Bureau of Land Management Solar Energy Program Western Solar Plan
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Cadastral Survey Policies

To protect evidence of previous cadastral surveys, a review of Boundary Evidence will be completed prior to approval of a solar energy right-of-way (ROW).

Prior to approval of any solar energy ROW application that

  1. is within 0.25 mi (0.4 km) of a boundary as described in BLM IM 2011-122 issued May 24, 2011,
  2. does not conform to the Public Land Survey System (PLSS),
  3. can be located only by a protraction diagram, or
  4. may potentially affect a body of water,

the responsible field office will coordinate with the respective State Office Chief Cadastral Surveyor to ensure adequate Cadastral Survey review of Boundary Evidence. The applicant shall be liable to the BLM for the reasonable cost of such review under the ROW application cost-recovery agreement with the BLM.

All authorizations for solar energy development on BLM-administered lands will contain the following stipulation:

Evidence of the PLSS and related Federal property boundaries will be identified and protected prior to commencement of any ground-disturbing activity. This will be accomplished by contacting BLM Cadastral Survey to coordinate data research; evidence examination and evaluation; and locating, referencing, or protecting monuments of the PLSS and related land boundary markers from destruction. In the event of obliteration or disturbance of the Federal boundary evidence, the responsible party shall immediately report the incident, in writing, to the authorizing official. The BLM Cadastral Survey will determine how the marker is to be restored. In rehabilitating or replacing the evidence, the responsible party will be instructed to use the services of a Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS), procurement shall be per qualification-based selection, or reimburse the BLM for costs. All surveying activities will conform to the Manual of Surveying Instructions (Manual) and appropriate state laws and regulations. Local surveys will be reviewed by Cadastral Survey before being finalized or filed in the appropriate state or county office. The responsible party shall pay for all survey, investigation, penalties, and administrative costs.

Updated: 6/19/2013