Within the last few weeks, a great deal of discussion has focused on the prospect of an ACSM reorganization and the NSPS board vote to initiate withdrawal
. In response to my recent Sight Lines blog, “What Will Become of ACSM?
,” one reader responded, “Over the years, state societies have grown and become more powerful. State conventions have become more comprehensive. The internet has allowed us to discuss issues across the country. … Frankly, I get very little information or value from ACSM or its member organizations.”
On the existing RPLS.com bulletin board, one poster noted, “Looking at the way it [ACSM] runs now, I see the MOs all wanting to do their own thing without a consistent and national message, so the ACSM is basically hampered in their efforts for unification.” Another poster commented, “We are all so busy being ‘independent’ that we forget the strength that can be found in numbers.”
In fact, that lack of unity is precisely the reason for the NSPS decision. According to NSPS Past President John Matonich, “It is very important to note that the action should make the future a high priority. We don’t have the luxury of time to plan for the best organization possible to evolve as the new national voice of the surveying profession and to be the best vehicle to serve our profession and our members, both current and future.”
Wayne Harrison, NSPS president, emphasized the need for a national voice. “National issues touch all surveyors. Public, private, topographic, boundary, layout and many others all have national tones. ALTA standards, qualification-based selection, academic accreditations, real estate settlement survey issues, GPS height modernization, letters of map amendments (LOMAs) and many more issues are all dealt with at the national, not the state or local level. These issues won’t go away, and some organization will deal with them nationally for the surveying community. The question is which one?”
Which one, indeed. It’s tempting to think that a national organization isn’t necessary. But as one surveyor commented, “The truth of the matter is, divided we fall.” Clearly, more unity and cooperation is needed—not less.
The separate task forces that have been established by ACSM and NSPS to explore the situation are expected to report in September. Continued dialogue is imperative. I encourage you to lend your voice to the discussions in the RPLS.com forum
and at local, state and national meetings. I would also welcome Opinion columns on this topic for POB
. To contribute, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org