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Virtual Learning

"The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) - 1785 To Present" Part 1 of 2

  • Feb 8, 2017 (10:30 - 12:00 pm CT; 9:30 - 11:00 am MT)
    Virtual Learning (desktop or laptop access)


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Sunday, February 5, 2017

The above opportunity and more can be accessed by visiting the TLN Learning Management System (LMS).


This 90 minute presentation will provide a brief overview of the purpose and importance of the Rectangular Survey System and its impact on land development throughout most of the United States. We will discuss federal vs. state authorities, the creation of the PLSS, the major Federal laws that created the system and touch on the principles of resurveys by looking at examples of surveys performed under the PLSS. The purpose of the presentation is to provide an overview of practical PLSS knowledge that will enhance the skills needed to perform land and resource management activities within PLSS states.

Who is the BLM and what do we do?
  • Federal government structure
  • BLM’s delegated responsibilities
  • BLM’s State Office structure and jurisdictions
Creation of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS)
  • Systems in place in other countries
  • US Federal survey authorities
  • Federal vs State authority surveys
Development of the system
  • Discussion of each of the major PLSS laws
  • Discussion of how it works today


Dominica VanKoten, Chief Cadastral Surveyor, Bureau of Land Management.

Target Audience

Surveyors, designers, rights-of-way personnel, and construction field staff.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050