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Getting to Grips with the New BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions. Presented by: Bob Dahl, Cadastral Surveyor BLM Division of Lands, Realty and Cadastral Survey Washington, D.C. National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying 89 th Annual Meeting Denver, CO – August 18, 2010.

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Getting to Grips with the New BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions

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Getting to Grips with the New BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions

Presented by:

Bob Dahl, Cadastral Surveyor

BLM Division of Lands, Realty and Cadastral Survey

Washington, D.C.

National Council of Examiners for

Engineering and Surveying 89th Annual Meeting

Denver, CO – August 18, 2010

August 16, 2010


What is new or changed in the

2009 edition of the

Manual of Surveying Instructions?


Subjects in the 1973 edition of the Manual have been elaborated on in the 2009 Manual.

Subjects not in the 1973 edition of the Manual have been included in the 2009 Manual.


  • Very little technical/legal policy has “changed” from

  • the 1973 edition

  • current BLM policy

New and/or Change depends on your definition


Chapters Crosswalk

1973 Edition 2009 Manual

Ch. 1 - The General Plan

Ch. 2 - Methods of Survey

Ch. 3 - The System of Rectangular Surveys

Ch. 4 - Monumentation

Ch. 5 - Lost or

Obliterated Corners

Ch. 6 - Resurveys

Ch. 7 - Special Surveys and Instructions

Ch. 8 -Field Notes

Ch. 9 -Plats

Ch. 10 -Mineral Surveys

Ch. 1 - The General Plan

Ch. 2 - Methods of Survey

Ch. 3 - The System of Rectangular Surveys

Ch. 4 - Monumentation

Ch. 5 - Principles of Resurveys

Ch. 6 - Resurveys and Evidence

Ch. 7 - Resurveys and Restoration

Ch. 8 -Resurveys and Water Boundaries

Ch. 9 -Special Instructions, Field Notes, and Plats

Ch. 10 -Special Surveys and Mineral Surveys


Areas of:

New – Clarification - Change

  • Coordinates as collateral evidence

  • Closing corners

  • Standard of evidence

  • Controlling intermediate corners

  • Bona fide rights

  • Water boundaries

  • Mineral survey resurveys


Clarification

Resurveys & Closing Corners

3-74 to 3-79

  • Historical policy – By policy, closing corner monuments were not intended to be established on intersected line.

  • Modern policy (adopted between 1902 and 1919) – By policy, closing corner monuments are intended to be established on intersected line.


New – Clarification – Change

Controlling Intermediate Corners

6-27 to 6-30

  • Witness corners

  • Line trees

  • Witness points

  • Meander corners

  • Controlling intermediate corners control:

    • Section line alinement

    • Reestablishment of lost corners

    • Establishment of minor subdivisional corners


Change in Technical Policy

6-34

  • Prospective in Application

  • Not Retrospective in Application


Clarification

Bona Fide Rights

6-40

  • 43 U.S.C. 772 – Governs resurveys by GLO/BLM

  • Bona fide belief is not bona fide rights

  • 43 U.S.C. 772 bona fide rights as to location are based on good faith reliance on evidence of the original survey


New - Clarification

Mineral Lands Surveys

  • Mineral leasing act surveys

    • 10-77 to 10-85

  • Riparian rights – mining claims and millsites

    • 10-201 to 10-207

  • Resurveys of mineral surveys

    • 10-208 to 10-229


Clarification

Court of Competent Jurisdiction

1-7 and 1-7(n)

When is the Manual (Federal rules) applicable and when should the Surveyor look elsewhere for the governing rules (State rules), i.e., source of law question


  • Clarification

  • Court of Competent Jurisdiction

  • Last Common Grantor

  • 1-7 and 1-7(n)

  • Owner of land when boundary line is created

    • Federal – Federal Rules

    • Non-Federal - State Rules

  • Some States have adopted Federal rules for some situations


  • Clarification

  • Court of Competent Jurisdiction

  • Land Status

  • 1-13 and 1-13(n)

  • Public Domain Land – Federal Rules

  • Acquired Land – Federal or State Rules

  • Non-Federal Land – State Rules


Clarification

Fractional Sections

3-118 to 3-122

For subdivisional purposes, identification of regular sections and fractional sections


Clarification

Fictitious, Fraudulent, or

Grossly Erroneous Surveys

6-58 to 6-68

Elements of and/or evidence of


Clarification

Cardinal Equivalent

7-9


New

Indian Allotment Surveys –

Subdivision of Section – Three-Mile Method

10-11 to 10-20

  • vs. subdivision of section – statutory method

  • Original survey plat controls

  • Former Indian reservation land (ceded lands) can be miles from any current Indian reservation


New

Indian Allotment Surveys –

Indian Allotments and United States Indian Service Surveys

10-21 to 10-25

  • Not to be confused with the separate subject of GLO allotment surveys versus United States Indian Service (USIS) allotment surveys


Why is the Manual relevant to the

practice of land surveying in your State?

1-3

  • Rules to survey the PLSS by

  • An expression of the intent when Federal Government is grantor

  • Adoption by State legislature, administrative rule, attorney general opinion, common practice, and/or common law


MONTANA STATUE LAWTitle 76 Land Resources and UseChapter 3 Local Regulation of SubdivisionsPart 4 Survey Requirements

§ 76-3-402 Survey and platting requirements for subdivided lands.

All division of sections into aliquot parts and retracement of lines must conform to the Manual of Surveying Instructions


Washington Administrative Code

§ 332-130-030

Land subdivision

and corner restoration standards.

Reestablishment of lost GLO or BLM corners and subdividing of sections shall be done according to applicable GLO or BLM plats and field notes and in compliance with the Manual


Office of the Attorney General of theState of California64 Opinions of the Attorney General 224 (1981)

Manual of Surveying Instructions is “the authoritative reference book on the subject” of accessories to corner monuments


Minnesota Land Surveyors Association

Public Land Survey in Minnesota

State statutes state that the section subdivision methods follow the rules of the Federal Government

Subdivision by survey of descriptions which are Federal in origin must follow Federal method down to the smallest size sold


NORTH DAKOTA SUPREME COURTNystrom v. Lee, 16 N.D. 561 (1907)

The courts of this state in the matter of restoration of corners and subdivision of sections are governed by the laws of the U.S., and the instructions issued by the officers thereof, in charge of the public land surveys


Manual Website

http://www.blm.gov/cadastral/Manual/nextedition.htm

http://www.blmsurveymanual.org/

http://www.glorecords.blm.gov

http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/


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