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5 I nstitutional Considerations This chapter reviews the administration of three federal geographic data bases and the interests and concerns of state, local, and private groups. The federal data bases deal with cartography (mapping), the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), and geodetic data. The institutions covered by this report are scattered through many agencies and levels. Not only are many federal agencies involved, but the interests are spread through the federal, state, local, and private sectors. Specific functions can sometimes be pinpointed to specific agencies, but often a function is defined among the many participants. Historical considerations contributed significantly to the present institu- tional picture. Often they cannot be dismissed lightly because they still constitute strong root influences. In addressing today's need, it is important to recognize the historical influences and how they affect the ability and willingness of the various organizations to work together. The interests of the participants tend to be defined in terms of their actual activities. These activities tend not to rely on external support and coopera- tions, though this parochialism is weakening as today's realities encourage cooperation. Such cooperation is handicapped by the limited variety of cooperative structures. The general view that institutions do not cooperate is unfair, for many instances of cooperation can be found. But such cooperation has rela- tively few structures that can respond to the present need to cooperate. This chapter looks at the various institutions that exist to carry on the tasks covered by this report. It examines the more important historical roots 45

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46 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM that still affect the thinking and management of these institutions. It briefly explores some of the interests involved. Finally, it suggests some mechanisms for linking activities and obtaining cooperation between the various institu- tions. The institutional arrangement that seems most appropriate to the com- mittee is the formation of a Federal Surveying and Mapping Administration (Committee on Geodesy, 1981) that would include the geodetic, cadastral, and mapping functions now performed by many federal agencies. 5~1 NATIONAL DATA BASES 5.1.1 National Cartographic Data Base In 1979 the Department of the Interior approved the establishment of the National Mapping Division (NMD) within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The NMD was organized to meet three objectives: 1. Establish the sciences of geography and cartography as core disciplines within the Survey; 2. Develop an integrated research program that would exploit information science through applications of computer and semiconductor technology to the field of spatial information; and 3. Expand the Survey's role in the federal mapping community by broad- ening the range of geographic and cartographic information systems (Southard, 1980). The national system of NMD programs consists of base mapping, such as the 7.5-minute, 1:24,000 series of topographic maps, land-use and land-cover maps at 1:250,000, orthophotoquad series to fill in for the absence of exist- ing 7.5-minute maps, a high-altitude aerial photo data-base program, and the digital cartography program. The digital cartography program addresses appli- cations of digital technology in cartography and geography. It is focused on the development of a national digital cartographic and geographic data base (Southard, 1980~. 5.1. 1. I National Digital Cartographic Data Base The National Digital Cartographic Data Base (NDCDB) includes such digital data sets as hypsography (terrain), hydrography, surface cover (National Land Use Level 2), nonvegetative features, transportation, digital elevation models, . ~

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Institutional Considerations 47 boundaries, and reference systems (Southard, 1980). The National Mapping Program, which administers this activity, also provides mechanisms so that land-attribute data (e.g., soils) can be combined with the base data sets main- tained by the NMD. This recently initiated digital data base will have the capability to integrate other data sets. 5.1.1.2 The Public Land Surrey System as a DigitalData Base Besides the previously described data sets, PLSS corners are included when located during the mapping process and are defined to mapping, not to land ownership, accuracy. This digital data base is of central importance if cadastral overlays are to be compatible with topographic maps. The PLSS digital data base is of particular importance to state, local, and private interests, as indicated in Section 3.3. 5.1.1.3 Patented, Interface, New, and Protracted Lands An important aspect of the NDCDB is that it will eventually provide a geo- graphically comprehensive digital data base for the conterrninous 48 states, Hawaii, and Alaska. Thus, this map data set applies not only to federal lands but covers all the United States, including those lands patented to state and private ownership and lands never in federal ownership. Also, it includes lands with segregated ownership rights, e.g., minerals, potential protracted lands, and new federal lands. This geographic consistency is of particular importance to those states that are largely in a patented status and also do not anticipate any major federal land acquisition activity. It is recommended that the National Mapping Division (1J accelerate the development of digital files of the 7.S-minute mapping series and (2J provide documentation of the current status, cost, and methods and procedures being employed in the development of the National Digital Cartographic Data Base. 5.1.2 Public Land Survey System (PASS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 5.1.2.1 The PLSS as a National Data Base The U.S. Department of the Interior's and the BLM'S cadastral survey author- ity traces back directly to the Ordinance of May 20, 1785. The actual transfer of responsibility to BLM for PLSS was accomplished in the Reorganization Act of 1945 and in the Act of July 16, 1946, 60 Stat. 1100, known as Re- organizational Plan No. 3. It abolished the General Land Office, consolidated others, and created the BLM. As a result, the BLM acquired responsibility for

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48 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM the administration and execution of cadastral surveys used to convey public lands from federal ownership, the acquisition of new federal lands, and all lands retained and managed in federal ownership including the Outer Conti- nental Shelf. This includes all federal interests in surface and subsurface interests (e.g., mineral rights) even though owned and managed by other public or private owners (Wilcox, 1982~. This authority and the resultant cadastral process results in survey marks and defines legal boundaries of a tract of public land or between public and private land (interface lands). In 1805, cadastral surveys acquired a quasijudicial status. Congress legis- lated that real property derived from the public domain by official transfer (patent) should have the protection of immutable boundaries and fixed acreages (43 U.S.C. 752) (Wilcox, 1982~. The Act of 1805 specifically pro- v~ded the following: 1. All section lines will be surveyed and all quarter corners on those lines established. 2. The corners set by the Surveyor General are unchangeable. 3. The lines marked by the Surveyor General are unchangeable. 4. The lengths of the section lines are unchangeable. 5. The quantity or area of a section or fractional section is unchangeable (White, undated). As a result, from 1805 forward the PASS became a fixed and spatially permanent national system of ownership description. 5.1.2.2 The PLSS and Patented Lands In 1840 Congress provided for the conveyance of the PLSS survey records to those states whenever the public land surveys were completed within a state and also the closure of the state's office of Surveyor General (White, un- dated). The Act of June 12, 1840, and 5 Stat. 384 included the following . . provlslons: Section 54. Completion of surveys; delivery to States The Secretary of the Interior shall take all the necessary measures for the completion of the survey in the several surveying districts, at the earliest periods compatible with the purposes contemplated by law; and whenever the surveys and records of any such dis- trict are completed, the Secretary of the Interior or such officer as he may designate shall deliver over to the secretary of state of the respective States, including such surveys, or to such other officer as may be authorized to receive them, all the field notes, maps, records, and other papers appertaining to land titles within the same. R.S. 2218; June 5, 1924, c. 264, 43 Stat. 394; Mar. 3, 1925, c. 462, 43 Stat. 1144; 1946 Reorg.Plan No. 3, 403, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7876, 60 Stat. 1100.

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Institutional Considerations 49 Section 55. Field notes delivered to States; access to Under the authority and direction of the Secretary of the Interior or such officer as he may designate, any deputy surveyor or other agent of the United States shall have free access to any field notes, maps, records,and other papers, mentioned in Section 53 of this title, for the purpose of taking extracts therefrom, or making copies thereof, without charge of any kind. R.S. 2220; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, 403, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7876, 60 Stat. 1100. Section 56. Conditions of delivery to States The field notes, maps, records, and other papers mentioned in Section 53 of this title, shall in no case be turned over to the authorities of any State, until such State has pro- v~ded by law for the reception and safekeeping of the same as public records, and for the allowance of free access to the same by the authorities of the United States. R.S. 2221. However, the legal intent of these three sections does not mean that the federal government, nor BLM, has ever relinquished any of its authority to the states over the maintenance or development of the PLSS (Wilcox, 1982~. It has, however, been concluded that once patenting of land occurs in a state, final determination in the matter of fixing the position of dispute and bound- aries rests with local courts of competent jurisdiction (Wilcox, 1982~. At present, BLM only becomes involved in patented land when a dispute arises over the legality of the original PLSS cadastral survey and the dispute results in a lawsuit before the federal court system (Wilcox, 1982~. In consideration of this problem it is important that original field notes be preserved (Com- mittee on Geodesy, 1980~. 5.1.2.3 The PLSS and Nonpatented Lands Nonpatented lands consist of those lands in federal ownership for which the federal government retains legal title to the surface, subsurface, or both land rights. This varies from state to state, but most nonpatented lands are located in the western states and Alaska. However, even though the majority of non- patented acres are located in the West, nonpatented lands exist in all states (see Figure 5.1~. Legally defensible boundaries are essential for identification of ownership so that the classification, management, and wise use of the public lands can proceed. They are needed to define management and use areas, to permit the development of resources without infringing on nonfederal property, and to prevent trespass or the illegal use of federal land, minerals, and resources. Legal property descriptions are required for the management of public land resources. Legal property descriptions are required for public land transfers, energy development, easement acquisition, timber sales, and grants of right- of-way, and these transactions depend on timely cadastral surveys (Wilcox, 1982~.

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TABLE 7. Companson of Federally owned land With total acreage of States as of September 80, 1978 Acreage owned by Federal Government State Alabama ............. Alaska............... Ansona .............. AM ............ Chiffon" ............ Colorado ............. Connecticut .......... Delaware ............ District of Columbia . . Florida .............. Georgia .............. Haw" .............. Idaho ................ Illinois ............... Indiana .............. Iowa ................ KanasR .............. Kentucky ............ Louiai~ ............ Maine ............... Maryland ............ llaaasehusetta ........ Michigan ............. lblinnesota ........... ~i. - ippi ........... ll~ouri ............. Montana ............. Nebraska ............ Nevada .............. New Hampahire ...... New Jersey .......... New Mexico ......... New York ........... North Carolina ....... North Dakota ........ Ohio ................. Oklahoma ............ Oregon .............. Pennsylvania ......... Rhode Island......... South Carolina ....... South Dakota ........ Tennessee ........... Texas ............... Utah ................ Vermont ............. Virginia ............. W - hington .......... West Virginia ........ Wiaeonain ............ Wyoming ............ Total ............ Public domain 29,522.6 359,8g3,660.2 311596,388.2 1,072,9B1.6 4d,20`,9~.6 22,556,275.5 .0 .0 .0 390,376.4 .0 63 117.3 32,935 271.3 437.2 432.0 340.8 26,129.2 .0 25,174.4 .0 .0 .0 296 472.5 1,165 765.9 2,454.1 2,667.3 25,241,876.6 249,192.0 61,369,838.3 .0 .0 24,172,3g9.8 .0 .0 209,149.8 220.0 149,042.3 31,02d,544.6 .0 .0 .0 1,597, 104.4 .0 .0 32,931,807.6 .0 .0 1 1, 109,327.4 .0 10, 143.4 29,634,946.9 711,961,024.2 Acquired by other methods 1,097,213.5 31,688.5 438,728.1 2,275,299.1 30666.0 2 227 168.5 12,090.6 41,229.d 19,539.1 3,513,906.7 22~241.3 '536 181.0 812,734. 1 622,977.9 578,197.0 236,180.3 705,299.0 1,391,086.6 1,086,377.0 136,606.6 369,732. 1 79,528.d 3,149,200.5 2,248,281.5 1,7",235.d 2,186,582.9 2,419,638.0 451,829.2 247,438.3 710,900.7 39S,540. 1 1,662,395.9 261,.39.5 2,191,096.0 2,173,142.8 345,561.4 1,433,872.7 1,388,890.3 706,870.8 9,061.9 1,261,939.4 1,891,2~.6 1,822,736.6 3,457,920.4 559,468.9 290,199.9 3,066,003.5 1,753,W..5 1,09d,438.3 1,855,355.0 675,862.4 Total 1,126.796.1 359,95,348.7 32,0M,116.3 3,948,220.7 47,~,ag.6 2d,7~, - .0 12,090.6 41,229.d 19,539. 1 3,90d,283. 1 2,2-,241.3 59B,298.3 93,748,006.4 623,415. 1 578,62g.0 226,521.1 731,42B.2 1,391,086.6 1,111,551.4 136,605.6 969,732.1 79,528.4 3,445,673.0 3,.14,047.4 1,746,689.5 2,189,230.2 27,661,514.6 701,021.2 61,617,276.6 710,900.7 996,540. 1 25,82d,7g5.7 261,439.5 2,191,095.0 2,382,292.6 345,771.4 1,582,915.0 32,`13,374.9 706,870.8 9,061.9 1 26d,939.d 3 488,349.0 1,822,736.6 3,457,920.4 33,491,276.5 290, 199.9 3,056,003.5 12,862,811.9 1,09d,438.3 1,~,.9B.4 _ 30,310,809.3 Acreage not . owned by Acreage of Federal State I Government 31,551 663.9 32.678 400 5,556 251.3 966,481 000 40,663, - .7 72,~,0Q0 30,251,139.3 98 59B,960 52,597,080.d 100 806 720 41,702 316.0 66 486 760 3,123 269 `. 3 136,900 1,22d,690.6 1,266,920 19,500.9 3S,040 30,816 996.9 94 721 2110 35,061 118.7 37 296'960 3,507,901.7 4,10~6 600 19, 186, 1 14.6 52,9138, 120 35,171 784.9 35 796 200 22,579 771.0 3 158 4Q0 35,633,968.9 35, - 0, - 0 51 ,779,Sl.8 52,510,720 24 121 2213.d 25 512 320 27 756 288.6 28 867 840 19,711,074.4 19,847,680 5,949 627.9 6 319 980 `,965 361.6 5 0B. - 0 33,046 487.0 96 492 160 47,791 712.6 51 206 760 28,476.030.5 90,22,720 42,069,089.8 ",248,920 66 609 525.4 98 271 040 48 330 658.8 49 081 .0 8,647,043.d 70,261,990 5,06-,0~69.3 5 768,960 4,416,899.9 ~ 813,440 51,941 606.3 77 766 400 90,.19 520.5 90 680 9 2S,211 785.0 31 412 - 0 42,070 187.d 44 462 ~ 25,876 9~.6 26 22 080 42,504 765.0 ~ 087 680 29,186 345.1 615 - no 28,097 609.2 28 ~ - 0 668,068.1 677,120 18, 10~9, 140.6 19,37d,090 45,393 571.0 48 881 920 24,904 943.4 as m 6B0 164,759,679.6 168,217,600 19,205,6B3.5 52,696,960 5,646,440. 1 5,996,640 22,-0,316.5 25,496,920 29,830,968. 1 42,693,760 14,316,121.7 15,.10,5ffO 33, 145,701.6 35,01 1,Zoo _ 32,032,230.7 62,943,040 Percent owned by Governs ment ~ 3.448 98~ .~ 44.07! 9.966 47.511 37.276 .986 3.267 50.049 11.245 6.018 14.573 68.756 1.742 2.499 .682 1.993 5.463 S.861 . WE 5.861 1.580 9.442 6.667 5.779 ~ ~Q ..~7 29.667 1.490 87.696 12.323 8.238 33.2oB .862 6.gF7 5,869 1.319 3.590 52.620 2.466 1.998 6.529 7.196 6.820 2.066 63.5S5 4.888 11.986 90.128 7.l0e 5.928 48.619 63,288,159.2 775,249,183.4 1,496,09`,176.6 2,71,343,960 34.132 ' Does not include incised water. 2 Excludes trust properties Source: Inventory Report on Real Property Owned by the United States Throughout the World, published by General Services Administration. FIGURE 5.1 From Public Land Statistics, 1978, BLM, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 50

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Institutional Considerations 51 As in the case of the National Cartographic Data Base, the PLSS iS an es- sential national data base. It is the fundamental basis for land ownership description in a major portion of the United States. It is of fundamental importance to state and local government and private interests and for the wise management of the public trust. The development of the PLSS has been a federal responsibility. What is not at all clear is who has the responsibility for monumentation and maintenance, including modernization, of the PLSS and for the condition of the patented PLSS records. We recommend that (1 J a national digital Public Land Survey System data base be created, (2} the Bureau of Land Management be responsible for this data base, and (3) the U.S. Department of the Interior conduct comprehensive investigations into the present condition and future role of the PLSS. This should include review of federal law and authorities, state and local law and authorities, the condition of PLSS records within state and local governments, and state and local programs and private and semipublic activities affecting modernization of the PLSS. 5.1.3 Geodetic Positions Two national data bases have previously been discussed: the PLSS and the National Cartographic Data Base. In the modernization of these two data bases, a digital reference system is essential. The foundation of such a digital reference system is the geodetic coordinate network, which is another national data set. This national data set includes data from various federal sources. The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) in the National Oceanic and Atmo- spheric Administration is responsible for establishing in the United States a network of geodetic positions to which surveys can be tied. Under provisions of the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-16, other federal agen- cies that perform second- and third-order surveys of sufficient accuracy are to coordinate with the NGS in placing secondary-level monuments to provide densif~cation for positional control. Important contributors to this program have been the NMD surveys performed as part of the mapping process and the BLM PLSS surveys that have been tied to the NGS network. We recommend that all federally generated second- and third-order control meeting Federal Geodetic Control Committee standards of accuracy be in- corporated into the national geodetic data base. The task of spatially relating geodetic, cartographic, and PLSS data files requires knowledge of the positional accuracy standards employed in the development of these files. Although federal standards exist for both geodetic and cartographic data, such standards do not exist for the PUSS nor do they exist for resource inventory files. We recommend that the U.S. Department of the Interior issue a report on position accuracies of PLSS corners and position accuracies and spatial resolu-

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52 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM lions of all of their resource inventory files. We further recommend that an interagency group report on the positional accuracies and spatial resolutions of all other federal resource inventory f lest 5.2 STATE AND LOCAL DATA BASES This section focuses on two issues: (1) the integration of resource (topog- raphy), cadastral (ownership), and geodetic (coordinates) files, at the state and local level, and (2) the responsibilities, needs, and benefits to be gained by federal, state, and local cooperation in modernizing the PLSS. 5.2.1 State Attempts at Integration There have been a series of attempts at bringing about the useful integration of physical, cadastral, and geodetic information. Owing to the continuing evolution of information technology (e.g., computers, remote sensing, and measurement technology) there continues to be considerable interest in such integration. Figure 5.2 illustrates the spatial integration of three basic digital files: the Wisconsin Wetlands Mapping Program File (physical), the Westport Township Parcel File (cadastral), and the PLSS File (geodetic) as expressed in Wisconsin State Plane Coordinates. 5~2.1.1 Physical Information Many of the early efforts to apply information technology have focused on physical or environmental information without regard to ownership informa- tion. Such efforts include the state of New York's LUNR System (Swanson, 1969; Tomlinson, 1976) and the Canadian Land Inventory (Tomlinson, 1967) and resultant system known as the Canadian Geographic Information System (CGIS). Additional statewide systems include the Illinois Geological Survey (ILLIMAP) (Swann et al., 1970; Du Montelle and Van Dyke, 1971) and the Kansas Geological Survey's system of geologic digitally based map- ping (Campbell and Davis, 1979~. The Minnesota Land Management Informa- tion Service (LMIS) specifically uses PLSS quarter-quarter sections es a date storage and organizational structure. Subsequently, Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) digital coordinates, accurate to 30 m, were determined for every section corner in the state. This data base was obtained from digitizing USGS topographic maps (see Chapter 3~. This PLSS coordinate data base will be used as control information for matching LMIS data with data captured from other maps. Also, for example, software is being developed to provide for the creation of township, section, or 40-acre polygons that can be "ridded into any specified cell size (Minnesota State Planning Agency, 1982~. If the

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Institutional Considerations 53 NM D would have been able to provide Minnesota with a digital version of the PLSS, it would have been of considerable use in terms of time, money, and potential gains in spatial precision. 5.2.1.2 Cadastral Information There is considerable interest, particularly at the state and local level, in the restoration and preservation of the PLSS. This interest has manifested itself in various ways, but one example at the state level exists in Wisconsin. A report issued by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (Office of State Planning and Energy, 1978) is an indication of interest in the PLSS. "Wisconsin citizens have the right to clear and unambiguous title to their property. Wisconsin, through its statutes, recognizes the importance of re- monumenting or preserving the markers of the state within a reasonable time period (by 1990) and assigns this responsibility to the counties. Our research indicates that the preservation and perpetuation of the U.S. Public Land Sur- vey System is an important function and responsibility of government, which, to date, it has failed to meet." In addressing this failure by government to maintain and modernize the PLSS, the report identified three major concerns that hinder the restoration or affect the long-term usefulness of remonumentation. They are the follow- ing: 1. The lack of specification regarding how actual remonumentation work is done in the field and the lack of recording that work in a uniform and usable fashion. 2. The lack of funding. The state has mandated the counties to remonu- ment but has not provided the counties with any incentive to meet that mandate. 3. Recapturing the full benefit of remonumentation efforts now and in the future. The restoration of the PLSS should serve as a means to more readily available and more accurate information about the land resource. To restore the system without an attempt to capture the full benefits made available from its restoration would be a waste of a considerable dollar in- vestment. Therefore, this research effort recognizes the importance of the program associated with land data and land records. Remonumentation is a major part of these issues and should be addressed in the broader context of land-data and land-records coordination. There is also considerable interest and activity at the state and local levels in developing cadastral or ownership focused information systems. Appendix A presents a partial list of such activities. These, by necessity, require as-

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I t I 31 - . . L ' , v FIGURE 5.2 Integration of data files. I_ 7 8[ ' "% ~ ~ [7 Lalce llendot~s 54 MEL .

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TOWN OF WESTPORT DANE COUNTY, WISCONSIN PARCEL MAP Hap Source: Dane County Suv~e Office - Section Shots Pored klent~cation: Dan County Tax Uster WETLAN DS I NVENTORY Source: Wisconsin DNR - Township Base Scribe (Preliminary) Ground Transformation Bond On 21 Control Points S.C.S. DISTRICT COOPERATORS Indicated By: ~ Source: Dar. County Regional Planning Commission - 11/78 at lo . ~ SCALE 1:20000 o , . . . . . . . . . o WISCONSIN COORDINATE SYSTEM, SOUTH ZONE 1 0000 FEET 3000 DIETERS GENERATED 01/24/82 ~ WESTPORT LAND RECORDS PROJECT Cam ad S~hg probe: UP COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURAL AND UFE SCIENCES en_ ~ _ ~ 08__ ~ 1_ __ U. COllEGE OF LN~EERING of_____ U. EXTENSION - ____ ~ 4~ - .-, W~51N STATE C~OGR~ER~S OFFICE CANE ~ FtEC - L POW CO - ISSUES UNWED ARMS DEPEND ~ ~L~ ~~ ~~ . ~ B_ I_ EXPERIMENTAL MAP - NOT. FOR OFFICIAL USE 55

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56 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM sociated geodetic control. Often this control and the framework of the sys- tem are built using the PLSS land organizational structure and state plane coordinates. Racine County, Wisconsin (Bauer, 1976), Jefferson County, Colorado (Swenson, 1981), Wyandotte County, Kansas (Rhodes, 1976), and Lane County, Oregon (Mahan et al., 1978) are examples. The Land Registra- tion and Information Service (LRIS) of the Maritime Provinces in Canada is the most geographically ambitious effort to develop a cadastral system based on geodetic control. Except for LRIS in Canada, these efforts have been limited to urban or urbanizing areas, and they have not formally included physical information as an integral part of the mapping system. There is considerable interest in utilizing the PLSS. It ranges from using the quarter-quarter section as the data-base cell structure to the incorpora- tion of monumented section and quarter-section corners in densification of the geodetic network. 5.2.2 Effects of the Modernization of the PLSS on Interface Lands and New Federal Lands From the state and local perspective, there are considerable potential benefits to be derived from a federal-state-local partnership modernizing the PLSS through re-establishing section corner monuments and applying geodetic coordinates. The committee notes the following: If coordinates can be established for the corners on federal lands, which is a clear obligation of the federal government, a substantial body of positional data for the country would be provided. As there is much interspersed or interface land, and as the public lands represent a major portion of the United States, establishing coordinates for the PLSS corners would increase the value of the PLSS as a base of reference for the rest of the country. State and local governments would also benefit in the establishment of PLSS coordinates upon new federal land acquisitions, transfers, or protracted transfers. However, in order to foster a successful partnership between federal, state, and local governments, modernizing the PLSS must be undertaken in such a manner as to assure substantial benefits to all three of the concerned parties. The modernization of the PLSS will require the following: 1. A geographically comprehensive effort, he., not limited to "problem areas" but with the long-term objective of covering the entire PLSS area;

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Institutional Considerations 57 2. Establishment of positions for the parcel-ownership unit that meet multipurpose cadastre standards; and 3. Geodetic coordinates for each PASS monument so that the PrSS net- work can be incorporated into a spatial fiamework to which resource and cadastral records could then be referenced. 5.2.3 Wisconsin as a State Example Even though Wisconsin is in a patented status, the potential benefits of modernizing the PLSS are of particular significance in the state's nonurban areas and its areas characterized by an interspersed pattern of federal and private land ownership (interface lands). The amount of land owned by the federal government is far from trivial. Of the 2.271 billion acres of land in the 50 states, approximately 32.5 percent is federally owned and managed in trust for citizens of the United States. The percentage of federally owned land within each state varies from state to state, with Iowa having the least percentage (0.634 percent) and Alaska having the greatest (89.4 percent) (see Figure 5.1~. Given this variance between states, a microcosm of Wis- consin is examined to illustrate the effects of interspersed federal and private ownership. Wisconsin is a PLSS state except for some early French settle- ments near the city of Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. The following data present Wisconsin's situation in relationship to federal land ownership. There are a variety of federal owners and managers, including the following: U.S. Forest Service National Park Service Apostle Islands National Lakeshore The St. Croix-Namekagen Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Ice Age Reserve U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bureau of Indian Affairs Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of Defense U.S. Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Coast Guard In addition, there are the extensive federally funded and/or supported inter- state and state highway systems. These properties are dispersed statewide. The following data present Wisconsin's situation in relationship to federal land ownership. , ~

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58 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM Of the approximately 35 million acres of land in the state, 5.3 percent, or 1.87 million acres, are federally owned. In addition, the extent of federally owned subsurface rights is unknown. Of the 50 states in rank order of the percentage of federally owned land, it ranks 31 (with #1 representing the state with the highest percentage of federal ownership). Of the 34 states that are officially included in the PLSS, Wisconsin ranks twenty-fifth. Based solely on these figures, it may seem as though modernizing the PLSS on federal lands in Wisconsin would be of limited benefit to state and local government. An investigation of interspersed federal and private ownership within a portion of the Nicolet National Forest suggests contrary evidence. Figure 5.3 consists of four township portions of Forest County and contains slightly over three townships of the Nicolet National Forest. The exterior boundary between the Nicolet National Forest and state, county, or private lands in the study area alone is approximately 33 miles in length. The total exterior boundary of the Nicolet National Forest is approximately 270 miles in length, consisting of approximately 40 townships. This amounts to approximately 270 section corners that have a federal and state-local overlap and monument boundary. Analysis of the amount of ownership interspersion indicates addi- tional amounts of boundary corner overlap (see Figure 5.3~. For example, within the 33 miles of exterior boundary, there are approximately 152.25 miles of boundary that defines private holdings within the exterior boundary of the National Forest. Using the four-township investigation as an indication of typical federal-private land interspersion, we conclude that the total amount of federal and private boundary interspersion equals approximately 2000 miles in length. There are 576 interface corners in the study area. Of these, Forest County has found it necessary to restore and monument 96 corners. This analysis results in the following conclusions. Even in a state like Wis- consin, which ranks low in overall percentage of federally owned lands, mod- ernization of the PLSS along federal and private boundaries would provide significant benefits to private owners and local and state government. Given the potential benefits in a limited federal ownership state such as Wisconsin, the benefits to other PLSS states could only be of greater economic and . . . ~ social s~gn~cance. The above provides some insight into the extent of federal and other pub- lic or private land ownership interface and interspersion. This illustrates the issue from an oversimplified surface ownership perspective. It does not por- tray the real world of fractured rights, such as mineral and water rights, nor the variety of possible public and private easement. t

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Institutional Considerations . . R14 E . T36 N 59 \\\\\\ NICOLET NATIONAL FOREST EXTERIOR BOUNDARY TOWNSHIP RANGE LINES PRIVATE LAND HOLDINGS IN NATIONAL FOREST FOREST COUNTY SECTION CORNER REMONUMENTATION U.S. FOREST SERVICE SURVEYED CORNER FIGURE 5.3 Four-township area of Nicolet National Forest in Forest County, Wis- cons~n, land ownership compared with PLSS section corner remonumentation. Also not discussed are the potential benefits when new federal land activity takes place. If the U.S. National Park Service had monumented and estab- lished geodetic coordinates for the PLSS corners on lands obtained in new park land purchases, considerable portions of rural America would be covered by a modernized PLSS. For example, the purchase of land rights in fee simple and scenic easements for the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River- way involved hundreds of property units along both sides of a 200-mile riverway. I

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60 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM We support the recommendation of the Committee on Geodesy (1980J regarding the establishment of an Office of Land Information Systems for each state. The Office staff should include qualified land surveyors. We rec- cmmend that this Office be responsible for maintaining monuments and the file of all PLSS corner coordinates for the state. Such coordinates should be determined in accordance with national standards established by the Bureau of Land Management. We also recommend the following: 1. As the PLSS corner positions are included in the digital cartographic data base, the computer code should include the source and estimated ac- curacy of the positions; 2. All interface boundaries should be remonumented and positioned in accordance with the standards recommended for the multipurpose cadastre; and 3. All retracements by federal agencies should include the remonumenta- tion and positioning of all encountered PLSS corners. We further endorse the recommendation in the report of the Committee on Geodesy (1982), which states: For all the nonfederal lands in the United States that are subdivided according to the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), we recommend that the geodetic reference frame- work for the cadastre be the quarter-corners of the PLSS sections, including the centers of the sections. Each county (or municipal) cadastre program should be made respon- sible for assuring that these points have been relocated and monumented according to the legally established procedures prevailing in each state. 5.3 PRIVATE AND SEMIPUBLIC DATA BASES It is difficult to gain a comprehensive and accurate understanding of private and semipublic activity in the development and use of resource files, digitized PLSS files, and digital data bases for patented and interface lands in the United States. However, there are enough indicators to support the fact that extensive data bases are being developed and used. 5.3.1 Private Data Bases Activity ranges from Phillips Petroleum's development of an extensive digital PLSS system to private engineering firms' development of automated digital parcel files based on the PUSS for small midwestern communities. In the case At'

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Institutional Considerations 61 of Phillips Petroleum, the system being created has potential usefulness for other large energy companies, even though the PLSS coordinates may not meet some public accuracy expectations, such as for a multipurpose cadastre. A more accurate digital PLSS would be of considerable value to Phillips Petroleum in the development of its systems and of interest to other potential buyers of the Phillips system. This has proven to be true in two small mid- western communities.Menasha,Wisconsin (1980 population 14,728), recently remonumented the PLSS and applied state plane coordinates to all quarter- section corners in digital form. Using this digital data base and an existing digitized parcel map, the engineering firm created a digital parcel file base map as the basis for an update of their comprehensive land-use plan. This task was accomplished in a cost-effective manner even when compared with manual drafting procedures. This digital merger of PLSS corners, state plane coordinates, and property or tax-property parcel maps is not without error or problems (Crossf~eld, 1981~. It does show, however, the interest and need for parcel maps for rural and urban planning. In another use and application of a PLSS coordinate system, this same engineering firm combined the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission quarter-section corner state plane coordinate data base with a parcel file and with the electric and telephone distribution system. The digitally produced data base and map were sold to a TV cable company for planning their overall cable system network and determining which existing pole would serve each potential customer. It was also used to determine strategies for marketing. 5.3.2 Semipublic Data Bases Utilities such as electric, gas, and telephone companies are extensive users of resource files and the PLSS in support of their activities. For example, it was reported in 1976 by the Wisconsin Power and Light Company that it spent $1.62 per capita on land records, or $1,476,800 (Larsen et al., 1978~. The utility reported that this included: Power plant siting, environmental studies, air and water quality studies, engineering studies, aerial photography, mapping surveys, locational record keeping activities. (Larsen etal., 1978.) This wide variety of activities, especially the utility rights-of-way and the actual transmission and distribution facilities and associated records, are geograph- ically referenced and recorded using the PASS. It was stated that to adapt to any other reference system at this time would be an "absolute nightmare." At .~

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62 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM present, however, this company is considering the automation of these records by implementing an IBM program caned Distribution Facilities In- formation System. So far this IBM automated mapping and records system has been implemented by ten different U.S. utilities. The implementation of this or a similar geographic information system would benefit considerably from an automated and modernized PLSS. Other state PLSS users would also benefit because utilities are constantly developing state plane coordi- nate values for their properties, easements, and facilities. Assuming coopera- tion were possible, automation would potentially provide greater opportunity for PLSS information sharing. We recommend that the U.S. Department of the Interior develop mech- anisms by which the private and semipublic communities earl input PLSS corner coordinate data into the file maintained by the state Office of Land Information Systems. 5~4 RESPONSIBILITY FOR MODERNIZING THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM The USGS, in constructing a digital cartographic data base, which includes PLSS data, is creating a national resource. The USGS'S responsibility, how- ever, is limited to collecting the PLSS data to mapping standards that, for 1:24,000-scale mapping, yield a point accuracy of 40 ft. The legal responsi- bilities for the physical location of PLSS corners rests with the BLM . Where the land has been patented, the responsibility is unclear. When geodetic accuracy is sought, the national standards established by the Federal Geodetic Control Committee and the geodetic network maintained by the National Geodetic Survey become involved. These parties need to work together, if modernization of the PLSS iS to be achieved in its fullest sense. 5.4.1 Federal Responsibility The following actions are suited for federal responsibility: 1. The development and maintenance of a national digital cartographic data base. 2. The development of geodetic coordinates for PLSS corners and the transferring of such data to state governments. 3. The reassertion of a federal responsibility for the overall national management, maintenance, and coordination of the PLSS. 4. Provide and set national standards for modernizing the PLSS. 5. By congressional action or executive orders or other means, establish

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Institutional Considerations 63 administrative and legal authority for the federal role in modernizing the PLSS. 5.4.2 State Responsibility The following actions are suited for state responsibility in modernizing the PLSS: 1. The reassertion of state responsibility for the PLSS-through active management, including interaction with federal and local agencies to assure statewide standards for remonumentation and coordination. 2. Act as the focal point for state sharing of PLSS coordinate data. Sections 54, 55, and 56 of the United States Code Annotated, Title 43, Public Lands explain the Act of June 12, 1840, Statute 384. It provides for discontinuance of each state's Surveyor General Office and transferred the PLSS records and the responsibility for final determination position and boundary disputes to the states (Wilcox, 1982~. The states then passed this responsibility to local units of government. 5.4.3 Local Responsibility The following actions are suited for modernizing the PASS at the local level: 1. Remonumentation and maintenance of the PLSS. 2. Establish coordinates for the PLSS consistent with state and federal activities and standards. 3. Automation of the PLSS in concert with local land records manage- ment and planning needs. 5.4.4 Private and Semipublic Responsibility The following actions are suited for private and semipublic responsibility: 1. Cooperating in the development and sharing of coordinate data. 2. Sharing digital data bases that contain PLSS information. 5.4.5 Cooperative Mechanisms If the PLSS is to be truly modernized, effective cooperation must result. There is an apparent federal responsibility. It has been stated this way: The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for the continuance of the greatest and at,

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64 MODERNIZATION OF THE PUBLIC LAND SURVEY SYSTEM most extensive [land] cadastral surveying operation in history. . . the Public Land and Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) survey of the United States. These surveys, and the records they create, are the legal basis of title and ownership to the fundamental re- sources of the United States . . . the land estate. (Hostrop, 1980.) To bring about modernization of the PLSS, federal, state, and local respon- sibilities must address a varied and extensive array of possible cooperative mechanisms. Some of the cooperative mechanisms that need to be considered and evaluated are the following: 1. Technology sharing between federal, state, and local agencies. 2. The development of standard specifications as to major functional activities. 3. The development and sponsoring of federal legislation as a means to identify and clarify responsibilities, intent, and duration. 4. The development of model state-local legislation to bring about coordi- nation and integration. 5. The development and implementation of coordination and maintenance standards. 6. The coordination of education and training programs. 7. The expansion and intensification of pilot projects between federal and state governments to be used to test and evaluate such items as standards, technology, and applications. 8. The development and sharing of applicable software. 9. The development of standards and procedures that provide for state, local, private, and semipublic groups to work and share PLSS coordinated data. As the basis for developing a relevant, useful, and integrated set of coopera- tive institutional mechanisms, the Secretary of the Interior should be respon- sible for coordinating, sponsoring, and conducting a series of meetings with organizations that can represent state and local government, such as the Council of State Governments, the National Association of County Officials, the State Conference of Governors, and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and its affiliated state societies including the American Associa- tion of State Surveyors. This group would be responsible for overall development and implementa- tion of a modern Public Land Survey System.