Point of Beginning

PLSS and Survey Recording

March 13, 2009

Posted By HOLE DIGGER on 3/12/2009 at 1:00 PM

Far below now a group of M&B surveyors are badmouthing the filing of surveys into the public record. It is a very different world in PLSSia.

Sections were created well over 100 years ago. In some cases, more like 200 years ago. Those section lines are sort of like State boundaries. Your land is either in one or the other, not one under a single description.

When a surveyor evaluates the monumentation, or lack thereof, at any section corner, quarter corner, center corner or aliquot part corner, most of the time a large number of properties are affected. Decisions on a center corner will impact only one section. Decisions on a quarter corner will impact two adjoining sections. Decisions on a section corner will impact the four adjoining sections and every property in those sections.

Any surveyor finding or setting a corner monument needs to document that information into the public record for all future use. Verifying that an existing monument is, in fact, still there as of a certain date is very helpful to surveyors evaluating evidence in the future. All descriptions in PLSSia are inherently tied to the section corners, including those inside subdivisions, as the subdivision exterior is dependent on the section's aliquot boundaries. Hence, the method of determining the value of each item of evidence in conducting a specific survey is vital to those who follow. Otherwise, you have the gigantic pincushion effect which is obviously detrimental to peaceable possession of the bundle of rights attached to a specific tract.

Now, I will grant you that any information relative to the number or location of improvements on the tract being surveyed is not of significant value to later survey decisions, in the general case. Encroachments of any kind are of concern to the client in the present. It may become the duty of a surveyor to identify encroachments at some later date. That work should be independent of the earier data. However, the boundary determination method and monumentation accepted, rejected or set it critical regardless of property value and use.

Some survey firms may work in every county in the State while others only service a specific community, county or region. It doesn't matter. The work of their surveying predecessors is absolutely critical to their current projects. Private warehousing of all survey information is detrimental to the public at large.

This is why you will find far more support for survey information recording in PLSS States.

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