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ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surveys of public lands, $80,000; survey of private land claims, including office expenses, $6,000; re-establishment of part of east boundary of New Mexico, $1,725; for salaries, $14,000; incidental expenses, $5,500.
The public surveys for the year include the exteriors of a large num. ber of townships, and the extension of the seventh correction line north and the fourth correction line south through several ranges. The speedy survey of lands in the valleys of the San Juan River and tributaries in the north west, the Dry Cimmaron and other streams in the northeast, the Pecos and tributaries in the southeast, and the lower Rio Grande, Gila, and their tributaries in the southwest sections of the Territory, is demanded by the settlers.
Attention is called to the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad grant, which has lapsed. The lands embraced therein should be restored to market.
Two new private land claims have been filed since last report, the testimony in eight cases completed, in six cases opinions of approval rendered, and two cases rejected. He renews the recommendation of last year that Congress fix a limitation of time for filing and presenting claims, and that the courts be required to investigate and adjudicate the claims; but if the surveyor general is to be required to attend to such investigations he wants an attorney to represent the government. An early segregation of the private land claims from the public lands is necessary so that settlers may know upon what lands to enter.
Considerable progress in extending railroads is reported.
Nine copies of declaratory statements for desert claims on unsurveyed land were filed in the office during the year.
13. Oregon.—Under date of August 15, 1879, the surveyor general reports the completion of seven “special deposit” contracts, not closed at date of last annual report; cost of same, $891.44; area surveyed under these contracts, 22,155.70 acres; distance marked, 97 miles.
For the year ending June 30, 1879, fourteen contracts were let, pay. able from assignment of $18,000, for the survey of agricultural lands. Under these contracts (eight of which have been completed) the work returned and paid for amounts to $6,520.73. The number of miles surveyed in the completed work is 630.
For the survey of timber lands there was apportioned to Oregon $7,500. Out of this five con ucts were made, only two of which had been completed at date of report. Under these two contracts there were run and marked 64 miles, at a cost of $1,273.41. Twenty contracts were made during the year, payable from special deposits, amounting to $2,624 for field work. Fifteen of these contracts have been completed at a cost of $1,922.85. The number of miles run was 195.
Total number of plats made during the year, 270; total number of acres surveyed in the year, 393,196.17; additional area surveyed and not heretofore reported, 243,809.47 acres. One mining claim was surveyed. The amount deposited for office work on surveys of public land and survey of one mineral claim was $390. The sum of $396 was paid to clerks on special deposit account.
The $7,000 appropriated for salaries of surveyor general and clerks was expended except $4.40. There was paid for incidental expenses the sum of $1,219.71, leaving a balance of $280.29 unexpended of the appropriation of $1,500.
The estimates for the year ending June 30, 1881, are $38,510 for surreys, $7,000 for salaries, and $1,500 for incidental expenses.
The last year is reported to have been unusually unfavorable for field work, owing to dense smokes, fogs, and storms west of the Cascade Mountains, and Indian hostilities and heavy storms in Eastern Oregon. For these reasons several contracts have been extended in time, and are yet unfinished.
The assignment of $1,800 for survey of agricultural lands has been mostly used in response to requests of settlers for the survey of lands settled upon and as far as possible, in unsurveyed districts, which has necessitated small contracts.
The assignment of $7,500 for survey of timber lands has been applied to survey tracts skirting the upper slopes of the Cascade Mountains, and the brakes and spurs of the Blue Mountains, tracts most likely to be depredated upon.
The amended deposit law of March 3, 1879, facilitates surveys needed by settlers. Recommendation is made that the law be further modified so that certificates should be received in payment for any public lands subject to cash entry.
In view of the increase of mining interests a corps of mineral surveyors has been appointed.
The surveyor general recommends that the instructions requiring deputies to come to the office of surveyor general to execute their contracts, and to bring their sureties with them to have the bond approved by him, be modified, so that the contract can be executed before and bond approved by the county officer where the surveyor resides.
14. Utah.—The area of public land surveyed during the year ending June 30, 1879, is 416,132.37 acres, of which 71,101.26 acres are returned as mineral and 3,641.32 acres as coal lands. Total area surveyed to June 30, 1879, in Utah, 8,594,952.34 acres. Surveys of agricultural lands dur. ing the year under contracts not closed at date of last annual report amounted to 1,186 miles.
The assignment of appropriation for the year was $10,000, under which two contracts were made, and the work returned under these contracts and under contracts not closed at date of last annual report amounted to $20,605.76. The number of miles run and marked in making these surveys was 2,044.
The appropriation of $1,500 for incidental expenses was paid out ex. cept a balance of $126.16 unexpended.
For salaries there were paid to the surveyor general $2,750, and to the clerks $2,996.45 out of the appropriation ; balance of appropriation unexpended $3.55.
The surveying contracts under the appropriation were mainly for standard parallels and guide meridians, to explore regions almost unknown, and to allow surveys to be made for increasing settlements. Lands along the fifth standard parallel south, west of Green River, consist to a great extent of coal lands, and being without water or timber are valueless for the present. Lands along the Colorado guide meridian are of an agricultural and grazing character, with extensive timber lands of great value. Contracts have been made for the subdivision of these lands.
The surveys on account of individual deposits consisted principally of a resurvey of the Spanish Fork Indian Reservation, with numerous smaller surveys, amounting to 138 miles, at a cost of $877.52. There is a balance of $2,027.02 deposited for surveys of public lands, which is liable to pay for work now under contract.
The mining interest has revived very considerably. In the Uintah and Blue Ledge districts new discoveries have been made, promising to equal the famous " Ontario.” In the West Mountain district a “gold belt" has been discovered, about two miles in width, running east and west. There is great excitement and contest for claims.
The extension south of the Utah Southern Railroad will soon reach the San Francisco mining district, making accessible extensive sulphur beds and iron regions, and bringing nearer to market the silver ores of the Harrisburg mining district.
The increased number of mineral surveys has augmented the difficulties of surveying, owing to conflicting claims and errors of former sur. veys. One great difficulty is the inaccuracy of the relative location of mineral monuments. An appropriation for the purpose of connecting and establishing mineral monuments heretofore solicited is again urged as an absolute necessity.
There were 35 mining districts at the close of the fiscal year, and the number is constantly increasing.
One hundred and nineteen mineral surveys were made during the year.
The following office work in connection with mining surveys was executed during the year: Maps, 390; connected mineral district maps, 9. Office work under appropriation: Maps of Utah Territory and Salt Lake City; 334 plats; transcripts of field notes, 131 ; descriptive lists, 106. Work under special deposits: Plats, 27; transcripts of field notes, 12; descriptive lists, 16.
Estimates for the surveying service during the year ending June 30, 1891, are as follows: For surveys, $15,000; connecting mineral monuments, $5,000; salaries of surveyor general and clerks, $8,000; rent, janitor, and incidentals, $2,500; preparation of maps and field notes of 35 mining districts, showing the relative position of each claim, $2,000.
The area of public lands disposed of during the fiscal year is as follows: Original and final homestead entries, 84,749 acres; cash, 15,858 acres; timber culture, 2,179 acres; desert land, first and second entries, 13,025 acres; mineral land, 728 acres; Supreme Court scrip, 400 acres.
15. Washington.—The surveyor general reports the completion of three contracts for surveys unfinished at date of last annual report. The amount paid for work done on the same was $4,757.48; miles run and marked, 769; acres surveyed, 229,192.17; plats made, 43. The balance of appropriation for the year ending June 30, 1878, unexpended, $354.35.
For the year ending June 30, 1879, the apportionment of appropriation for surveys was $18,000 for agricultural lands and $7,500 for timber lands exclusively: Twelve contracts were made under these apportionments, four of which have been completed. The amount paid on the work done is $13,786.34; balance applicable to unfinishedł contracts, $11,713.66; number of miles run, 1,988; area surveyed during the year, 891,326.98, including the area of 229,192.17 acres surveyed under former appropriations and that surveyed under special deposits.
The amount of special deposits during the year was $866 for field work on public surveys and $125 for office work. Under two contracts payable from special deposits there were paid out $171.45, leaving an excess of $394.55 over cost of survey.
The appropriation of $6,500 for salaries of surveyor general and clerks was all expended. There was on hand at the beginning of the year $62.88 on account of special deposits for office work, which, with $125 deposited during the year, made $187.88 available for payment of clerk hire. Of this sum there was pail but $75, leaving unexpended $112.88 of special deposits. The appropriation of $1,500 for incidental expenses was all expended. The estimates for the surveying service for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surveys, $92,172; for salaries, $10,500; for incidentals, $2,000.
The annual map forwarded shows the progress of surveys and the boundaries of the recent Indian reservation for “Chief Moses” and his people.
The growth and prosperity of the Territory during the past year has fully realized expectations. While the lumber interest has been somewhat depressed, owing to stagnation in California markets, all other industries have been active. Grain growing in Eastern Washington has increased 33 per cent.
The surveyor general reports no desert land in the Territory within the meaning of the desert lands act. The yield of wheat on sage brush lands, without irrigation, averages from 40 to 60 bushels per acre.
The immediate necessity is shown of defining the eastern and southern boundaries of the Yakama Indian Reservation, as adjoining lands are in demand by white settlers.
16. Wyoming.—Three contracts were let from the apportionment of $12,000 for public surveys during the year ending June 30, 1879. Two of these contracts were completed, and one partly finished, at a cost of $9,841.06. Two contracts were let from special deposits. The amount paid for work on these contracts was $1,080.54. Three contracts were let from the apportionment for the year ending June 30, 1880.
The amount paid for public surveys during the year was $24,909.43, of which the sum of $14,347.83 was paid out of the appropriation of March 3, 1877.
An unexpended balance of deposit for surveys by the Union Pacific Railroad Company is remaining, of $290.47.
Forty-one townships were subdivided in the year; area of same, 918,810.90 acres, which added to 7,926,173.37 acres previously surveyed makes a total of 8,844,984.27 acres surveyed in the Territory, in 422 townships.
The surveys for the year amounted to 2,397 miles, and included the south, east and north boundaries of Fort Laramie Reservation, exteriors of 44 townships and subdivisions of 41 townships.
The area of coal lands reported is 4,495 acres; area of auriferous lands, 1,151 acres. Three gold mining claims were surveyed. The improvements on these claims are valued at $39,500. The survey of another claim is in progress.
The office work in the year consisted of 41 township plats for the General Land Office, and the same number for the local office, also 82 de. scriptive lists to the latter office, and 9 plats of mineral claims and 3 transcripts of same. The original maps of these surveys were constructed in the surveyor general's office, and transcripts of the field notes were furnished to the General Land Office. Whole number of maps and plats made, 132; descriptive lists, 82; transcripts of notes, 44. miscellaneous office work was done, and the clerks worked nearly double time.
There was paid to surveyor general a salary of $2,750. The appropriation of $3,500 for salaries of clerks was all expended except 28 cents. There was expended for clerks on account of special deposit fund $323.08.
The amount deposited to that fund during the year was $190; amount on hand from former year, $521.98, thus leaving a balance of $388.90 unexpended June 30, 1879.
There were appropriated $1,500 for incidental expenses, of which $322.83 remain unexpended and revert to the Treasury. The amount espended was $1,177.17.
The estimates submitted for the year ending June 30, 1881, are as follows: For surveys, $46,400; for salaries, $10,500; for incidentals, $2,000. The principal and the assistant draughtsman, and one transcribing clerk, have been discontinued on account of a deficiency in the appropriation for salaries.
The estimates for proposed surveys relate to lands in the valley of the North Platte and its confluents, from Fort Laramie to Fort Fetterman; timber and mineral lands in and west of the Medicine Bow Mountains; also additional surveys in Bear River Valley.
Stock raising has become important and lucrative, rendering grass lands more valuable than agricultural, especially in valleys where streams of water afford supplies for irrigation.
Comparative progress of surveys during five years last past.—The following table exhibits the comparative progress of the surveys and disposal of public lands during the period of five years beginning with the 1st day of July, 1874, and ending on the 30th June, 1879. It also shows the cost of the surveys in the field, including compensation to surveyors general, their clerks and draughtsmen, and the incidental expenses of their offices, together with the number of the surveying and land districts.
Progress of surreys and disposal of public lands during period of five years, fc.
Special examinations of surveys. It is to be supposed that surveyors general, acting in accordance with instructions from this office, exercise due care in the selection of deputies with whom they contract for the execution of surveys. The returns of the surveys are examined by them and forwarded to this office for final examination, approval, or rejection. The deputy surveyors are provided with the general instructions authorized by law, embraced in the volume well known as “The Manual," and special instructions adapted to the locality or peculiar circumstances which may attend the operations they propose to execute. When necessary, special instructions are accom. panied by diagrams, illustrating the determinations of principal lines of public surveys with all the accuracy attainable upon the uneven surface of a spheroidal body like the earth, where computations based upon a given elevation above sea level cannot apply with accuracy to all points of an ever changing surface upon the same degree of latitude. In all cases the instructions set forth in detail the manner in which legal corners should be established, marked, and witnessed for subsequent identification.
Notwithstanding these precautions it is often found necessary, in re