Small Tract Rights-of-Way: McCarrey v. Kaylor

A “Small Tract” parcel authorized under the 1938 Small Tract Act is one of several federal land disposals by which a citizen may obtain a patent to public lands in Alaska. By federal regulation, a Small Tracts patent may include a specific width right-of-way for roadway and utilities purposes. The 2013 Alaska Supreme Court case McCarrey v. Kaylor changed the common view of what a Small Tract right-of-way is and how to determine its validity. This paper reviews the history and authority of Small Tract rights-of-way in Alaska and what the Supreme Court case means to surveyors and title researchers.

Read the entire publication here.

John Bennett, PLS, SR/WA is presenting on this topic at the 2019 Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference, February 13-15. Learn more about the conference at http://aksmc.org/. Presentation slides are available here.

John is a Senior Land Surveyor in R&M’s Right-of-Way Services Group, working out of our Fairbanks office. Prior to joining R&M, he served as the Chief of Right-of-Way for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Northern Region, supervising titles, plans, utilities, appraisals, negotiations, relocations, property management, pre-audit and surveying activities for the aviation, highway and public facility programs. John is a recognized leader in the research and analysis of historic rights of way and has testified as an expert witness in title defense cases. He is also a certified instructor with the International Right of Way Association and has co-presented seminars relating to access law and highway rights of way in Alaska.