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Restoration of Lost Corners by Proportionate Measurement
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  Section 1- Fundamental Background Information

Now that you have all the tools you need, let's begin by getting a handle on the scope of this particular phase of resurveying as it pertains to the BLM and your job as a cadastral surveyor. It should be remembered that the ultimate purpose of any resurvey procedure, and this includes identifying or restoring lost corners, is not to correct the flaws or errors of the original survey. The purpose is to accurately determine where the original corner was placed in the beginning. This means that the methods of proportionate measurement should be applied only after all other means have been exhausted. As a last resort, we turn to proportionate measurement which harmonizes surveying practice with legal and equitable considerations.




The rules for restoration of lost corners have remained essentially unchanged since 1883, when they were first published by the Department of the Interior. Legal precedence for the prime validity of the original survey dates back to at least 1888, in the Cragin vs. Powell case. The Supreme Court of the United States sited the following statement: A resurvey properly considered is but a retracing with a view to determine and establish lines and boundaries of an original survey.




As a BLM cadastral surveyor, you are responsible only to your supervisor and ultimately to the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. This means that your duties will normally be concerned with boundary issues concerning public lands, those held or managed by the Federal Government. All other lands fall into the jurisdiction of the state or local authorities involved. However, both private and public lands may be resurveyed by the BLM if it is essential to properly identify lands still under Federal control.

Picture of survey crew
Picture of Supreme Court building
Picture of early nineteenth century surveyors
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