- Surveyor Almanac
- Land Surveyor Almanac
F.2d – In a citation, as 22 F.2d 100, means Federal Reporter, Second Series.
FAA (Land Status Records) – Federal Aviation Administration.
FBX MER (Land Status Records ) – Fairbanks Meridian.
FC (Land Status Records) – Final Certificate.
FED (Land Status Records) – Federal.
FED – Federal. If shown as a citation [198 Fed. 125 (1912)], it means “Federal Reporter.”
FF LSE (Land Status Records) – Fur farm lease.
FFMC (Land Status Records) – Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation.
FHA (Land Status Records) – Farmers Home Administration.
FIS (Land Status Records) – Fissionable materials.
FL – Florida. See Florida Land Surveyors
FLA. – Florida. See Florida Land Surveyors
FLPMA – Federal Land Policy and Management Act, of 1976.
FLS (Land Status Records) – Forest lieu selection.
FLUP – Free land use permit.
FM U (Land Status Records) – Farm unit.
FPA (Land Status Records) – Federal Power act.
FPAS ACT – The Federal Property and Administration Services Act of 1949, as amended, sets forth the basic
contracting procedures and principles which all civilian agencies must follow.
FPC (Land Status Records) – Federal Power Commission.
FPR – Federal Procurement Regulations.
FR (Land Status Records) – Federal Register.
FRAC (Land Status Records) – Fractional.
FRAC INT PAT (Land Status Records) – Fractional Interest patent.
FS (Land Status Records) – Forest Service.
F. SUPP . – Federal Supplement.
FUP (Land Status Records) – Free use permit.
F&WS (Land Status Records) – Fish and Wildlife Service.
FX (Land Status Records) – Forest Exchange.
FAIRBANKS MERIDIAN – The principal meridian governing surveys in east-central Alaska; it was adopted in 1910.
FALLING – The distance by which a random line falls to the right or left of a corner on which the true line is to close.
Usually the direction of falling is expressed as cardinal.
FEDERAL LAND – All classes of land owned by the Federal Government.
FEDERAL POWER PROJECT RESERVATION – A reservation of public lands for use in connection with a power
development project under the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission.
FEDERAL PROCUREMENT REGULATIONS – The regulations issued by the General Services Administration
implementing the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act.
FEDERAL PROPERTY AND ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES ACT OF 1949 – This law, as amended, sets forth
the basic contracting procedures and principles which all civilian agencies must follow.
FEE – The true meaning of the word “fee” is the same as that of “feud” or “fief,” and in its original sense it is
distinguished from “allodium,” which is defined as a man’s own land, possessed in his own right, without owing
any rent or service to any superior. In modern English tenures, “fee” means an estate of inheritance clear of any
condition, limitation, or restriction to particular heirs, but descendable to the heirs in general, male or female, lineal
or collateral. In American law, the terms “fee,” “fee simple” and “fee simple absolute” are equivalent. See FEE
SIMPLE, FEE TAIL.
FEE SIMPLE – The estate which a man has where lands are owned by him and his heirs absolutely, with
unconditional power of disposition during his life, and descending to his heirs and legal representatives upon his
death intestate. Fee simple title to public lands in conveyed by a patent, approved clear list, deed or grant without
condition. See APPROVED CLEAR LIST, PATENT, DEED, GRANT, and INTESTATE.
FEE TAIL – An estate limited to one class of heirs.
FIELD EXAMINATION – An on-the-ground investigation of certain public lands in regard to valuation, land use,
application for entry, mineralization, etc. See FIELD EXAMINATION (Prior to 1910 and FIELD EXAMINER
(Prior to 1910).
FIELD EXAMINATION (Prior to 1910) – A method of checking public land survey field work under the contract
system. See FIELD EXAMINER (Prior to 1910), CONTRACT SYSTEM, DIRECT SYSTEM and FIELD
FIELD EXAMINER (Prior to 1910) – A surveyor who was employed by the Government to inspect the accuracy and
authenticity of contract surveyors’ work. See FIELD EXAMINATION, FIELD EXAMINATION (Prior to 1910),
CONTRACT SYSTEM and DIRECT SYSTEM.
FIELD NOTES – The official written record of the survey, certified by the field surveyor and approved by proper
authority. Originally, Field Notes were prepared by hand, but they are now typewritten. See FIELD TABLETS and
FIELD RETURNS – The field notes, reports and plats submitted for acceptance or approval. See FINAL RETURNS
FIELD TABLETS – Notebooks in which the initial information is recorded in the field, and from which the Field
Notes are transcribed. See FIELD NOTES.
FIFTH PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN – The principal meridian governing surveys in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota,
Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. It was adopted in 1815.
FINAL CERTIFICATE – A document which evidences that an entryman is entitled to a patent provided that no
irregularities are found in connection with his entry.
FINAL ENTRY – Where an application to acquire title to public lands has been filed in the proper manner and all the
requirements of law and the governing regulations have already been complied with, it is a final entry. Final entries
may be either cash entries or commuted entries. See CASH ENTRY and COMMUTED HOMESTEAD ENTRY.
Also see ENTRY and ORIGINAL ENTRY.
FINAL RETURNS – In cadastral surveying usage, the field returns are the field notes, reports and plats submitted for
acceptance or approval. If some error or omission is found, the field work must be corrected or completed. the
corrected and/or completed field returns are referred to as “final returns.” See FIELD RETURNS and RETURNS.
FIRST FORM RECLAMATION WITHDRAWAL – A reclamation withdrawal which embraces public lands that
are or may be needed in connection with the construction and maintenance of a reclamation project. See SECOND
FORM RECLAMATION WITHDRAWAL.
FIRST PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN – Sometimes called “Ludlow’s Meridian.” The line surveyed north from the mouth
of the Great Miami River; it is also the line between Ohio and Indiana. It was adopted in 1819 and governs surveys
in parts of both Ohio and Indiana. One of six principal meridians named for ordinal numbers, it is abbreviated 1
Prin Mer. See ORDINAL NUMBER.
FIVE ACRE TRACT ACT – See SMALL TRACT ACT.
FIVE PERCENT RULE – New area amounts are not usually shown on plats of dependent resurveys. They are shown
if the area of a vacant subdivision as determined by the dependent resurvey differs from the former area as returned
on the original approved plat by more than two acres per normal legal subdivision, or 5%.
FIXED BOUNDARY – An unchangeable boundary created by operation of law. Examples are: 1) a standard parallel
or other control line becomes a fixed boundary on return of areas in adjacent quarter sections. 2) A median line of a
nonnavigable stream becomes a fixed boundary after an avulsive change. 3) Meander lines can become fixed
boundaries when omitted lands have been created by gross error or fraud in the original survey.
FLAGMAN – A member of a survey party who gives sights to or takes line from the instrument man and flags distant
points along the survey line. Also called “point setter.”
FLORIDA PURCHASE – The second addition of territory originally claimed by a European power to the territory of
the United States. It was ceded by Spain in 1819 under a treaty which settled conflicts with Spain in West Florida
and defined the boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions in the Southwest.
FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE ORIGINAL SURVEYOR – Retracement of survey lines using field
and survey record evidence to determine the direction and distances measured by the surveyor who created the
boundary. The process usually requires remeasurement of topographic calls, search for evidence of the previous
survey work, determination of consistent of inconsistent chaining or bearing error in the original survey, and
consideration of various conditions at the time the survey was executed as well as the methods and equipment used
by the surveyor to be followed.
FORESHORE – 1) (Shalowitz) According to riparian law, the strip of land between the high and low water marks that
is alternately covered and uncovered by the flow of the tide. 2) (T.R. No. 4) The part of the shore, lying between the
crest of the seaward berm (or upper limit of wave action at high tide) and the ordinary low water mark, that is
ordinarily traversed by the uprush and backrush of the waves as the tides rise and fall. See BEACH, SHORE,
BACKSHORE and TIDELANDS.
FORESIGHT – 1) A sight on a new survey point made in connection with its determination. 2) a distant object
intersected by a straight survey line used for checking alinement. See FORESIGHT*.
FOREWORD AZIMUTH – See GEODETIC AZIMUTH.
FOUND CORNER – An existent corner of the public land surveys which has been recovered by field investigation.
FOURTH PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN – The part of this principal meridian which was adopted in 1815 governs
surveys in part of Illinois. It was extended and the portion which was adopted in 1831 governs surveys in Wisconsin
and part of Minnesota. It is abbreviated 4 Prin Mer.
FRACTIONAL SECTION – A section, which in its original form, contained one or more subdivisions of less than
forty (40) acres due to irregular exterior boundaries, or due to the encroachment of a meandered body of water or
other land which could not properly be surveyed or disposed of as an aliquot part of that section.
FRACTIONAL TOWNSHIP – A township containing less than 36 normal sections, usually because of invasion by a
segregated body of water, or by other land which cannot properly be surveyed as part of that township or by closing
the public-land surveys on State boundaries or other limiting lines. Half ranges and half townships are fractional
townships by definition.
FRAGMENTARY SURVEYS – Surveys required to identify parts of townships and sections not completed in original
surveys. This may include partially surveyed sections, omitted public land islands and other lands of substantial
value and extent that for various reasons were not included in the original surveys. Surveys of this type frequently
require consideration of the question of title prior to the extension of the former surveys.
FREE AND CLEAR – The title to property is said to be “free and clear” when it is not encumbered by any lien; but it
is said that agreement to convey land “free and clear” is satisfied by a conveyance passing a title.
FRONTING – Usually signifies abutting, adjoining, or bordering on, depending on the context. Land abutting on a
highway, river, seashore or the like. The land extending along a road, street, river, canal or ocean. The term, as used
in statutes relating to assessments for improvements, indicates that there is no intervening land. See ABUT and