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Jerry Broadus, PLS, Esq. (left) in 2009 authored Washington State Common Law of Surveys and Property Boundaries. Bob Dahl, PLS (right) was the chief editor of the 2009 Bureau of Land Management Manual of Surveying Instructions. This past Friday, they teamed up to provide a presentation to surveyors titled “Fractional Sections: Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Rules, and “Following Footsteps” when Resolving Boundary Problems.

I attended this all day seminar and did my best to keep up. However, the subject matter was obviously designed for its intended audience. As a result, it was like “drinking from the fire hose.” In other words, I think that I am lucky if I was able to take away even 2-5% of the content.

That said, the small overall percentage that I was able to glean was extraordinary. From what I can make out, surveying is not nearly as suscinct as lay people would like to think it is. In fact, when the country was being mapped out in order to grant original parcel patents, so long as 6 mile X 6 mile parcel, and the sections therein, had no more than a 5% error … well, it was fine to just call things good.

While the discussion touched on several topics, the primary analysis throughout the day was how to perform surveys when water from a lake, river, bay, sound, you name it “invaded” the and as such no monument was, nor can be, placed at the proper corners. The next step is how to then proceed to identify how previous surveyor(s) interpreted the situation in order to conform one’s own survey.

So, this is where the analysis of meanders comes. As you know, here in Western Washington there are a number of such types of water, so the seminar was particularily topical to the attending surveyors.

While the information is going to generally be well beyond that which an attorney would use unless seeking to impeach a surveyor acting as an expert witness, the best place to locate these books individually or in combination for reduced price is at the South Puget Sound Chapter of LSAW here.justice-smiles-red.png