RELINQUISHMENT OF CLAIMS
The law provides that where a tract within a forest reservation is covered by an unperfected bonn fide claim, or by a patent, the settler or owner may, if he so desires, relinquish the tract to the United States and select in lieu thereof a tract of vacant public land outside of the reservation, open to settlement, not exceeding in area the tract relinquished. No charge is to be made for placing the new entry of record. This is in consideration of previous fees and commissions paid. Where the entry is in lieu of an unperfected one, the necessary fees in the making of final proof and issuance of certificate will be required. Where the entry is based on an unsurveyed claim, all fees and commissions attending entry must be paid, none having been paid previously.
Where an application is made for change of entry under the above provision, it must be filed in the land office for the district in which the lieu selection lies. The application must describe the tract selected and the tract covered by the unperfected entry, and must be accompanied by a formal relinquishment to the United States of all right, title, and interest in and to the tract embraced in said entry. There must also be filed with the application an affidavit, corroborated by at least two witnesses cognizant of the facts, showing the periods and length of claimant's residence on his relinquished claim; as credit for the time spent thereon will be allowed under the new entry in computing the period of residence required by law. Residence and improvements are requisite on the new entry, the same as on the old, subject only, in respect to residence, to a deduction of the period covered by the relinquished entry.
Where final certificate or patent has issued, it will be necessary for the entryman or owner thereunder to execute a quitclaim deed to the United States, have the same recorded on the county records, and furnish an abstract of title, duly authenticated, showing chain of title from the Government back again to the United States. The abstract of title should accompany the application for change of entry, which must be filed, without the affidavit therein called for.
In case a settler on an unsurveyed tract within a forest reservation desires to make a change of settlement to land outside of the reservation and receive credit for previous residence, he should file his application, including the affidavit as to residence therein required, and describing his unsurveyed claim with sufficient accuracy to enable the local land officers to approximately determine its location.
All applications for change of entry or settlement must be forwarded by the local officers to the Commissioner of the General Land Office for consideration, together with report as to the status of the tract applied for.
Where land has been relinquished to the Government, the supervisor will be informed as soon as the transaction is completed by the acceptance of the quitclaim deed or its equivalent on the part of the Government.
The supervisors will make diligent effort to ascertain the status of all lands within their reserves, and record the same in their books, so that a complete report may be made on this subject at any time.
This record should also be shown on one of their maps.