43 U.S.C. § 994 Sale of Lands In Wisconsin

LibraryUnited States Statutes
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-34 (published on www.congress.gov on 12/26/2023), except for [P. L. 118-31]
Citation43 U.S.C. § 994

The Secretary of the Interior, in his judgment and discretion, is authorized to sell, in the manner hereinafter provided in this section, any of those lands situated in the State of Wisconsin which were originally erroneously meandered and shown upon the official plats as water-covered areas, and which are not lawfully appropriated by a qualified settler or entryman claiming under the public land laws.

Any owner in good faith of land shown by the official public land surveys to be bounded in whole or in part by such erroneously meandered area, and who acquired title to such land prior to February 27, 1925, or any citizen of the United States who in good faith under color of title or claiming as a riparian owner had, prior to said date, placed valuable improvements upon or reduced to cultivation any of the lands subject to the operation of this section, shall have a preferred right to file in the office of the officer, as the Secretary of the Interior may designate, of the United States land office of the district in which the lands are situated, an application to purchase the lands thus improved by them at any time within ninety days from said date if the lands have been surveyed and plats filed in the United States land office; otherwise within ninety days from the filing of such plats. Every such application must be accompanied with satisfactory proof that the applicant is entitled to such preference right and that the lands which he applies to purchase are not in the legal possession of an adverse claimant under the public land laws.

In event such erroneously meandered land is bounded by two or more tracts of land held in private ownership with apparent riparian rights indicated by the official township plat of survey at date of disposal of title by the United States, the Secretary of the Interior or such officer as he may designate shall have discretionary power to cause such meandered area, when surveyed, to be divided into such tracts or lots as will permit a fair division of such meandered area among the owners of such surrounding or adjacent tracts under the provisions of this section. In administering the provisions of this section, where there shall exist a conflict of claims falling within its operation, if any claimant shall have placed valuable improvements upon the land involved, or shall have reduced the same to cultivation, then to the extent of such improvements or cultivation, such claimant shall be given preference in adjustment of such conflict: Provided, That no preference right of entry under this section shall be recognized for a greater area than one hundred and sixty acres, in one body, to any one applicant, whether an individual, an association, or a corporation: Provided further, That this section shall not be construed as in any manner abridging the existing rights of any settler or entryman under the public land laws.

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