February 25, 2008. The Next Edition of the Manual of Surveying Instructions and the Modern Cadastre. Presented by: Dan Webb, BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor Utah State Office, Salt Lake City, UT and Bob Dahl, BLM Cadastral Surveyor Lands, Realty & Cadastral Survey Division Washington, D.C.
Dan Webb, BLM Chief Cadastral Surveyor
Utah State Office, Salt Lake City, UT and
Bob Dahl, BLM Cadastral Surveyor
Lands, Realty & Cadastral Survey Division
Utah Council of Land Surveyors Convention
St. George, UT
February 22, 2008
Cadastre – Cadastral – Cadastral Survey
What is the Manual of Surveying
Why is the Manual relevant to Private, County, and State Surveyors in Utah?
What is the process?
How are we going about it?
Where are we to date?
Manual of Instructions for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States? (Manual)
Whom/What is affected?
Relevant to the Private, County, and State Surveyor in Utah?
State Statute Law
“The survey should be made … in accordance with instructions and regulations issued … by the general land office for the guidance of county surveyors and others in ascertaining boundary lines created by the government survey
in relocating corners or monuments … which may have become lost or obliterated.”
Congress has provided a system for the survey of public lands, and the boundaries and limits of the several sections and subdivisions …, must be ascertained in conformity with the principles laid down …
The official plat with all of its notes, lines, descriptions and landmarks become a part of the patentee’s deed
The Secretary of the Interior or such officer as he may designate (BLM) shall perform all executive duties appertaining to the surveying and sale of the public lands of the United States
The Federal Survey Rules
Title 43 U.S.C. §§ 751-753, 772, 773, 1737(c)
“… when the government, … by an official … survey, which was approved by it, … and rights have been acquired under that survey, the lines of such survey, … constitute the true boundary which cannot be departed from or made to yield to … resurveys which are in conflict with them.” Ferry v. Fowler, 37 Utah 34 (1910)
Whenever it becomes necessary to survey any Indian lands, the same shall be surveyed under the direction and control of the BLM
And as nearly as may be in conformity to the rules and regulations under which other public lands are surveyed
1) BLM is authorized to resurvey the corners and lines of government surveys
2) BLM Survey Manual defines a resurvey
3) Manual defines ‘existent’ ‘obliterated’ and ‘lost’ corners
4) Manual provides guidance to surveyors on how to base a resurvey on the ‘best available evidence’
5) BLM Official Surveys are presumed regular and
6) An accurate retracement and reestablishment of the lines of the original survey
It is settled law that the United States may survey what it owns and thereby establish and reestablish boundaries, but what the government does in this regard is for its own information and cannot affect the rights of owners on the other side of an existing boundary. United States v. State Investment Co., 264 U.S. 206, 212 (1924), citing Lane v. Darlington, 249 U.S. 331, 333 (1919).
The Manual of Surveying Instructions describes how cadastral surveys of the public lands are made in conformance to statutory law and its judicial interpretation. (1973 Manual § 1-1.)
It is within the province of the Director to determine what are public lands, what lands have been surveyed, what are to be surveyed, what have been disposed of, what remains to be disposed of, and what are reserved.
(1973 Manual § 1-11.)
By fundamental law, upon the issuance of a patent for land by the Federal government; it is just as if the monuments, survey plat and field notes, and the laws, regulations and rules governing how to survey the land described in the patent, are attached to the face of the patent.
The survey rules are spelled out in the manuals, circulars, instructions and regulations issued by the GLO and later by the BLM.
BLM Utah PLSS Records:
Federal Land Patents:
PLSS Reference Layer :