Central Valley Chapter
California Land Surveyors Association

Promoting the professional practice of land surveying in the California Central Valley.
Serving the greater Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin County Area."


Presenting Two Seminars by

Steve Parrish, PLS, WRS, CFedS

  • When: Wednesday December 2
  • Where: 1010 Tenth Street, Basement Training Room (B300), Modesto
  • Cost: $75 per session for CLSA Members (or $125 for both when purchased together)
    $100 per session for for non-members (or $175 for both when purchased together)


  • REGISTRATION (8:00am - 8:30am):

  • MORNING SESSION (8:30am - 12:00pm):
    Walking in the Footsteps of Previous Surveyors

  • AFTERNOON SESSION (1:00pm - 4:30pm):
    Double Monumentation – Physical and Inferred


Steve Parrish

Steve began surveying with the U.S. Forest Service in 1963, acquired his Utah PLS in 1973 and worked with the USFS through 1984. He transferred to the BLM In 1985 and was selected as BLM Nevada Cadastral Chief in 1989. Steve left the government in 1995 to survey in the private sector. He is licensed in 7 states, a Nevada water rights surveyor and was county surveyor for three California counties 1999-2012.
Steve is a contributor to “The Surveying Handbook” (Brinker and Minnick), has presented workshops in 27 States and Canada, and was an instructor for the BLM/FS Advanced Cadastral Survey Courses for 12 years. He shares his 49+ years of land surveying experience through workshops, consulting, and expert witness testimony. He worked for Tri State Surveying 1999-2012, teaches SUR360 for Great Basin College, and acquired his CFedS certificate in 2007. In 2009, Steve graduated from Great Basin College (Elko, NV) with a Bachelor of Applied Science/Technology degree.

Walking in the Footsteps (of Previous Surveyors)

We frequently use the saying “walking in the footsteps of the original surveyor” with reference to our professional responsibilities as land surveyors. An inference is made that this saying only applies to the footsteps of the “original” government surveyors. We accept the idea that we must look thoroughly for evidence of the “original” survey but often fall short when looking for evidence of “all surveys” subsequent to the original survey.

Our challenge is further complicated by the existence of so many different types of surveys (each with subtle differences). Examples include pre–1785 metes and bounds, post–1785 rectangular, mineral surveys, homestead entry surveys, ranchos, land grants, exchange surveys, donation land claims, reservations, parcel maps, records of survey, ALTA surveys, administrative (State. County, City boundaries), and a myriad of related surveys.

To be successful, a surveyor must understand boundary law, proportionate measurement, error analysis, deed interpretation, description writing, evidence analysis, survey history, retracement techniques, and numerous related surveying and mapping skills. Equally important is the ability to communicate effectively – orally and in writing.

During this workshop, a variety of challenging situations will be presented for discussion amongst the attendees. Conflicting evidence, description ambiguities, multiple monuments, research methods, and conflict resolution are a few of the topics to be discussed.

Steve's North Dakota Photos

Steve's Walking in the Footsteps handout

Steve's Walking in the Footsteps full handout part 1

Steve's Walking in the Footsteps full handout part 2

Double Monumentation – Physical and Inferred

“My monument is better than yours.” We seldom actually verbalize this thought, but it is frequently inferred in varying ways. Determining which (if any) of two or more existing monuments will be accepted as the single corner point is a major task associated with most urban boundary surveys.

Project costs are seldom estimated on the basis of the depth of research required to verify the pedigree of existing monuments and records. The act of calling for a corner position, a mere 2 to 4 hundredths of a foot from an existing monument, verges on insanity. In actuality it is near impossible to duplicate even our own angular and distance measurements on a consistent basis. Principles, rather than math, should govern our decisions. This workshop will highlight a variety of “real” double (or more) monument situations, solicit audience comment, and then provide the actual decision – right or wrong.


  • Introduction:
    • Why Two or More Monuments?
    • Participant Brainstorming
    • Monument Pedigree

  • Many Reasons but Few Justifications:
    • The Data Base (Basis of Bearings)
    • Grid or Ground
    • Original vs. Deed
    • Micromanaging Measurements

  • Acceptable Procedures – Who is to Decide?
    • Proportioning
    • Ties
    • Age of Evidence
    • Junior – Senior

  • Case Studies:
    • GLO Monument and Adjacent Rebar/Cap
    • Davis Deed: Nothing More–Nothing Less
    • PK Nail Pincushion
    • Dedicated Travel–Ways
    • “Monument Not Set”

  • Questions and Summary

Participants will learn:

  • why two monuments may lead to litigation
  • why adequate research is essential
  • that you may not always be right

Steve's Double Monumentation printout handout

Steve's Double Monumentation full handout

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CLSA Member


Chapter News:

Holiday Social Event

Wednesday, December 6th

Our Newsletter "The Prism" September 2017

California Surveyor: "Issue 185"


BPELSG New corner_record_instructions

"It is important to understand that effective April 1, 2017, all new Corner Record submittals must use the new form."

BPELSG Example CBT Examination Questions:

BPELSG Bulletin:Fall 2017

New in the Library:

Tuolumne County - Updated Record Maps and Corner Records, added Mineral Surveys
San Joaquin County - added Filed Map Footprints
updated February 2016 Guide to the Preparation of Maps
updated ROS, PM, M&P, Corner Records
Madera County - updated Record maps
Santa Clara County - updated Record maps and Corner Records
Sacramento County - added link to Geographical Map Index
Fresno County - updated record maps
Stanislaus County - updated record maps

CLSA Chapter Website of the Year - 2012-2014