Brooks Range
Grizzly along the Denali Highway Rafting the Gulkana National Wild River Native woman drying salmon on racks ATV rider on trails near Glennallen Surveyor
BLM>Alaska>Programs>Land Transfer>Land Transfer Terms
Print Page
Land Transfer Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

ANCSA: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of December 18, 1971. ANCSA provides for the settlement of aboriginal land claims of the Natives and Native groups in Alaska.
Adjudication: Legal processing and judging of land entries in terms of compliance with public land laws and regulations.
Applicant: An individual, corporation, state or local government applying for rights in, or title to, public lands or resources.
Cadastral Survey: Establishment of land boundaries and their identification on the ground by monuments or marks, and their identification in the records by field notes and plats.
Certificate of Allotment (COA): Document that passes title for Native allotments. The title is issued in a restricted status. BLM issues the COA to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). BIA holds the title in trust for the allottee. While the allotment title is held in trust status the lands are inalienable (they cannot be seized for debt and are not subject to taxation. They cannot be sold or encumbered without BIA approval).
Decision: Written statement, signed by the appropriate official, setting forth findings as to law or fact with respect to an application, entry, or claim.
Easement: A right of one land owner to make lawful and beneficial use of the land of another, created by an express or implied agreement.
Field Exam:  An on-the-ground examination with respect to the character and use of public lands.
Interim Conveyance (IC):  Documents that transfer title of unsurveyed land to ANCSA Native Corporations. Lands received by village corporations have two ICs issued. One for the surface estate to the village and the second issued to the regional corporation for subsurface estate. Land received by a regional corporation has one IC for both surface and subsurface estate. There are a few exceptions to the normal pattern of issue.
Land Description: Statement as to the location of a tract of land which is the basis for the identification of the tract on the ground.
Land Patent: Document which conveys to the patentee legal title to public lands, and/or mineral resources.
Master Title Plat: Composite of survey plats for a township or basic protraction if the township is unsurveyed. Graphically portrays the most recent survey data , vacant public lands, patented lands with reservations therein, acquired lands and resources, withdrawn lands, rights-of-way, and other actions or transactions which limit, restrict or appropriate the disposition or use of land and resources.
Metes & Bounds: Locating of a tract of land by describing its boundaries using the names of natural or artificial monuments, stating distance and course of lines connecting monuments, giving boundaries of abutting tracts of land, or actual survey of the land.
Native Allotment: Native Allotment Act of 1906. Essentially an "Indian Homestead". Eligible individual Natives can apply for up to 160 acres of vacant and unappropriated land.
Notice: Communication of an official action to all interested parties by registered mail, posting, personal service or publication.  
Protracted: Rectangular plat based upon aerial photography and "best guess" as to the location of township, range, and section lines.
Public Land Order (PLO): An order effecting, modifying or cancelling a withdrawal or reservation.
Range: Boundary that runs parallel with longitude numbered every 6 miles
Rectangular Plat: Map showing results of cadastral survey. Includes location of survey monuments, lot numbers, and quantifies acreage.
Rights of Way (ROW): Permit or easement which authorizes the use of public lands for certain specified purposes, such as railroads, roads, pipelines, telephone lines, transmission lines, ditches, reservoirs, and communications sites.
Sections: Subdivisions of a township numbered "as the ox plows" starting from the Northeast corner. There are 36 sections in a township, each 1 mile square consisting of 640 acres.
Subsurface Estate: Everything below the surface estate, including sand and gravel.
Surface Estate: Includes the soil and waters which lie above and are superincumbant to the subsurface.
Tentitive Approval (TA): Passes title of land to the State of Alaska prior to cadastral survey.
Township: The major subdivision of public lands under the rectangular system of surveys; normally a quadrangle measuring approximately 6 miles on each side and containing approximately 23,040 acres and identified by its relation to a base line and principal meridian.
Unreserved and Unappropriated: Lands not set aside or withdrawn for any purpose, claimed, or segregated.
Use & Occupancy: A condition required by an allottee for entitlement to an allotment. Generally speaking, a native applying for land must exhibit use and occupancy, exclusive of other users for a period of 5 years to be entitled to land under the 1906 Act.. Use and occupancy must predate other claims to be adjudicated in favor of the applicant and the land must be available and not withdrawn for other purposes.
USS (U.S. Survey): On-the-ground cadastral survey used to establish the boundaries of a Native Allotment.
Wildlife Refuge: Reservation for the protection of wildlife.
Withdrawal: An action which restricts the use and disposal of lands and/or minerals and holds them for a specific purpose.