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Survey Legend

R Terms in Land Surveying

R Terms in Land Surveying

R Terms

             R (Land Status Records)  – Range.
             RB (Land Status Records)  – River Basin.
             RCPL (Land Status Records)  - Reciprocal.
             RD (Land Status Records)  – Road.
             RDS (Land Status Records)  – Reservoir declaratory statement.
             re (Land Status Records)  – Reference.
             RE-CL (Land Status Records)  – Reclassified.
             REC LSE (Land Status Records)  – Recreation lease.
             RECL WDL (Land Status Records)  – Reclamation withdrawal.
             RECON (Land Status Records)  – Reconveyed.
             RECON.  – Reconnaisance*.
             REC & PP  – Recreation and Public Purposes.
             REG (Land Status Records)  – Regional.
             REJ (Land Status Records)  – Rejected and rejection.
             REL – (Land Status Records)  – Relinquished or Relinquishment.
             RES (Land Status Records)  – Reservation or Reserve.
             RESC (Land Status Records)  – Rescind, Rescinded.
             REST (Land Status Records)  – Restoration or Restored.
             RESVR (Land Status Records)  – Reservoir.
             REV (Land Status Records)  – Revocation or Revoked.
             RF  – Representative Fraction.
             RFG (Land Status Records)  – Refuge.
             RGR STA (Land Status Records)  – Ranger Station.
             RHE (Land Status Records)  – Reclamation homestead entry.
             RI  – Rhode Island.
             RI (Land Status Records)  – Range Improvement.
             RIP  – Branch of Records Improvement (Original name was  “Records Improvement Project.”) .
             RMKS (Land Status Records)  – Remarks.
             R&PP (Land Status Records)  – Recreation and Public Purposes.
             R&R (Land Status Records)  – Register and Receiver.
             RR (Land Status Records)  – Railroad.
             RRG (Land Status Records)  – Railroad Grant.
             RRIS (Land Status Records)  – Railroad indemnity selection.
             RRLS (Land Status Records)  – Railroad lieu selection.
             RS  – Registered Surveyor.
             RS (Land Status Records)  – Revised Statutes.
             RSB (Land Status Records)  – River sub-basin.
             RSTD (Land Status Records)  – Restricted.
             RVST (Land Status Records)  – Revested.
             R/W (Land Status Records)  – Right-of-way.
             RY (Land Status Records)  – Railway.
             RAILROAD GRANT     – Usually, title to railroad grant lands passed under patent conveyances. These grants were made
               to railroads to aid in their construction, and covered designated sections within specified grant limits. Prior to 1875,
               railroad right-of-way grants conveyed a hybrid type of interest in the public lands. Laws authorized each grant and
               set forth the limits of the grant and the lands granted. In determining these limits, and ascertaining the interests
               obtained under the various grants, legal advice may be required. See INDEMNITY LANDS; PLACE LANDS;
             RAILROAD GRANT, ADJUSTED OR UNADJUSTED          – If the legal processing (adjudication) was terminated, and
               the grantee received all the lands to which entitled or as much as it was possible to give under the terms of the grant,
               prior to the Transportation Act of 1940, it is termed an  “adjusted”  railroad grant. If the adjudication was not
               completed prior to that time, it is called an  “unadjusted”  railroad grant. See RELEASED RAILROAD CLAIM.
             RAILROAD INDEMNITY SELECTION        – A lieu selection, which is made by a railroad, based upon rights to
               railroad grant lands lost to the railroad within the primary limits, selection being made within the indemnity limits.
             RAILROAD LIEU SELECTION      – A lieu selection, which is made by an applicant other than a railroad, based upon
               the relinquishment of rights to land within a railroad grant. See RAILROAD INDEMNITY SELECTION.
             RAILROAD TOWN-SITE RESERVATION         – A reservation, along a proposed or existing railroad line in Alaska, of
               public lands which are valuable or potentially valuable as a town site.
             RANDOM LINE    – a trial line run from one monument toward the next monument so that the difference in latitude and
               departure between monuments may be determined and the true line may be computed. On the trial line, temporary
               intermediate corners are set. Offsets may then be computed from the temporary corners to the correct positions on
               the true line. See TRUE LINE, RANDOM AND TRUE AND CORNER MOVE.
             RANDOM AND TRUE      – A survey method whereby a trail line is run to connect two monuments. With the data
               obtained while running the trial line, the true line is computed and rerun.
             RANGE   – A north-south tier of townships or sections. A range of townships is described by its relationship to the
               principle meridian.
             RANGE LINE   – A boundary of a township surveyed in a north-south direction. See TOWNSHIP LINE.
             REACH (of a river)  – A continuous unbroken portion of a river, particularly a straight stretch.
             REAL ESTATE   – An ownership interest in real property. In common usage it has come to mean the property itself.
               See REAL PROPERTY.
             REAL PROPERTY     – Land and generally whatever is erected upon, growing on or affixed to the land. See
             RECEIVER   – An official in the Washington office of the General Land Office who was authorized to accept cash
               payments for the public lands and resources. Receivers could not be appointed until there was sufficient land
               surveyed to authorize the opening of land offices since they were assigned to land offices to perform their duties. All
               reference to Receivers was dropped following the Act of March 3, 1925, which provided for the consolidation of the
               offices of Receiver and Register. See REGISTER.
             RECESSION OF WATER     – A legal expression that is applied to the gradual, natural and more or less permanent
               lowering of the surface elevation of a lake, or its complete disappearance, when referred to what at one time has
               been regarded as the normal (as at the date of an established survey). See RELICTION.
             RECLAMATION HOMESTEAD ENTRY          - An entry initiated under the act of June 17, 1902 (32 Stat. 338; 43
               U.S.C., sec. 43 et seq.), which provides for the issuance of patents to entrymen who settle upon and improve
               agricultural public lands, not exceeding 160 acres in size, within reclamation projects.
             RECLAMATION PROJECT       – A water development project, for irrigation of arid lands and for other purposes,
               which is administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, United States Department of the Interior.
             RECLAMATION STATES      – The public-land States in which the Bureau of Reclamation is authorized to function,
               viz., Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota,
               Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
             RECLAMATION TOWN LOT        – A town lot of a town site which is within a reclamation project.
             RECLAMATION WITHDRAWAL         – A withdrawal of public lands in connection with a reclamation project. See

             RECONSTRUCTED      – The same as  “rehabilitated.”  Used in section 215 of the 1930 Manual of Surveying
               Instructions as follows:  “ … such original corners, if not in a good state of preservation, will be reconstructed in
               first-class order ….”
             RECONVEYED LANDS      – Lands once granted but later forfeited and returned to Federal ownership by reconveyance.
               See COOS BAY WAGON ROAD LANDS.
             RECORD   – 1) The approved field notes and plat of a survey. 2) A value of area, bearing or distance from the approved
               field notes. 3) The act of recording a document as in a county. 4) All of the documents pertaining to title and
               boundaries including status, group files, county surveyor information as well as field notes and plats, when used as
               “to search the record.”
             RECORDING    – See REGISTERING.
             RECREATIONAL ENTRY      – A cash entry for public lands by a State, county, municipality, or other local
               governmental agency, or by a nonprofit organization, which are to be used for recreational purposes.
             RECREATIONAL WITHDRAWAL         – A reservation of public lands which have been designated as chiefly valuable
               for recreational purposes and as suitable for State exchange, recreation entry, or recreational lease pursuant to the act
               of June 14, 1926 (44 Stat. 741, 43 U.S.C. sec. 869).
             RECTANGULAR LIMITS     – The amount by which a section, or its aliquot parts, may vary from the ideal section and
               still be considered regular.
               The rectangular limits are: a) For alinement, the section’s boundaries must not exceed 21’ from cardinal in any part,
               nor may the opposite (regular) boundaries of a section vary more than 21’. b) For measurement, the distance
               between regular corners must be within 25 links in 40 chains.
             RECTANGULAR SYSTEM OF SURVEYS         – A system inaugurated by the Continental Congress on May 20, 1785,
               for the survey of the public lands of the United States. Its distinguishing characteristic is that in the main, and in all
               cases where practicable, its units are in rectangular form.
              RED BOOK, THE   – Slang for Standard Field Tables and Trigonometric Formulas, a supplement to the Manual of
               Surveying Instructions which was first published by the General Land Office in 1910; the eighth edition was
               published in 1956. The tables and data are designed for use by Cadastral Surveyors in the field and office.
             RED RIVER CASE    – When oil was discovered in the Red River Valley between Oklahoma and Texas, land prices
               soared. The location of the Oklahoma-Texas boundary line, once a part of the boundary between the United States
               and the Spanish holdings in the Southwest, became a matter of great importance. Any rights to the bed or the banks
               of the river were dependent upon the wording of the treaty of 1819. In 1919 Oklahoma entered in suit against Texas
               and the United States intervened as a protection of the rights of Iowa and Comanche Indians. The suits involved
               amounts of more than $100 million. The U.S. Supreme Court proceedings fill 5,510 printed pages in nine volumes
               and the case required more than five years to settle. As a result of this landmark case, a new and unprecedented
               principle of law for the establishment of river boundaries came into being. (260 U.S. 606, 261 U.S. 340, 265 U.S.
               493). See GRADIENT BOUNDARY.
             RED RIVER OIL LANDS    – Public lands, containing oil and gas, which are located in the south half of the Red River,
               Oklahoma, from the 98  Meridian to the North Fork.
             REEF (T.R. No. 4)  – A chain or range of rock or coral, elevated above the surrounding bottom of the sea, generally
               submerged and dangerous to surface navigation. A barrier reef roughly parallels the land but is some distance
               offshore, with deeper water intervening.
             REFERENCED    – Bearings and distances from a monument to described or identified points to be used for future
               corner point determination are said to be  “referenced.”
             REFERENCE MONUMENT        – An iron post or rock cap accessory used where the point for a corner monument is
               such that, for practical purposes, a permanent corner monument cannot be established, or if monumented, a full
               complement of bearing trees or bearing objects are not obtainable.
             REGIMEN   – The condition of a stream and its channel with respect to stability. A river or canal is  “in regimen”  if its
               channel has reached a stable form as a result of its flow characteristics.
             REGIONS (BLM)   – From 1946 until the mid 1950’s, the direction of the public land surveys was conducted through
               regional offices of the Bureau of Land Management. The original regions were:
               1.  Washington, Oregon & Idaho (Headquarters, Portland, Oregon)
               2.  California & Nevada (Headquarters, San Francisco, California)
               3.  Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa & Missouri (Headquarters, Billings,
               4.  Utah & Colorado (Headquarters, Salt lake City, Utah)
               5.  Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas & Louisiana (Headquarters, Albuquerque, New Mexico)

               6.  the remaining states (headquarters, Washington D.C.)
               7.  Alaska (Headquarters, Anchorage, Alaska)
               In 1950, the Bureau of Land Management prepared a wall chart showing that Region 6 had been increased to
               include Iowa & Missouri (from Region 3) and Arkansas & Louisiana (from Region 5). Alaska was a territory during
               the period in which BLM regions existed. See AREAS (BLM).
             REGISTER   – An official in the General Land Office who was in charge of a land office subordinate to that agency.
               The reference to       was changed to  “officer designated by the Secretary of the Interior”  under the 1946
               reorganization plan which created the Bureau of Land Management. See MANAGER and REGISTER*.
             REGISTERING (Deeds)   – The main object of the registration or recording of deeds is to give constructive notice of
               such conveyance to purchasers and creditors. A deed may be valid between the grantor and grantee but will fail to
               give constructive notice to others if not so registered or recorded.
             REGRESS  – The right to return to land. See EGRESS and INGRESS.
             REGULAR CORNER      – Corners which are established or indicated by the survey according to the normal plan of the
               rectangular system.
             REGULAR ORDER     – The prescribed procedure and method of establishing the rectangular system of surveys.
             REGULAR SECTION     – A section whose boundaries, as returned on the original survey, are within 21’ of cardinal
               and with 25 links from each 40 chains in measurement. See REGULAR SECTION SUBDIVISION and REGULAR
             REGULAR SECTION SUBDIVISION       – The plan whereby a section is divided into the maximum number of aliquot
             REGULAR SUBDIVISION OF A SECTION       – The aliquot parts. See ALIQUOT PARTS.
             REGULAR TOWNSHIP      – A township which is surveyed with four complete boundaries every part of which is within
               allowable limits and is subdivided into 36 sections according to the regular method of subdivision.
             REGULATION IRON POST      – See IRON POST.
             REHABILITATION    – The restoration of a corner monument or its accessories to original conditions but not the
               addition of new accessories or any altering of the record. See REMONUMENTATION.
             REIMBURSABLE SURVEY      – A survey or resurvey authorized by law and made with BLM funds which are repaid,
               according to the terms of written agreements.
             RELEASED RAILROAD CLAIMS       – The lands any potential claim to which was relinquished by railroads pursuant
               to the Transportation Act of 1940, viz, all railroad grant lands within the primary limits of the unadjusted railroad
               grants for which a patent or its equivalent had not been issued and all public lands within the indemnity limits of
               such grants which might have been available for the selection by the railroads in satisfaction of their grants. The
               railroads did not relinquish rights to lands for which they had received patents (or their equivalent) or which they
               had sold to bona fide purchasers prior to September 18, 1940.
             RELICTION   – The gradual and imperceptible recession of the water resulting in an uncovering of land once
               submerged. Also known as dereliction. See ACCRETION.
             RELICTION, ARTIFICIAL    – A recession of the waters of a stream or lake uncovering riparian land where the
               recession was caused or induced by man’s activities.
             RELOCATION    – The legal appropriation of a claim previously staked and held by either the relocator or another. The
               term implies that there was a former mining location which once had legal significance but has become open to
               forfeiture by abandonment, laches or the like. The burden of proof is on the relocator. See CLAIM JUMPING.
             REMANDER    – To establish new meanders along a riparian boundary replacing previous meanders.
             REMEASUREMENT      – A term applied to a survey made for the purpose of verifying or determining distances as
               opposed to a retracement, which is done to verify or determine both bearings and distances. It also differs from a
               resurvey, which is the rerunning and remarking of lines represented in the field notes and on the plat of a previous
               official survey. See RESURVEY and RETRACEMENT.
             REMONUMENTATION       – The construction of a corner monument (iron post, rock cap or concrete monument) at the
               position of an original monument as determined from proper measurement from its original accessories. New
               accessories may be added if required. See REHABILITATION and PERPETUATION OF CORNERS.
             REMONUMENTATION PROGRAM          – A cooperative effort to remonument survey corners which are in danger of
               becoming lost. This program is restricted to National Forest Lands and certain, designated, BLM Districts. Many
               State and local agencies have similar programs in their areas of authority.
             REMOTE UPLAND OWNER        – One whose land is immediately upland from that owned by a riparian owner. See
               RIPARIAN OWNER.

             REPRESENTATIVE FRACTION       – A fraction expressing scale in which the numerator is unity and the denominator
               is the number that the unit distance must be multiplied by in order to obtain its distance on the ground in the same
               units. For example, 1/12,000. Also seen as 1:12,000 and 1-12,000.
             RESERVATION    – A withdrawal, usually of a permanent nature; also, any Federal lands which have been dedicated to
               a specified public purpose. See MINERAL RESERVATION.
             RESERVED LAND     – Federal lands which are dedicated or set aside for a specific public purpose or program, and
               which are, therefore, generally not subject to disposition under the operation of all of the public land laws.
             RESERVOIR-SITE RESERVE      – A reservation of public lands which have potential value as a site for a water
               storage reservoir.
             RESIDUAL ERROR     – 1) The total error of closure of a traverse. 2) In mathematics, the difference between as
               observed value of a series and its corresponding adjusted value. 3) Any remaining error after all adjustments are
             RES JUDICATA   – A matter settled by judgment. The rule of  “res judicata”  is that a matter once judicially decided is
               finally decided. The plea of  “res judicata”  is an  “estoppel”  against the losing party from again litigating matters
               involved in previous action, but does not have that effect in matters which occurred later and which were not at issue
               in the prior action. See ESTOPPEL and STARE DECISIS.
             RESOURCE AREA (BLM)     – The primary subdivision of a BLM District. It is composed of at least two (typically five
               to eight) planning units and intermingled and adjoining lands such as National Parks, National Forests, Indian
               Reservations, Military Reservations and private lands. It is under the administration of an Area Manager.
             RESPONDENT    – See APPELLEE.
             RESTORATION    – 1) The purpose of a resurvey; the recovery of one or more lines or corner positions, or both, of a
               prior approved survey; or the replacement of one or more lost corners or obliterated monuments by approved
               methods, including the substantial renewal of one or more monuments, as required for the purpose of a survey. 2) A
               revocation of a withdrawal which also effects the opening of the public lands in the withdrawal. Also, an action
               which returns ceded Indian lands to tribal ownership. See RESURVEY, DEPENDENT RESURVEY and
             RESTORATION OF MEANDERS        – The reestablishment of original meanders. See REMANDER.
             RESTRICTED DEED, ALASKA      – A deed which is issued to an Alaska Indian or Eskimo for land claimed by him in
               an Alaskan trustee town site and which contains a proviso that the land is inalienable except with the approval of the
               Secretary of the Interior.
             RESURVEY   – A term applied to the reestablishment or restoration of land boundaries and subdivisions by the
               rerunning and remaking of the lines that were represented in the field note record and on the plat of the previous
               official survey. This includes, as in the original survey, a field note record of the retracement data, observations,
               measurements and monuments descriptive of the work performed, and a plat that represents such resurvey, all
               subject to the approval of the directing authority. The above definition is intended or implied unless modified as in
               an Independent Resurvey or in some other appropriate manner. The adjective  “dependent”  applied to the term
               “resurvey”  is for emphasis, and specifically to suggest the recovery and restoration of the prior official survey. See
               REMEASUREMENT and RESURVEY*.
             RETRACEMENT     – A survey made to ascertain the direction and length of lines and to identify monuments and marks
               of an established prior survey. Recovered corners are rehabilitated, but lost corners are not restored and lines
               through timber are not reblazed. See RESURVEY and REMEASUREMENT.
             RETURNED    – Areas and/or boundaries of the public lands which are described in the approved field notes and appear
               on the accepted plat of an official survey are said to be  “returned.”
             RETURNS   – Official reports. In cadastral survey parlance, the  “returns”  are the field notes, report and approved plat
               of a survey. See FIELD RETURNS and FINAL RETURNS.
             REVERSION CLAUSE     – A clause in an order of withdrawal providing that the lands shall revert to their former status
               after they have served the purpose for which they are withdrawn; also, a clause in a patent providing that title to the
               lands shall revert to the United States upon failure of the patentee to use the lands for the purposes stated in the
             REVESTED LANDS     – Lands once granted and later forfeited and returned to Federal ownership by Congressional
               revestment of title. See O & C LANDS.
             REVISED STATUTES    – A body of statutes which have been reviewed, re-examined, rearranged or otherwise
               improved, and have been collected, arranged in order and re-enacted as a whole. In 1873, all of the general and
               permanent laws of the United States then in force were arranged by subject under 74 headings and enacted into law
               by Congress. This compilation was corrected and superceded by another codification of the laws in 1878. The 1878
               codification is known as the  Revised Statutes.  The sections of the Revised Statutes are numbered consecutively.
               When cited, the section number should follow the abbreviation  R.S.  Thus, R.S. 2478 is a citation to section 2478 of
               the Revised Statues. A citation to the Revised Statutes is always understood to refer to the codification of 1878, See
             REVOCATION    – Generally, an action which cancels a previous official act; specifically, an action which cancels a
             RHUMB LINE*
             RIDGE TOP   – The highest part of a range of hills or mountains; an elongated crest or a linear series of peaks or crests.
               The highest elevations of a divide or the top of a ridge are often used for boundaries. See DIVIDE,
             RIGHT BANK (River)  – The bank on the right-hand side of a stream or river as one faces downstream.
             RIGHT LINE   – An obsolete term for  “True Line”  or for a straight line between corners. The term is found in Manuals
               of Surveying Instruction as recently as 1894.
             RIGHT OF WAY    – The legal right to cross the lands of another. Also used to indicate the strip of land for a road,
               railroad or power line. In BLM, a permit or an easement which authorizes the use of public lands for certain
               specified purposes, commonly for pipe lines, roads, telephone lines or power lines. Also, the lands covered by such
               an easement or permit.
             RIPARIAN   – From the Latin “ripa” meaning river bank.
             RIPARIAN BOUNDARIES     – Water boundaries, or boundaries formed by a river, lake or the sea. The general rule is
               that riparian boundaries shift with changes due to accretion or erosion but retain their original location if brought
               about by avulsion or by artificial causes. See ACCRETION, AVULSION, RELICTION, EROSION, RIVER BED
               and LITTORAL.
             RIPARIAN LANDS    – In strict interpretation, lands bordering on a river. The term  “riparian”  is also used as relating
               to the shore of the sea or other tidal water, or of a lake or other considerable body of water not having the character
               of a watercourse.
             RIPARIAN LAW    – The branch of the law which deals with the rights in land bordering on a river, lake or sea.
             RIPARIAN OWNER     – One who owns land having a boundary defined by a water course. Usage has broadened the
               term to include land along the sea or other tidal water, or along the shore of a lake or other considerable body of
               water. Strictly speaking, the correct term for lands bordering the sea, or other tidal water, is  “littoral.”  See
             RIPARIAN RIGHTS    – The rights of an owner of land bordering on a river, lake, bayou, or sea which relate to the
               water (its use), ownership of the shore, right of ingress and egress, accretions, etc.
             RIPARIAN RIGHTS ENTRY     – An owner of contiguous land may be permitted to make such an entry of public lands
               when, due to erroneous meandering of a river, lake, or other body of water, public lands are shown on the original
               survey plat as water-covered areas.
             ROD  – One rod equals 16.5 feet or 25 links. Also termed  “perch”  or  “pole”  in older surveys.
             ROOD   – A square measure equal to � acre or 40 sq. rods. The term rood was sometimes used also for a linear measure
               varying locally from 5� yd. To 8 yd..
             RULE OF APPROXIMATION      – A purely administrative expedient intended to equitably decide whether an
               entryman could obtain patent to more than the area provided by the Preemption and Homestead laws, still
               maintaining the contiguity of tract entered. Where the excess is less than the deficiency would be if the smallest
               legal subdivision is excluded from the entry then it is allowed to stand. (See 8 LD 205). Thus, if an entryman selects
               surveyed lands in excess of the statutory amount, say 175 acres, the Rule would allow him to pay for and receive the
               excess fifteen acres under certain conditions. The principle condition is that the excess cannot exceed the deficiency
               which would occur if the smallest legal subdivision were disallowed. The Rule would not be applied if the entryman
               had made substantial improvements to the tract disallowed and the differences were small (27 LD 78). The final
               selection was required to be one continuous tract after application of the Rule.
               If, in the sample, the selection included aliquot parts containing 40, 40.50, 65 and 29.50 acre lots totaling 175 acres,
               the 29.50 acre lot would be disallowed because 40 + 40.50 + 65 = 145.50 which is deficient by only 14.5 acres
               whereas the excess was 15 acres. The Rule does not apply to the mining laws except placer claims filed by legal
               subdivisions of 10 acres, (34 ID 9). It does not apply to claims in unsurveyed areas, (28 ID 149). See 43 CFR
               2731.6-1 concerning acreage limitations and the application of the rule of approximation in the matter of small
               tracts. See DE MINIMIS NON CURAT LEX.
             RULE OF THALWEG     – In river boundaries, the rule which holds that where a navigable river separates two nations,
               the middle of the main channel is the boundary between them, as distinguished from the geographic middle of the

               river, per Shalowitz. The rule of thalweg has also been applied to other boundaries where the boundary is described
               as being the  “middle (or center) of the main channel”  of a navigable river. See THALWEG, MEDIUM FILUM
             RULE OF TIDEMARK     – A baseline for determination of coastal boundaries which follows the sinuosities of the low
               water mark except where true bays are encountered.
             RULES OF PRACTICE    – Certain orders made by the courts for the purpose of regulating the proceedings before
             RUSSIAN MEASURES     –
               1 archine = 28 inches = 0.71120 meters = 16 verskops.
               1 sagene = 3 archines.
               500 sagenes = 1 verst.
               1 dessiatine = 2,400 sq. sagenes = 2.6997 acres.

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