W (Land Status Records) – West.
WA – Washington.
WAA (Land Status Records) – War Assets Administration.
WAR DEPT (Land Status Records) – War Department.
WASH. – Washington. See Washington Land Surveyors
WASH MER (Land Status Records) – Washington Meridian.
WC – Witness Corner.
W/CHG (Land Status Records ) – With Change(s).
WCMC – Witness Corner Meander Corner. WC is the abbreviation for Witness Corner when used alone or, as in this
case, with another abbreviation; however, in the field notes or in simply talking about it, a surveyor would say,
“Witness Meander Corner,” not “Witness Corner Meander Corner.”
WD (Land Status Records) – Warranty deed.
WDL (Land Status Records) – Withdrawal.
WDN (Land Status Records) – Withdrawn.
WFO – Western Field Office. Established in Portland, Oregon in 1973. See SPECIAL OFFICES (BLM).
WI – Wisconsin. See Wisconsin Land Surveyors
WILL MER (Land Status Records) – Williamette Meridian.
WIS. – Wisconsin. See Wisconsin Land Surveyors
W/O (Land Status Records) – Without.
WO – Washington Office.
WP (Land Status Records) – Water Power.
W P – Witness Point.
W.P.C. – Witness private claim. Used in the speciman field notes in the General Instructions of 1855.
WP DES (Land Status Records) – Water Power Designation.
WR (Land Status Records) – Water rights.
WR MER (Land Status Records) – Wind River Meridian.
WS (Land Status Records) – Watershed.
WT (Land Status Records) – Warrant.
WV – West Virginia. See West Virginia Land Surveyors
WY – Wyoming. See Wyoming Land Surveyors
WYO – Wyoming. See Wyoming Land Surveyors
WAGON ROAD GRANT – A grant of public lands made to a State to aid in the construction of military wagon roads.
WARRANTY – A promise that a statement is true. In conveyancing, a warranty deed conveys fee title (to the land
described) to the grantee and in addition guarantees the grantor will make good the title if it is found wanting. See
DEED, BARGAIN AND SALE and PATENT.
WASHINGTON MERIDAN – 1) The Act of September 28, 1850 (9 Stat. 515), provided for the adoption of the
meridian of the observatory at Washington, which passes through the old Naval Observatory at 24th Street and
Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., as the American Meridian for all astronomic purposes. The meridian
of Greenwich was, under this act, adopted for all nautical purposes. The act was repealed August 22, 1912 (37 Stat.
342). During the nearly 62 years the act was in force, the meridional boundaries of the Territories and States of
Arizona, Colorado, Dakota, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming and the States of Kansas, Nebraska, New
Mexico and Utah were referred to the Washington Meridian, which is 77 03’02” .3 west of Greenwich, according to
Geological Survey Bulletin 1212. Aaron L. Shalowitz, LL.M., Coast and Geodetic Survey, says it is 77 03’06” .276.
2) The principal meridian, adopted in 1803, which governs surveys in the southwestern part of Mississippi is also
named the Washington Meridian.
WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES – All waters within the United States which are navigable for the purpose of
commerce, or whose navigation successfully aids commerce.
WAY – A road, street or other passage. Technically, a right of passage over land.
WAYLEAVE – A right of way over or through land for the carriage of minerals from a mine or quarry. It is an
easement of the class called “rights of way,” and is generally created by express grant or reservation.
WEEKS LAW LANDS – Federal acquired lands within National Forest boundaries acquired under 36 Stat. 961, the
WHARFING OUT, RIGHT OF – A right to the exclusive use of submerged lands as by the affixing thereto or the
establishment thereon of a permanent structure to some point within a navigable body of water. It presupposes
exclusive use and to that extent it may interfere with fishing or navigation.
WHARF PERMIT – A permit which authorizes the use of a shore-space reserve for wharfage purposes.
WILDLIFE REFUGE – A reservation for the protection of wildlife.
WILDLIFE REFUGE EXCHANGE – An exchange whereby the Federal Government receives title to lands within a
WILLIAMETTE MERIDIAN – The principal meridian governing surveys in Oregon and Washington; it was adopted
WIND RIVER MERIDIAN – The principal meridian governing surveys in a small area in Wyoming; it was adopted
WINZE – In mining, a vertical or steeply inclined passageway driven to connect a mine working with another.
WITHDRAWAL – An action which restricts the disposition of public lands and which holds them for specific public
purposes; also, public lands which have been dedicated to public purposes. See WITHDRAWAL, GENERAL
ORDERS OF; RESERVATION.
WITHDRAWAL, GENERAL ORDERS OF – Under Executive orders Numbers 6910 (Nov. 26, 1934), and 6964
(Feb. 5, 1935), known as the “General Orders of Withdrawal,” all vacant public lands in Alabama, Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin,
and Wyoming were withdrawn for classification.
WITHIN LIMITS – At less than allowable linear and angular errors of closure as set forth in the Manual of Surveying
Instructions. Also within rectangular limits.
WITNESS – A person who testifies as to what he has observed. See EXPERT WITNESS.
WITNESS CORNER – A monumented survey point usually on the line of survey near a corner established as a
reference when the corner is so situated as to render its monumentation or ready use impracticable.
WITNESS POINT – A monumented station on a line of the survey, employed to perpetuate an important location
without special relation to any regular corner, except that the bearing or distance may be known.
WITNESS TREE – According to the General Instructions of 1846, and other instructions prior to that year, “Witness
trees are signalized and marked as (bearing trees), but the course and distance to them, as well as the small chop,
are omitted.” Later, all trees used as corner accessories were marked as bearing trees, and the distance and bearing
from the corner was recorded. The term “Witness tree” became obsolete. See BEARING TREE.
WRIT OF ERROR – A process of common law origin, it is a precept issued in writing by an appellate court to a lower
court for supposed error in law apparent on record. A writ of error removes nothing to the higher court for re-
examination except the law. See APPEAL.