of the work of the office, and the detailed duties connected therewith are set forth in the report. The whole number of mines surveyed to this time is nearly 2,000; number of deputy mineral surveyors on duty, 73.
The rectangular system of surveys, the classification of public lands, and the contract system versus salaried deputy surveyors, are respectively commented upon. The surveyor general concludes that the rectangular system is so readily understood by all classes of claimants that it cannot be supplemented by any so-called scientific system; that the classification now made by deputy surveyors is as accurate as can be made at moderate cost, and the matter should remain as under existing laws; and considering the question of contracts and salaried deputies from an economic and practical standpoint, he is of the opinion that the contract system is the better one.
Estimates for the surveying service during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: Extension of standard and exterior lines, $60,000; survey of subdivision lines, $75,000 ; survey of timber lands, $50,000; survey of private land claims, including necessary office ex. penses, $10,000; examination of surveys in the field and traveling expenses, $5,000; clerks and draughtsmen, $20,000; arrears of office work, $20,000; messenger and incidental expenses, $6,000; transcribing and reproducing Spanish archives, $9,000; surveyor general, $3,000; adjustment of deficiencies in fund of special deposits of individuals, $8,000; total, $266,000.
3. Colorado.-Under the apportionment of $23,400, out of the appropriation of $300,000 for surveying the public lands for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1879, thirteen surveying contracts were entered into, and the surveys returned thereunder amounted in the aggregate to $23,903.93, being an excess over the appropriation of $503.93.
Under contract of April, 1879, with Oakes and Kellogg, the Medano Springs and Zapato grant were surveyed at a cost of $1,344.79.
For surveys made under the acts of Congress of May 30, 1862, and March 3, 1872, there were expended $1,823.99, leaving a balance, which was repaid to depositors, of $146.57.
Fifty-three townships were surveyed, embracing an area of 1,078,324.05 acres, at a cost of 2.3 cents per acre.
Two hundred and ninety-six mining claims were surveyed, embracing an area of 2,601 acres, the deposits for office expenses amounting to $7,328.
The salaries paid the surveyor general and his clerks amounted to $12,522.17, paid out of the regular appropriation and special deposits, leaving an unexpended balance of $5,549.07.
The amount expended for rent of office, books, stationery, fuel, and other incidental expenses, was $2,342.40, paid out of the regular appropriation and special deposit fund.
Individual deposits show an increase of about $1,400 over the preceding year.
The office is in arrears five years in the preparation of descriptive lists for the local land offices. The estimates submitted for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881, are:
1. Salaries of surveyor general, clerks, and draughtsmen, $10,800; 2. Incidentals, $3,000; 3. Surveys, $100,200.
The surveyor general reports that settlements continue in advance of surveys, and estimates the immigration to the State this season at 100,000 people, who have penetrated into every section thereof.
In addition to the carbonates found in the vicinity of Leadville, discoveries of vast bodies of minerals have been made, notably in the Elk Mountains, in Gunnison County, and near the Musquito Pass, in Lake County. Ruby silver has been found in paying quantities within the limits of the Ute Indian reservation.
The destruction of timber has been enormous, partially the result of accident, but often by the criminal carelessness of prospector and campers. All of the timbered lands should be surveyed, as a means of protection both to the government and the settler.
Railways have been extending their lines in every direction. The Denver and South Park Railway has been graded into the Arkansas Valley, and before “snow flies” will be running to Leadville.
4. Dakota.—The amount of the appropriation assigned for public surveys in Dakota during the year ending June 30, 1879, was $30,500. Five contracts were made payable out of the assignment, and the amount of work paid for was $23,207.13, leaving unexpended $7,292.57.
The area of land surveyed in 47 townships during the year was 1,042,116 acres, which added to the area previously surveyed makes 19,780,876 acres surveyed in the Territory, exclusive of Indian and military reservations, town sites, and mining claims. The number of miles of base, township, and section lines run and marked in the year was 3,407; fortysix lode claims and nine placer mining claims were surveyed.
The sum of $1,710 was deposited for office work on survey of mining claims. There was on hand July 1, 1878, an wexpended balance of $910 from former years, making available the sum of $2,620. Of this amount $1,888 were expended, leaving $732 to the credit of that fund.
For salaries, there was paid to the surveyor general and his clerks, $6,500; and for incidental expenses, $1,500; those amounts being appropriated for the objects mentioned.
Immigration has exceeded the largest estimates, and Dakota is be. lieved to lead all other lands States and Territories in the number of acres settled upon during the year.
Unimproved agricultural lands, on the line of the Northern Pacific Railro ad, sell as high as $9 and $10 per acre.
The wheat crop will average from 10 to 35 bushels per acre, notwith
standing unfavorable conditions. Other crops are exceptionally good. The mineral and agricultural wealth of the Black Hills is being steadily developed.
The recent executive order restoring to market a large tract of land east of the Missouri River will cause increased immigration to those fertile lands. A wide strip through its entire length, bordering the river, should be immediately surveyed.
The competition of the Northern Pacific, Milwaukee and Saint Paul, Chicago and Northwestern), Southern Minnesota, Dakota Southern, and other railroad lines, which are pressing forward to share in the prosperity and wealth of Dakota, bears testimony to its rapid growth and future prospects.
Public surveys should keep pace with this onward march, and thus subserve the interests of the general government and necessities of the Territory.
The estimates for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surreys, $139,920; for salaries, 812,000; and for incidental expenses, $2,700.
5. Florida.-Four contracts for surveys were entered into during the year ending June 30, 1879, one being for the continuation of survey of lots along the Georgia-Florida boundary line. One contract was canceled by the Commissioner of the General Land Office. The assignment for the year was $6,000. Of the three contracts not closed at date of last annual report, one still remains unfinished, it being for the survey of islands in Denler Lake in township 16 south, range 29 east, which on account of high water remain yet unsurveyed. Nineteen township plats were prepared and forwarded to the local office, all but one being of surveys of lots along the State boundary.
The surveyor general estimates as follows, for year ending June 30, 1881: For surveys, $5,000; for salaries, 86,200; incidentals, $1,000; total for surveying service, 812 200.
6. Idaho.-The surveyor general reports that the surveys in his district for the past fiscal year were greatly impeded, and finally stopped, by the late Indian war. Owing to this cause he was compelled to ex tend the time of contracts. Although three contracts have been let, to the full amount of assignment of $12,000 of appropriation, no work has been returned by reason of high waters and the many disadvantages. He has made a personal inspection of surveys in the field, of which a report was transmitted to the General Land Office July 12, 1879.
A decided interest in agricultural interests is reported, particularly in the eastern part of the Territory, on the line of the Utah Northern Railroad. In the districts of Yankee Fork, Atlanta Bauner, and Silver City, rich mines of gold and silver are worked to advantage, and good roads and cheaper transportation are only needed to largely increase mining interests. Placer mines along Snake River are being worked by a new process for saving fine gold, with promising success.
The appropriation for the salaries of the surveyor general and his clerks is deemed insufficient, and the exigency of the office demands the estimated appropriation for clerk hire so that a chief clerk and a draughtsman may be retained permanently.
The estimates for the survey of public lands are what the surveyor general considers actually necessary, and aggregate $18,240. They embrace 180 miles of tho third standard parallel north and 2,040 miles of exterior and subdivision lines. For salaries, $7,000; incidentals, $2,000.
Thirty-six original maps and copies were transmitted to the General Land Office, and 10 descriptive lists to local land offices. Total area of