The boundaries and contents of the several sections, half-sections, and quarter-sections of the public lands shall be ascertained in conformity with the following principles:
First. All the corners marked in the surveys, returned by the Secretary of the Interior or such agency as he may designate, shall be established as the proper corners of sections, or subdivisions of sections, which they were intended to designate; and the corners of half- and quarter-sections, not marked on the surveys, shall be placed as nearly as possible equidistant from two corners which stand on the same line.
Second. The boundary lines, actually run and marked in the surveys returned by the Secretary of the Interior or such agency as he may designate, shall be established as the proper boundary lines of the sections, or subdivisions, for which they were intended, and the length of such lines as returned, shall be held and considered as the true length thereof. And the boundary lines which have not been actually run and marked shall be ascertained, by running straight lines from the established corners to the opposite corresponding corners; but in those portions of the fractional townships where no such opposite corresponding corners have been or can be fixed, the boundary lines shall be ascertained by running from the established corners due north and south or east and west lines, as the case may be, to the watercourse, Indian boundary line, or other external boundary of such fractional township.
Third. Each section or subdivision of section, the contents whereof have been returned by the Secretary of the Interior or such agency as he may designate, shall be held and considered as containing the exact quantity expressed in such return; and the half sections and quarter sections, the contents whereof shall not have been thus returned, shall be held and considered as containing the one-half or the one-fourth part, respectively, of the returned contents of the section of which they may make part.
For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of the Interior, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Interior, with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1950, §§ 1,
2, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1262, set out under section
1451 of this title.
In pars. “First”, “Second” and “Third”, reference to “Field Surveying Service” changed to “Secretary of the Interior or such agency as he may designate”, on authority of section 403 of Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1946. See note set out under section
1 of this title.
Act Mar. 3, 1925, abolished office of surveyor general and transferred administration of all activities in charge of surveyors general to Field Surveying Service under jurisdiction of United States Supervisor of Surveys.
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