What constitutes a "monument"?
Many states have laws against destroying/removing/moving survey monuments. In my state it says : "marks upon any tree, post or stake which is a monument designating a point, course or line in the boundary of a parcel of land".
So, in the case of this photo, which shows a painted piece of re-bar with a 4" reveal (no cap), a thin grade stake with flagging to mark the location of the rebar, would you say the re-bar constitutes the "monument"? Is the grade stake also considered a "monument"?
Over the years I've seen many such stakes, flagging tied to tree branches (and either tied to the monument or not), and other such ephemeral annunciations of the location of the monument. Are these also considered "monuments"?
I'd collect it as a piece of data to do analysis with, if it fits, then go out and flag it as accepted.
If it doesn't fit, it's still a data point, and potentially going to be a found monument not accepted, and not Flag or identify. And not set anything unless my Surveyor tells me to do so.
Flagged tree branches are not monuments.
Grade stake is just a visual que like a flagged tree branch, as it's also not a very robust object to hold a position for the intent.
Regardless of the perceived quality of the materials, or the standard of care in placing them; the question is (as it was once eloquently put by the Maryland Court of Appeals) is: Has it 'developed a reputation' in the neighborhood as monumenting a property corner? If so, it's a monument.
Something for lawyers to argue over. IANAL, but here's what I would guess.
Surveyors would usually consider only the rebar to be the monument, and the wood or flagging to be an aid to finding it, as the exact position of those accessories does not control anything. The stake could be anywhere within a foot of the rebar.
If someone pulls the rebars, whoever relied on them and/or paid for the survey is likely so sue or call for enforcement of this law.
If someone went on the site of construction they were opposed to and were caught removing a bunch of wood stakes, including wood stakes by boundary rebars, they would have a strong chance of being charged under this law as well as others.
Possibly, but less likely, if an adjoiner hired a survey that upset someone who then pulled the wood but not the rebars, they might be charged if it could be proved who did it. The argument that only the rebar was the monument would carry some weight in defense.
If old, faded wood was removed, leaving the rebars, it would be rare for anyone to get upset, and unlikely even then for the law to be applied.
Now let's see what the experts say.
The iron rod may be a monument. Sometimes an iron rod is just an iron rod. If it is a monument, the lath is an accessory.