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The surveyor general suggests the extension of the third standard parallel north of the base line to the east boundary of the Territory, which line would pass over one of the largest and finest valleys in the Territory on the Upper Payette River and run in close proximity to the celebrated “ Yankee Fork Mines.”
Forty-four original descriptive plats and 82 copies have been transmitted to the General Land Office and district office since the last annual report.
Four surveying contracts have been entered into; two of the surveys have been completed, and notes returned and approved and plats and transcripts transmitted. In the case of the other two the deputies are still in the field, owing to interruptions from hostile Indians.
The number of acres surveyed during the year is 677,994.74, and from the beginning of surveys to June 30, 1878, 6,696,629,53 acres.
Eight applications have been made for the survey of mineral lands and mill sites for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, and the amount deposited with the United States assistant treasurer for office work for mineral claims is $241. The character of the mines is placer gold, sulphur, and gold and silver,
Amount paid for salaries, $5,611.27.
Minnesota.—The contracts uncompleted at date of last annual report have all been completed, the work examined and approved.
Four contracts were made under the assignment of $12,400 for year ending June 30, 1878; the work under them also completed and approved and the assignment expended except $28.68. The surveyor general reports two contracts payable out of assignment of $15,000 for year ending June 30, 1879.
During the year 22 townships, with an area of 406,705 acres, have been subdivided, which added to previous surveys make a total of 39,689,123 acres surveyed up to date of report.
The number of miles run and marked during the year was 1,809.
Office work: Sixty-six township plats were prepared in his office, 22 original, 22 duplicate, and 22 triplicate.
He notes the extension of several railroads and the opening up of the products of the lands to market. He renews his recommendations of last year that Congress modify the law for the disposal of timber lands.
His estimates for the service for the year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: For field work, $29,580; salaries, $10,500; and incidentals, $1,500. The sum of $7,000 was appropriate and paid for salaries in his office, and the sum of $1,500 for contingent expenses, during the last fiscal year.
lontana.—Under the apportionment of $17,700 for surveys in this Territory during the year ending June 30, 1878, eight contracts were made, and the work has been done and accounts rendered to said amount, less a balance of $296.47.
Surveys were made in 33 townships of 529,985 acres of agricultural and 94,727 acres of mineral lands.
The number of acres surveyed to June 30, 1878, is 10,272,390, includ. ing 1,410 acres of mineral claims on unsurveyed land.
Of the appropriation of $2,750 for salary of surveyor general, a balance of $298.98 remains unexpended, while the appropriation of $3,000 for clerk hire was expended, except 29 cents. The incidental expenses of the office were $1,500. Total cost of surveys, including office expenses, $24,354.21.
The special deposits for office work during the year amounted to $3,150, on 29 mining claims; $2,187.90 were paid for clerk hire from
special deposits. This sum taken from $3,150, deposited within the year, leaves $962.10, which, applied to reduce the sum overdrawn in previous years, viz, $1,816.03, leaves $853,93 still overdrawn on special deposit account.
Six hundred and thirty-four plats were made in the surveyor general's office. Of these, 474 were of mineral claims, and 99 were ordinary township plats. Descriptive lists of 33 townships were prepared and sent to the local offices, and transcripts of field notes to the same number of townships made for the General Land Office.
The number of letters received was 350; number written, 942. All the office work included the writing of 8,266 folios.
The surveyor general made personal examinations of surveys in the field, with good results. The expense of examinations was $997.21. He says that mineral surveys should be examined as well as others. The surveys of the past year embrace lands along the Muscleshell, Blackfoot, and Yellowstone Rivers. He urges higher rates per mile for surveys, and cites Ontario, Canada, where 7 cents per acre are paid for surveys, while in Montana only about 2.8 cents are paid.
He regards the restrictions made by the General Land Office June 15, 1878, of public surveys of timber lands to non-mineral as an unwise one, because miners and mill-site owners would, if the mineral timber lands were surveyed, purchase them for the timber on them, and so the government would derive a revenue where it does not now.
He recommends the survey of exterior township lines all through the Territory, and thereby the surveyor could examine and report the classes of lands in all sections, and this would enable the office to know what lands to subdivide.
Value of gold and silver shipped from the Territory during the year, $4,480,146, while the United States assay office at Helena during the same time handled $716,738.41 of gold and silver.
The estimates of appropriations for service of year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: For surveys, $34,400, and $10,300 for salaries and incidentals.
He estimates the same rate for meander lines as for standard.
Nebraska.—The surveys contracted for out of appropriation for fiscal year ending June 30, 1878, have been completed. The lands surveyed are suitable for agricultural and grazing purposes. Field notes of 702 miles of standard and exterior and of 1,890 miles of subdivision lines have been examined and approved, and transcripts of the same have been transmitted. Descriptive lists for 36 townships have been forwarded to local land offices. A large amount of miscellaneous work, of a character usual to the office, has been performed. The estimates for fiscal year ending June 30, 1880, are for lands believed by competent persons to be suitable for agriculture and grazing. Immigration during the past year has been greater than for any previous year in the history of the State. Statistics compiled from the last report of the State Agricultural Society, relating to the population, values, and agricultural progress, accompany the report. The reports of the railroad companies show sales of lands by them for the first four months of 1878, under their respective grants, amounting to 303,991 acres and to $1,594,147, exceeding those for any other State. The area of unsurveyed lands in Nebraska being comparatively small, the surveyor general recommends that a sufficient appropriation be made to complete the public land surveys during the next fiscal year. Estimated sum required for extension of public surveys for fiscal year ending June 30, 1880, $45,144, and for office expenses during same period, $11,300.
Nevada.—The appropriation of $5,500, for salaries, was expended, except $2.05. The incidental expenses of the office were $1,500.15. Of the assignment of $16,050 for public surveys in Nevada, $3,000 were withdrawn to be transferred to California, and $578.71 were paid out for surveys, leaving $12,371.29 on the 30th June, 1878, applicable to contracts not then completed. Five contracts were entered into, only one of which was completed in the year. The surveyor general also reports a balance of $10,534.63 remaining unexpended of the assignment for the year ending June 30, 1877, for public surveys.
Surveys were made in 20 townships in the past year, over an area of 233,767 acres.
One hundred and four mineral claims were surveyed, 103 applications made for patents of mineral claims, and $3,090 deposited for office work on such claims; 518 plats were made in the office, of which 427 were of mineral claims.
The surveyor general furnishes a copy of a statement from the State comptroller showing the yield of the mines of Nevada during the year ending June 30, 1878, to be over $17,000,000.
The estimates of appropriations for the surveying service in Nevada for the year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: for surveys, $15,900 ; for salaries, $9,500; and for incidentals, $3,920.
New Mexico.—The sum apportioned for public surveys in this Territory out of the appropriation of $300,000 by act of March 3, 1877, was $14,400, and for survey of private land claims $35,000. Subsequently, in order to meet the expenses of survey, &c., of the five sections of Hot Springs Indian Reservation, $1,500 was transferred from the apportionment of $35,000 to the apportionment of $14,400.
The amount of public surveys under said apportionment has been as follows: 72 miles of the New Mexico meridian, 318 miles of guide merid. ian and standard parallel ; 434 miles of township lines, and 1,502 miles of subdivision lines, besides 15 miles of survey of the five sections of Ojo Cahente Indian Reservation and adjacent lands, and 15 miles of closings on parallels. For the work returned to June 30, 1878, the sum of $12,945.50 had been paid out. The sum of $3,150 was deposited for field work of public surveys, and $115 for office work on same. Up to June 30, 1878, there had been paid out $2,507.34 for the field work in running and marking 337 miles. The area subdivided within the year is 539,785.55 acres, which, added to 7,307,152.22 acres previously surveyed, makes a total of 7,846,942.77 acres surveyed in New Mexico. Surveys were made in 32 townships, four of which had not been platted at date of report.
Under the apportionment for survey of private land claims before men. tioned, 47 grants have been surveyed, not all of which have been examined and platted, hence the statement of cost of survey, miles run, and area of grants surveyed is incomplete. Two of said grants, the Armendaris, No. 34, and Anton Chico, are resurveys directed by letters from General Land Office.
The surveyor general reports a great increase in immigration to the Territory and an increasing appreciation of its mineral, pastoral, and agricultural resources. He states that exclusive of grant surveys, only about one tenth of the Territory has been surveyed. He estimates the unsurveyed arable and irrigable lands at not less than 8,000,000 acres.
Recommendation of last year that an inspector of surveys be appointed by the department is renewed.
Mining surveys: Seven mining claims and mill sites were surveyed during the year. On five of these the sum of $200 was deposited for office work, no deposit being made in the other two cases. A list of nine deputy mineral surveyors is reported.
Desert land claims: Eleven copies of declaratory statements were received from the Mesilla land office.
Office work: The field notes of the surveys mentioned were examined and transcripts prepared, plats were protracted and duplicates and triplicates furnished to the General and local land offices respectively, so far as the clerical force admitted. For particulars of office work in arrears, see report in full.
A considerable amount of the platting and transcribing of field notes was done outside the office, the deputy surveyors paying for it. The surveror general recommends that Congress reimburse these deputies, who have paid out about $1,500 for such work as was necessary to facilitate the public business, and should have been done by his office force, but could not be by reason of the small appropriation for clerk hire.
The extra work consequent upon the grant surveys and the protests against the manner of their survey, have so Occupied his clerks and himself as to require them frequently to work until midnight, and yet his office work, in respect to the private land claims, is much in arrears, as also are the descriptive lists required to be furnished to the local land offices, none having been furnished since 1868.
The amount expended for salaries was $7,499.91 out of the appropriation of $7,500, and $133.03 out of the deposits for office work.
The appropriation of $1,500 for contingent expenses, increased by receipts from subrent of office building to the extent of $240, was ex. pended, except 18 cents.
The appropriation for incidentals was insufficient, and he requests that Congress appropriate $61.97 to pay for services of messenger from April 28 to June 30, 1878, and also that $500 be appropriated for the year ending June 30, 1879, in addition to the amount already appropriated for contingent expenses.
The estimates for year ending June 30, 1880, are as follows: for surveys, $ 70,000; for salaries, $14,000; for incidentals, $4,500, including $2,500 for fire-proof safe and office furniture. In asking large appropriations for surveys he states that grazing lands would find a ready sale if surveyed and subject to private entry.
Private land claims: Two have been filed since last report. Evidence taken in several original hearings and reinvestigations are pending in cases of Una de Gato, No. 94, and Juan Luis Ortiz, No. 75.
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 more clerks and an attorney to represent the government. .
An increase in yield of gold, silver, lead, copper, and mica is reported. The progress in building railroad and telegraph lines is given.
During the six months ending June 30, 1878, there was a total of 5.91 inches of rainfall at Mesilla, and for the year ending June 30, 1878, there was at Santa Fé 12.94 inches of rainfall.
Oregon.—Under date of August 4, 1878, the surveyor general reports all surveys contracted for under the appropriation and special deposits for year ending June 30, 1878, as completed, except a few “special de. posit" surveys. Area subdivided during the year, 541,647 acres.
Twenty contracts were entered into payable from special deposits, and five contracts payable out of the assignment of $16,050 from the appropriation of $300,000 for surveys. The number of miles run and marked
in making these surveys was 2,036, of which 1,567 were of subdivision 367 of exterior, and 102 of standard and meridian lines.
The amount deposited for office work on surveys, including that on mining claims, was $196, and for field work, $2,730. The sum of $400 was paid out for office work on public lands and mining claims, and $1,668 for field work.
The number of original, duplicate, and triplicate township plats and diagrams prepared in the office was 100; also, 24 plats of six mining claims.
Of the appropriation of $1,500 for incidental expenses of office, the sum of $1,313 was expended, leaving $187 unexpended. Of the sum of $7,000, appropriated for salaries of the office of surveyor general, all was expended except $1.10.
In compliance with instructions of General Land Office, dated August 22, 1877, the lines have been protracted in the office over an area of 20,364 acres of swamps and marshes, where clearly shown to be such by maps and other evidence on file in his office.
He estimates the number of emigrants to the State as 2,500 per month during the past year, and most of whom are bona fide settlers, and they are in advance of the surveys. He reports many petitions from settlers for surveys, and recommends augmented rates to be allowed for “ brush lands," which are more difficult and expensive to survey than the “heavy timbered and mountainous” lands, and are valuable when cleared up.
In his estimates for the next year he looks to the survey of standard and exterior lines to considerable extent, so that thereafter subdivisional surveys may be made under the special deposit system in the particular localities needed by settlers.
He wants a larger appropriation for clerk hire, to enable him to have copied into durable field books the field notes of donation claims and the old public surveys, several of which are in bundles and on scraps and sheets or books of poor paper, and, being constantly referred to, are becoming worn out and defaced.
The estimate for surveys in Oregon for the year ending June 30, 1880, is $83,620, of which $65,152 are for surveys in Eastern Oregon and $18,468 in Western Oregon.
The estimate of appropriation necessary for salaries is $9,500, and $1,500 for incidentals.
Utah.—The surveyor general reports 42 townships surveyed during the year, embracing 237,961 acres of agricultural and timber lands, 5,041 acres of mineral land, and 16,933 acres of coal land; total during the year 259,936 acres, which added to surveys of previous years makes a total of 8,178,819 acres.
An area of 164,330 acres was disposed of at Salt Lake City office, 25,827 of which was desert land.
Surveys were returned during the year under one contract made in 1876, five contracts made in fiscal year ending June 30, 1877, and four contracts for year ending June 30, 1878. Two of the latter were unfinished at date of report. Number of miles run during the year 970, at a cost of $8,064.69.
Sixteen thousand and fifty dollars were assigned to Utah for surveys, $9,061.75 of which have been paid, leaving some work not yet returned.
Forty-two township plats were approved and filed in surveyor gen: eral's office, and the same number of duplicates sent to the General Land Office; also to the latter there were sent 49 transcripts of filed notes. One hundred and twenty-nine plats were sent to the District Land Of.