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Retracement Surveys

Discussion in 'General Land Surveying' started by LRDay, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. LRDay

    LRDay 4-Year Member

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    Just a question.

    If you need to set a marker on an existing land parcel (other than repairing a deteriorating mark), what is the chances that you are doing something beyond a retracement survey?
     
  2. Loyal

    Loyal 5-Year Member

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    I'd say about 100%

    Loyal
     
  3. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    Resurvey – A term applied to the reestablishment or restoration of land boundaries and subdivisions by the rerunning and remaking of the lines that were represented in the field note record and on the plat of the previous official survey. This includes, as in the original survey, a field note record of the retracement data, observations, measurements and monuments descriptive of the work performed, and a plat that represents such resurvey, all subject to the approval of the directing authority. The above definition is intended or implied unless modified as in an Independent Resurvey or in some other appropriate manner. The adjective "dependent" applied to the term "resurvey" is for emphasis, and specifically to suggest the recovery and restoration of the prior official survey.

    Dependent Resurvey – A retracement and reestablishment of the lines of the original survey in their true original positions according to the best available evidence of the positions of the original corners. It includes the restoration of lost corners in accordance with procedures described in the Manual of Surveying Instructions.


    I'm sure that you folks use the term "retracement" in PLSSia to mean something other than a determination of existing boundaries as described in the record of some prior survey, but I don't think everyone does.
     
  4. Ed

    Ed 4-Year Member

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    > Just a question.
    >
    > If you need to set a marker on an existing land parcel (other than repairing a deteriorating mark), what is the chances that you are doing something beyond a retracement survey?

    To me this presents a vague, but interesting question. I came up understanding boundary surveys as falling into two different categories: dependent, or independent surveys. As you're using the phrase "retracement survey" it would mean to me a "dependent" survey. My take on your question would be that if I survey 5 acres with an existing legal discription and find all the corners monumented except, say, one is 0.04' from where it's mathmatically described and I hold it for my plat then I'm no longer doing, at least technically, a 'dependent', or 'retracement', survey.
    In that case, so what? If in a case of two adjoiners deciding to move their common line 40' from where it's described and I plat it to their mutually agreed new position THEN I'm most certainly not performing a 'retracement survey', as you put it. I'd call that an 'independent survey'. At least for that part of the boundary.

    Very few truly independent surveys are performed around here anymore that I'm aware of. And that means bad times for surveyors.
     
  5. Loyal

    Loyal 5-Year Member

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    From the 1894 Manual of Instructions:

    Paragraph 6:
    "In order to prevent any misunderstanding relative to the modus operandi indicated by the terms 'retracement' and 'resurvey,' the following definitions of the same are here presented:"

    Paragraph 7:
    "The retracement of a township boundary, or other line of survey, consists in the determination of the true bearings and distances between the successive corners along the entire length of such line; and the data thus obtained will be embodied in the field notes together with the detailed particulars of the methods employed."

    Paragraph 8
    "The resurvey of a township boundary or other line of survey consists of a retracement of such line accompanied by the reconstruction of defective original corners and the establishment thereon of all the necessary new corners, and the detailed particulars of the entire operation will be embodied in the field notes."

    I'd say that any time your "set" anything, you have crossed the threshold between "retracement" & "resurvey."

    Loyal
     
  6. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    BLM Glossary

    Okay, here's the definitive statement of how the term "retracement" is used in PLSSia, evidently:

    RESURVEY – A term applied to the reestablishment or restoration of land boundaries and subdivisions by the rerunning and remaking of the lines that were represented in the field note record and on the plat of the previous official survey. This includes, as in the original survey, a field note record of the retracement data, observations, measurements and monuments descriptive of the work performed, and a plat that represents such resurvey, all subject to the approval of the directing authority. The above definition is intended or implied unless modified as in an Independent Resurvey or in some other appropriate manner. The adjective “dependent” applied to the term “resurvey” is for emphasis, and specifically to suggest the recovery and restoration of the prior official survey. See DEPENDENT RESURVEY, INDEPENDENT RESURVEY, RETRACEMENT, RESTORATION
    REMEASUREMENT and RESURVEY*.

    RETRACEMENT – A survey made to ascertain the direction and length of lines and to identify monuments and marks of an established prior survey. Recovered corners are rehabilitated, but lost corners are not restored and lines through timber are not reblazed. See RESURVEY and REMEASUREMENT

    http://www.blm.gov/cadastral/Glossary/glossary.htm#

    So the retracement survey is sort of like preliminary field work outside of PLSSia, where the evidence is located from which the adults can determine where the missing monuments should be replaced.
     
  7. LRDay

    LRDay 4-Year Member

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    So from the BLM definition of a RESURVEY we find this:

    all subject to the approval of the directing authority

    So uncle can do what ever out in uncles land (uncle is the directing authority).

    For us private surveyors out surveying the boundaries between two existing private land parcels, what is our subject to the approval of the directing authority?

    What authority do you have do set that marker where there isn't one needing repair or worse, never has been one? Aren't the landowners the directing authority?
     
  8. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    > What authority do you have do set that marker where there isn't one needing repair or worse, never has been one? Aren't the landowners the directing authority?

    Yeah, if you don't have any surveying instruments or don't know how to interpret the writings that describe the boundaries between the landowners, I'd say you'd be better off not trying to do anything. Let the landowners survey their properties and just fax you the measurements so you can draw up the plaque*.

    *something other than a map or plat.
     
  9. Duane Frymire

    Duane Frymire 5-Year Member

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    Based on the posts, I'd have to say 0.

    A "retracement survey" would seem to suggest a "resurvey" and more particularly a "dependent resurvey" unless otherwise specified.

    A "retracement" on the other hand is merely a field search and refreshing of found evidence.
     
  10. LRDay

    LRDay 4-Year Member

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    Geezz Kent

    It was all your Shovel posts that caused my question. Instead of retracing the original you complain about all the RESURVEY markers you are finding near the buried originals.

    From your post it appears you believe all these other surveyors do have the authority to resurvey private land parcels, set new markers at the corners. So what's your beef really?

    I'm looking at this more as a landowner than a surveyor. Me and my neighbors have domain over OUR boundaries. Before a surveyor RESURVEYS my property boundaries I believe they need mine and my adjoiners sanction. What's wrong with that?
     
  11. MightyMoe

    MightyMoe 4-Year Member

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    So uncle can do what ever out in uncles land (uncle is the directing authority).
    For us private surveyors out surveying the boundaries between two existing private land parcels, what is our subject to the approval of the directing authority?



    I dunno; the BLM spends a lot of time resurveying lines between private land owners, thousands and thousands of miles of them.

    As an aside: It seems to me that the era of Independent Resurveys is over.
     
  12. Jim in AZ

    Jim in AZ 5-Year Member

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    >
    >
    > I dunno; the BLM spends a lot of time resurveying lines between private land owners, thousands and thousands of miles of them.
    >
    >
    They do? Not around here...
     
  13. MightyMoe

    MightyMoe 4-Year Member

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    Yeah, they sure do. The authority they have to do so is because of mineral estate. I assume it would be the same there. Private surface mixed in with private and public mineral estate. Sometimes private surface, public coal and private oil and gas. Sometimes all public minerals with private surface estate. I even know of a parcel of public surface and private minerals but that's really unusual. Anyway, there has been extensive retracement by the BLM. And no they do not follow Lucas' ideas on resurveys.
     
  14. Dane Ince

    Dane Ince 4-Year Member

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    No not really

    The government surveyors survey under federal authority. Private surveyors, that are licensed by the state, survey under state authority. Owners can subdivide their boundarys in LEGAL manner they choose; But unless licensed,they are not authorized to survey the lands of others.

    While I appreciate the drift of your comment, it is not entirely correct.
     
  15. NorthernSurveyor

    NorthernSurveyor 5-Year Member

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    > So from the BLM definition of a RESURVEY we find this:
    >
    > all subject to the approval of the directing authority
    >
    > So uncle can do what ever out in uncles land (uncle is the directing authority).


    LRDay

    In this statement, taken in full context in the BLM Manual of Surveying Instructions the term "the directing authority" refers to the individual that has the appropriate authority for approving federal surveys in the location where the survey is. Congress assigned this authority of approving federal Surveys to the Secretary of Interior, who in turn assigned it to the BLM National Director. The BLM's current Delegation Manual (MS-1203) delegates this responsibilty directly (not through the State Office Director) to the Chief Cadastal Surveyor for each of the BLM State Offices. I believe the Manual has the words directing authority as the MS-1203 Manual is subject to change, however probably pretty unlikely.

    So the statement really states that the Official BLM federal Resurvey survey records must be approved by the BLM State Office Cadastral Chief. That is required to meet the requirements to make the survey and survey record official.
     
  16. Richard Schaut

    Richard Schaut 4-Year Member

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    The BLM's 'directing authority' is the one responsible for ensuring that the restriction set forth in 43 U. S. Code 772 is obeyed. When parts of the area to be resurveyed contain privatly owned lands, their 'rights of possession' shall not be disturbed. That is why the BLM developed the procedures for tract segregation and document reformation. Note that 43 US Code 772 makes no distinction between 'dependent' or 'independent' resurveys and Chap 6 of the '73 Manual provides for tract segregation and document reformation for both classifications.

    The private surveyor, who must obey state laws, must use those state laws and basic legal principles to ensure that the rights of occupation are not challenged by an inaccurate description.

    An inaccurate description is one that does not lead the surveyor to the physical evidence that marks the location that establishes boundaries by legal occupation.

    Legal occupation and control will supplant 'original' boundary evidence.

    Richard Schaut
     
  17. Pablo

    Pablo 4-Year Member

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    I don't know what you are trying to get at LR. If you have to set a corner you have to set it. A retracement survey in federal terms can be made for several reasons. On the simplest case it is often necessary to retrace several miles of line leading from a LOST corner that is to be reestablished relative to an existent corner that will be used as control. If no intervening corners are reestablished, details of the retracement are not usually shown in the record, but a direct connection between the two corners are reported as a TIE. On the other hand a retracement may be extensive, made to afford new evidence of the character and condition of the previous survey. Recovered corners are rehabilitated, but a retracement does not include the restoration of lost corners. The retracement may sometimes be complete in itself, but usually is made as an early part of a "dependent resurvey". Kent's work appears to make emphasis on surveyors incapable of doing a retracement in the first place and pincushioning a corner or corners not LOST.


    Pablo
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This thread just perpetuates misconceptions about the PLSS which are the stock in trade of certain posters here, who should know better, and who seem to never be listening.

    Where I live and work in the PLSS, Uncle completed all work by 1847, handed over the records to the state, and the GLO was never seen here after that time.

    The majority of the PLSS, measured by number of states and population, does not fall under any oversight from Uncle anymore, no matter how much some surveyors would seem to want it.
     
  19. Kent McMillan

    Kent McMillan 4-Year Member

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    Geezz Kent

    > I'm looking at this more as a landowner than a surveyor. Me and my neighbors have domain over OUR boundaries. Before a surveyor RESURVEYS my property boundaries I believe they need mine and my adjoiners sanction. What's wrong with that?

    I suppose that if there is no objective way to locate the boundaries of your properties, if they were just conveyed as, say, "Uncle Leon Day's place, bounded on the East by Aunt Nettie's, on the South by the guy from Arizona's, on the West by the tar and gravel road, and on the North by where the fence stood before it was torn down", sure any surveyor would be a fool to resurvey your property boundaries without asking a few questions of your adjoiners. Isn't all Utah surveying like that?
     
  20. LRDay

    LRDay 4-Year Member

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    Geezz Kent

    All my land and my neighbors land is private including the minerals. So Uncle Fed has no interest in it.

    The bottom line is there is not any surveyor in the world including me that has the authority to RESURVEY my land, move the established boundaries between me and my neighbors. End of story!
     

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