BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 15, 2014 4:17 pm

I would like to discuss the methods in BLM's alternate method of subdividing sections in the PLSS!

The Manual of Surveying Instructions has guidelines on how to subdivide sections, but it does not describe the alternate method; that is, by the method as stated in the latest Clark's book.

I am sure most are aware of this alternate method and it is clearly demonstrated in the Florida Court Case of Rivers v Lozeau.  This method is simply using the original protracted center lines of the PLSS section as the sole evidence of where these lines are to be surveyed on the ground.  Any existing corner monuments that are not on these protracted lines can be ignored.

The PLSS section that is involved in this case was resurveyed by BLM.

Interesting?  I think so.

Keith

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by MLB on Dec 15, 2014 5:51 pm

Keith, I hate to keep flogging "national trends", but this is the case with "The Alternative Method". I doubt any seasoned surveyors would give much weight to Clark. The vulnerable would be those students who are using Clark as a text in some class taught in one of those ABET degree mills. If you haven't been schooled in the PLSS with some actual field experience the "Alternative Method" might sound like a reasonable solution. Of course, totally ignoring evidence is reprehensible to competent professionals. The bad news is that those competent professionals are dying off often without imparting their wisdom to the Smart Phone Whiz Kids.

It should amaze me this debate has actually gone this far. But it's getting harder to amaze me all the time. Textbooks ain't what they used to be.
MLB

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 15, 2014 6:39 pm

As you know, I tried to get an official opinion on how to subdivide sections from the Washington, D.C. office and only got a wishy washy answer.  They simply will not acknowledge that there are BLM land surveyors using the Robillard/Bouman method, as expressd in the latest Clark book.

And of course the Florida Court Case supports that alternative method.

Anyway, an issue that should be talked about and I have given up hope on having anybody from BLM explain their alternate method.


Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 9:40 am

You two.  Competent debate with either of you is next to impossible.

However I offer food for thought simply for consideration by others, being as neither of you are capable of providing the whole picture.

In the instance of private ownership, what laws in your state privide for elevating a c 1/4 set by erroneous method, (or in the instance of Rivers v Lozeau, a c 1/4 set by reliance on an incorrect exterior 1/4)?  Does your state have case or statutory guidance providing for elevating it to original monument status by the virtue of some sort of first surveyor principle?  Repose?  Reliance? Acquiesence, Agreement or Adverse Posession?

Consider the case of Dykes v Arnold in Oregon, where the court struggled with this question.  You might re-read that case if you weren't aware that the decision in that case was actually decided by citation and reliance on the guidance found in Clark.  The principle being that fact the establishment was by a county surveyor, giving rise to establishment as an official survey.  I find it curious that Mr. Williams has such heartburn over the elevation of Clark's status to inclusion in American Jurisprudance.  I can't help but wonder if it isn't founded in some part on the anger he may have inside because of his past work relationship with one of the authors and the jealousy he is experiencing over that author's success being recognized as a leading expert by the court system???

Now I'm by no means stating that the protracted lines are the only solution.  Neither does Clark if you read it with an open mind, nor does the many comptent surveyors of all ages out there who study the law's application to their profession.  It is a challenge to any surveyor to find the answer to the question of when a monument can be accepted when it does not fall on the original protractions. The legislatures and courts have not given the retracing surveyor full power to be the ultimate deciding power. Rather we can only give an opinion which others may or may not rely on, and which the courts may ultimately accept or reject.  Often times there is no single correct answer to give to our clients but rather only an opinion based on knowledge of confusing and contradictory case law and risk assessment. Some may revert to accepting local monuments based solely on reliance.  In my state, depending on the situation specifics, this can be a tough principle to defend as the courts haven't elevated the principle of reliance as a means of defeating an arguement in favor of the original grant location.  Something to do about statute of frauds and sanctity of written instrument and there being no such thing as implied agreement. 

Of course, the lower courts will often be more swayed by some arguements that wouldn't fly at the appellate or higher level.  Repose and reliance being some of those.  And of course Keith's opinion is geared far more to his experience with federal involvement and his perceived elevation of bona fide right to heights others don't envision and for which the courts in my state have'nt addressed to the same level that the IBLA has (which by the way, is still a case by case subjective analysis, and often no where near as successful an arguement as Keith may lead one to believe)..

anyways, simply food from thought from your old buddy.



Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 11:27 am

Can we see your real name, Average Joe?

You seem to know something or suspect things about me, so who are you>

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 11:37 am

You two.  Competent debate with either of you is next to impossible

Average Joe,  what makes you so special to carry on a debate?

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 11:43 am

Average Joe,

I think you should enter this debate with facts and not just opinions, so......

Post the field notes for the section involved in the Rivers court case.....especially the west 1/4 cor. evidence and of course the east-west center line of the section.

Surveyors of your persuasion have trouble with defining an original surveyor, versus a retraceing surveyor.  Give us your rationale.

For instance, does a private surveyor have the authority to define the boundary between Federal Land and Private land within a PLSS section?

This can be a factual debate, if you want!

Keith

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 12:20 pm

Keith:
Average Joe,  what makes you so special to carry on a debate?

Not special, just open minded enough to know it is not such a simple, black and white answer that all surveys fall into a defined answer you seem to preach.  And the approach varies depending on state court's guidance and whether or not federal interests are involved. 

I've also studied Clark and find that it does not preach a singular approach as you also preach.  This leads me to believe you have a grudge against one of the authors which you have stated elsewhere as having prior work history with.  

If you want to debate the facts, or particular writings in Clark, GREAT.  However you simply pull attacks out of the air and then dance around when someone tries to pin down specific principles.  Try debating specifics instead of generalities and stop with diversionary tactics and attacks in trying to prove you're right. 

Long and short of it is that there is some validity to the principles you push.  However they are not a one size fits all solution and your selling of them as such along with your incessant blame on your nemesis. 

I've got to go.  I am in the middle of mediating a boundary resolution between owners where past surveyors have identified 2 different section corners and reliance has not necessarily been on the one with the best available evidence.  I won't be responding any more until I have gotten my work done.  In the meanwhile I leave you and Binge with the observation that it matters little who I am as I am only here to debate principles.  Both you and Binge seem to think it is important as to who the words come from.  Instead maybe think about what the words are and we can have a civil debate.  I have doubt to this end as you both have continually exhibited a superiority complex which you enforce by discrediting statements made in anonymity solely for them being made in anonymity.  Debate the principles themselves instead and perhaps you'll find others will debate with you.  

Best wishes on that and I'm out of here for now..

 

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 12:23 pm

When you come back, if you do, bring along the field notes that I described above and we will continue to discuss the "bogus theory"!

These official field notes will and can show exactly what I am talkiing about.


Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 12:39 pm

Keith:
Average Joe,

I think you should enter this debate with facts and not just opinions, so......

Post the field notes for the section involved in the Rivers court case.....especially the west 1/4 cor. evidence and of course the east-west center line of the section.

Surveyors of your persuasion have trouble with defining an original surveyor, versus a retraceing surveyor.  Give us your rationale.

For instance, does a private surveyor have the authority to define the boundary between Federal Land and Private land within a PLSS section?

This can be a factual debate, if you want!

Keith

Didn't see your last post before my last one.  Looks like you're actually wanting to debate specifics.  GREAT. 

I do have to go, but before I do, here are some offerings to your above questions.  I don't have a copy of the field notes personally, but I did see them in a post when you, I and others debated Rivers v Lozeau on the SurveyorConnect forum.  I'm sure they are still posted there.

I don't know how you justify categorizing what kind of surveyor persuasion I am, but being that this is obviously a baited question regarding whether protracted lines are original lines or if a private surveyor's monumentation of a C 1/4 can be considered an original monumentation of the line.  To that I offer: "It Depends".  There is no black and white answer and it depends on the many specific nuances of the individual situation.  It depends on the state and whether or not federal interests are involved.  No, I will not bite and tell you that either protracted lines always govern or that the first surveyor in should always be considered the original. There is no generic one size fits all answer.

And lastly, a private surveyor, in the state I practice in, does have the ability to retrace original surveys between private and federal lands, identify original evidence, and to opine, in the form of a record of survey, as to the location which would be derived from either using the principles of restoring lost corners or from other evidence such as locations founded on true bona fide rights.  Note on this last item a R/S is solely an opinion that both the private owners can and likely will rely on, and that successive federal surveyors can recognize as being true and correct identifications of locations.



Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 12:51 pm

Your last paragraph needs to be read several times to get the run around that you believe in.

Let me ask it a little more direct!

Can a private surveyor establish boundaries between Federal and Private land within the section.....as the first or original surveyor?

Simple question.

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 1:14 pm

I'll answer your question with a question:  Has the BLM ever rejected a private surveyor's C-1/4 or interior 1/16 th corner, that rejection then contested with the ultimate decision by the IBLA or higher court supporting the BLM's decision?  Being as they have, then doesn't that follow that a private surveyor's OPINION of location does not automatically rise to the status of "original surveyor"?  Of course there are many situations where the BLM has and can accept local control.  They are not bound to do so however in each and every situation where local control is encountered, simply because local control does not elevate to original monument status automatically. 

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 1:27 pm

You and I know very well of the differences of opinion within the Cadastral ranks of BLM and you are fully aware of the opinions and survey procedures used by the "Boumanized" land surveyors.

I have yet to read an opinion that explains the alternate procedure to subdivide a sectdion, from a land surveyor that signs his name!

Just for the benefit of those that are hearing/reading this for the first time, I have requested an official opinion from the Director, BLM Headquarters office on the two methods of subdividing sections within the PLSS.

I did get a wishy washy answer, but they refuse to issue an opinion about this, and all BLM land surveyors are well aware of the differences.

Sign your name and we will proceed!

Keith Williams
Retired GM-15 
BLM Washington D.C.

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 1:47 pm

As predicted, once the debate gets to the core principle and you find your idealism doesn't hold water as well as you claim, you change topic and then attack credibility.

How about stay on topic if you really want to debate?  Diverting away from the topic at hand once it reaches core principles that don't support your stance may fool some. But I doubt most. 

As to attacking my credibility simply because I post anonymously.  Again I think most are more concerned with the words as written than whose typewriter from which they are bourne. 

So, back on task, do you believe a private surveyor's monument automatically achieves status as an original, simply because he/she is the first one to set an interior 1/16th or C-1/4?  Automatically each and every time?  If it does, how in the world could the IBLA ever consider supporting a BLM decision to reject local control? 


  

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by MLB on Dec 16, 2014 2:30 pm

As we can see here,  the site barely comes alive without the predictable troll factor. Average Joe is not here to debate. He is here to annoy. The entire concept that anonymous posters should carry equal weight with credentialed posters is ludicrous on its face. Refer to my post about PoliceOne.com.  There is no valid reason to remain anonymous on a so-called professional board. Anonymity is more appropriate for the masked protesters shouting "No Justice, no peace" as they trash everything in sight.

This "debate" is not really about who's monument is "right". This debate is actually about the Constitution. The "Alternative Method", is really the "No Alternative Method". It is tacitly saying the government solution is ALWAYS the correct solution. It undermines "Good Faith" which is allegedly the foundation of the Public Land Survey System. There is supposed to be Good Faith implied in all of our dealings. When you say "If you like your Health Care Plan you get to keep it", it's supposed to be true. People rely on it in "Good Faith". Any agent who makes a "Good Faith" effort to wit, devoid of any gross negligence should support vesting to the claimant. It undermines the entire profession when a "new improved government solutions" upends established lines of ownership the owners have relied upon.

That is what the debate is. It's not any one case.  If it were that case would be Cragin v Powell which affirms the principle of Stare Decisis. We are supposed to be able to rely on our predecessors in the absence of proven gross negiigence. It's very basic. It's about Right vs Wrong.
MLB

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 3:13 pm

Ahh, the predictable Binge, deducing that because trolls are anonymous, then all those anonymous must therefor also be trolls. 

I only post to this topic because it is of relevance to much of my work, and to simply put forth a fuller view of the topic than either Keith or you care to offer. 
Keith's incessant claim of "Bogus" or "Alternate" theory purposely fails to take into account the full complexities of the matter.  It is very apparent that his primary and possibly only goal is to discredit the authors of Clark. Far more so than the veil of his claim of wanting to discuss the core principles of boundary control in the subdivision of PLSS sections. 

Disagreeing with your's or Keith's position might make me a troll in your eyes.  So be it.  I think if you open your mind you'll find I am simply trying to debate the topic at hand. 



Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 3:34 pm

Great post and of course this argument is not about any one set of circumstances.

I remember back in the 80's in the Division of Cadastra Survey, we had invited the Eastern States Chief Surveyor (Bouman) to come over and explain why certain private survey corner monuments were not being accepted.

One specific case, was a legitimate capped private survey monument that was off their line by 2 links and I made the statement that their surveyors would not accept an existing private survey monument unless it fell in the hole that they were digging for their monument.  I did not know at that time of the "bogus theory" that no existing monument was to be accepted unless it was exactly on their survey line which just incidentally was their laying out the protracted center lines on the ground.  I did not realize that at the time.

The other part of that was, that they not only refused to accept the existing monument......but did not set their own 2 links away!  What is the private land owner to believe?

Another example just happened in Ariz. where the BLM and FS surveyors refused to accept private survey monuments that the people had relied on since the 60's and thus put some land owners in trespass with Federal Land.

The solution to that problem.........the Congresswoman got involved and got a private relief bill passed and signed by the President, that accepted the BLM/FS survey without question and now some of the land owners have to pay up to $20,000 for land they thought they owned for the last 40-50 years.  The "bogus theory" in full practice.

The fact that the Washington, D. C. cadastraal staff is fully aware of these alternative practices and refuse to address the problem, is most disturbing!!

I might ask, when was the last time that the survey procedures of each BLM State Office were reviewed?  Back in the 80's we had a committee that went to each State Office and reviewed their procedures and reported back to the Directon of their findings.  The Eastern States review was scheduled and the Chied retired suddenly.  The review proceeded and ended with a tongue lashing from the State Director about "no damn surveyors from acroos the river are going to come over here and tell us how to survey"!!

So, back on task, do you believe a private surveyor's monument automatically achieves status as an original, simply because he/she is the first one to set an interior 1/16th or C-1/4?  Automatically each and every time?

Is this a professional surveyor's actual belief?

Keith

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 3:47 pm

The question is if it your belief Keith?  



Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 5:32 pm

Anonomos Joe,

I could guess that you would believe that I do not believe that EVERY survey monument EVERY time would be accepted.

But the measuring technicians can ignore EVERY time, if it  is not EXACTLY on their protracted line that is being surveyed.

But I do believe that a judgement call is made on EVERY existing private survey monument and even those that are not EXACTLY on the line being run to place the protracted line on the ground.

My concept of professional land surveying!

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 5:37 pm

Does it not seem strange that not one person will come on here to explain/defend the "bogus theory" and be proud of it to sign their name?

The two instances that I have mentioned......Florida court case and the Arizona debacle are prime examples of the "bogus theory"!

I am sure with a little reseach in the Eastern States Survey records, I could find many more.

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by MLB on Dec 16, 2014 6:54 pm

Keith- I have told you this before. No one you mention feels any obligation to defend anything. This is the chief problem with "absolute authority".
MLB

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 16, 2014 7:21 pm

MLB,

You are right of course, but......don't you think in the minds of those who I am calling out, would say.....ok enough is enough and then go on to explain the procedures stated in the Clark's book and attemp to shut me up?

After all, they do have the Florida case to support their opinions. And of course, a careful reading of that case will show the fallicies of their decision.  But who am I to say an Appeals court case in Florida is bogus.

It is a State Court so the private surveyors in Florida will have to pay attention to it.

On another board, Deward posted about how good the case is and I challenged him to provice the field notes and we will talk about  it.

Nothing!!

I can provide (I think) the field notes for the west 1/4 sec. cor. that is the basis of the problem in sec. 15, T 14 S., R. 24 E, in Marion Co., FL, but I cannot get the notes for the interior subd. of sec. 15.

As far as I can determine, the subdivision was done by a Forest Service surveyor and apparently without BLM authorization.  If that subd. of sec. survey was approved under BLM authority, then of course it would be in the Eastern States records......and I can't find it.

It would certainly add to this discussion if the FS could provide those field note records of the east-west centerline, where the existing private survey monuments were ignored.

But, I doubt you will ever see them!

And another thing.......does anybody know who the expert witness was in this case?

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by MLB on Dec 16, 2014 9:45 pm

The problem you have Keith, is this is now settled law. To reopen the case, someone must discover some material defect or facts that undermine the foundation of the ruling. There are people who do this in the Criminal Justice System, but advocacy groups in the civil area for this type of case are rare.

The people who are conspicuous by their silence have nothing to gain and everything to lose by revisiting this case. They may well even be acting on advice of counsel to remain silent.. Let us not forget, one needs standing to bring an action assailing the ruling.

Most of the notes from this case have been linked to the survey forums in the past. I just haven't seen them for some time.Try checking the archives. Have you requested the notes from USFS?
MLB

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by AverageJoe on Dec 16, 2014 10:56 pm

Keith:


As far as I can determine, the subdivision was done by a Forest Service surveyor and apparently without BLM authorization.  If that subd. of sec. survey was approved under BLM authority, then of course it would be in the Eastern States records......and I can't find it.

It would certainly add to this discussion if the FS could provide those field note records of the east-west centerline, where the existing private survey monuments were ignored.
 
Remember,  neither the USFS or BLM surveyed the subdivisional lines. The BLM did survey the exterior boundaries, but not the interior.  There are USFS lands within the section and adjacent to the properties in dispute.  However there was no federal survey inside the section. The survey that the case centered on was performed by a private surveyor for the winning litigant Lozeau, not the USFS.  No reason to be ashamed by your misunderstanding. You can consider yourself as being in the company of Lucas as he had made the same mistake in his somewhat infamous POB article on the case.

Re: BLM's alternate method of subdividing PLSS sections.

Posted by Keith on Dec 17, 2014 12:57 pm

Well gee whiz......a mistake of unspeakable level!

I have not seen a survey of the interior subdivision of section lines and the only reference in the court document is Whit Holley Britt.

The fact that a private surveyor used the "bogus theory" to subdivide the section is probably worse than the BLM alternate subdivision surveyors.  Would you agree that his survey ignored all the existing subdivision of section corner monuments?

Why and how can a private surveyor ignore existing credible corner monuments.