I recently received my February addition of The American Surveyor and enjoyed your article that focused on the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society and all their accomplishments. As a Licensed Surveyor in both Alabama and Florida and a member of the Alabama Society of Land Surveyors (ASPLS) and FSMS there are many similarities between both States. The exception is that Alabama and ASPLS is in the infancy stages of where Florida and FSMS was thirty years ago. In 1997 Alabama started its first Geomatics program at Troy University and as of December 31, 2007 the Board of Licensure in the State of Alabama no longer excepts "grandfather" applications leaving the only way to get licensed is by receiving a four year degree.
This article really hit home with me due to the fact that Alabama is a very ambitious State wanting to increase the number of surveyors and members of our state society. But currently our profession has come under attack by some State Legislatures in Alabama. House Representative Marc Keahey and Senator Pat Lindsey have introduced bills (House Bill #333 and Senate Bill #386) that would allow for "Rural Surveyors" in the State in areas of population of 5000 people or less. The House Bill only requires that the applicant produce three letters of recommendation attesting to the fact that you can survey and the Senate Bill has the addition of only a State test. These are horrible bills and if passed in our State could effect all surrounding states. We are fighting these Bills very hard, but if passed there will surely be reason for us to worry about the future of Surveying! Since the introduction of these bills there has been some very wealthy organizations that have gotten on board and are backing these bills.
Alfa Insurance and the Farmers Federation are backing these bills because they claim we have a monopoly on surveying and their clients can’t receive timely and cost efficient surveys. The State Foresters Associations is also backing these bills due to the fact that 90% of Alabama is considered rural and timber is the number one crop in Alabama. The Foresters already are responsible for most of the surveyor’s headaches. They usually wait until after they have cut the timber for us to come in and survey a line and then say they didn’t cross over onto the neighbor’s property.
Anyway I thought you might be interested in these bills and how it would affect the future of surveying in the State of Alabama. If you would like to know more please feel free to give me a call or you may call our Society’s executive director Ann Galloway @ 334-279-7040.
Thanks in advance for your time and once again great article!
Cory E. Rushing, PLS
Vice-President of Surveying