From the Editor: The Right of Access

Joe Fenicle is back, this time with an article about hunters in Wyoming who are fighting with landowners trying to prevent them from reaching public lands. Joe does an excellent job of presenting both sides, but it does appear that the landowners are attempting to keep all the local game available for their for-profit hunting camps. I’m curious as to whether these shenanigans have impacted surveyors. If so, please send me your experiences. While this situation might appear to just be local, our country is a patchwork of various laws regarding the right of trespass for surveyors. In some states, surveyors are protected while doing their job, in others they have to notify adjoiners that they will be working in the area. I’d also like to hear your experiences regarding trespass.

The rest of the issue is chock-full of articles that will entertain and educate, beginning with another installment from Jed Gibson, this time about a survey in Big Sur. As Jed says, it’s not every day the office becomes a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Next, we have another installment from Chuck Whitten about searching for ancient PLSS corners. The article won an annual award from the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon. Our thanks to PLSO for allowing the reprint. Part 2 will appear in the next issue. In this month’s installment, Wendy Lathrop asks how much research is enough. While Wendy is referring to deed research, looking for corners falls in the same category. When do you call it quits and declare the corner lost? And thus, we have the surveyors lament: when is there ever enough money in the budget for yet another trip to the courthouse or the field?

Trimble provides another article in the new issue, this time about remote monitoring for a railway project. Likewise, Marc Olmeda discusses a project for which the innovative use of laser scanning made quick work of a tricky measurement task. Looking back at my own career, the most fun involved setting up the logistics of each project and determining the best tool. Turning angles and shooting distances became ho-hum, but deciding where to measure from and with what was much more challenging.

Rounding out the issue is an article from Steven Martin about the coming death of the US Survey Foot. I remember back in the 90s how some surveyors would complain about having to deal with changing epochs, etc. I always reminded them that this is our job, one that we don’t want John Q or non-surveyors to understand or be able to do. In a time when we are seeing non-surveyors steadily take our work it is incumbent of us to look for things we, and only we, can do.

Finishing out the issue, Carl De Baca addresses something I’m sure most of you are confronting: recruiting and retention. I hear varying reports from across the country: some can’t find enough help, others have enough, and all are dealing with the potential for employee poaching. Carl lays it out, not only for securing and keeping employees, but for looking toward the future and the things we can do to preserve our profession.

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About the Author

Marc Cheves, PS

Marc Cheves is editor emeritus of the magazine. He has been a surveyor since 1963 and is licensed in five states. Since 1995 he has been a surveying magazine editor.