Surveyors volunteer efforts to mark national observance
Michigan’s surveyors celebrated National Surveyor’s Week (March 20- 26) on March 19 by participating in a Surveying USA Event with teams of volunteers to simultaneously measure the coordinates of key points of interest.
The surveyors from the Northeast Chapter of the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) traveled to the Northern end of the lower peninsula to survey the position of a Public Land Corner on the Principal Meridian. The corner selected by the team was the 1/4 corner common to Section 25, T38N, R1W and Section 30 T38N, R1E, located in Cheboygan County. The corner was originally surveyed in 1840 by John Hodgeson, deputy surveyor for the Government Land Office.
The surveyors, including Carl Kiiskila, PS from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE), representatives of the Northern Chapter of MSPS Marvin E. Myers, PS and Cole Sorenson, LIS, with Rowe Professional Service Co., Phil Case, PS with Gordie Fraser selected their site in Cheboygan County, which has been recorded and processed through the Michigan Remonumentation Program in 1993. The team used Advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment to record the position of the corner.
The corner was located in a wooded area, and because GPS measurements are affected by trees that block or deflect signals, two control points were set outside of the canopy along the highway where the GPS measurement could be measured unobstructed. A Robotic Total station was used to measure angle and distances to the corner.
The Robotic Total Station runs a program to measure and average multiple sets of angles and distances between control points and the monument. The stump of a “witness” or “bearing tree” was found in good condition and was used to verify the position of the existing monument.
A balsam that was a witness tree and added as an accessory in 1993 was dead and blocked the line of sight so it was removed and live trees were used to create a new accessory or witness corner.
A land corner recordation certificate (Land Corner Certificate) will be recorded at the register of deeds with the updated information. Remonumentation requires each monument to have a minimum of four accessories. That’s why corners need to be visited from time to time to add accessories to restore the position of the corner should the corner monument be destroyed.
The corner was originally marked by a cedar tree and subsequently marked with a pipe. It currently is marked with a standard county monument with an aluminum cap placed inside the old pipe, alongside is a typical 1/2” bar with a plastic cap.
Surveyors across the nation hosted simultaneous events. The goal of the NSPS Surveying USA is to give the public an opportunity to observe local surveyors in action and to learn more about the profession.
For information on the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors, visit www.misps.org.