University of Wisconsin–Madison

PLSS Survey Forum

The PLSS Forum has been rescheduled for Wednesday, April 25th!

Join us for a free, day-long forum entitled “Meet Me at the Corner” about the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) in Wisconsin.

The event includes a field trip where we will walk to a nearby PLSS Corner, dig to reveal the corner monument, take measurements from witness trees, and use survey grade equipment to obtain coordinates.

The objective of the forum is to explain how PLSS corner data is researched and updated in the office and in the field.

The Forum will be held at the Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort, 805 Creske Avenue, Rothschild, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, from 9 am to 4 pm.

The event is free and open to the public. Please Register Here.

The PLSS serves as the framework for property ownership in Wisconsin. Without a properly maintained network of PLSS corner monuments, there is an increased risk of property disputes, inequitable taxation, disagreements about resource rights, confusion over easement locations, and unnecessary expenditures by private citizens and local governments.

This forum will be especially interesting to County Board members, County Land Information Council members, and government decision-makers, as well as students, GIS professionals, and the general public.

The agenda is listed below:

9:00-9:10 am Introduction and overview
9:10-9:40 am The importance of PLSS (Bryan Meyer, LaCrosse County Surveyor)
9:40-10:00 am Legal descriptions, tie sheets, witness trees (Chris Fieri, Marathon County Surveyor)
10:00 am to 10:30 am Breakout Session: Research and discovery methods used to find the corner
10:30 am to 12:30 pm Field Trip: The field trip will be a few blocks walk, mainly on streets, to a section corner stone monument believed to be buried, that was set in 1909. The group will dig to reveal the monument, take measurements from witness trees, and use survey grade equipment to obtain coordinates.

This field trip will be coordinated by Chris Fieri, Marathon County Surveyor.

This field trip will happen rain or shine. Please dress accordingly, bring/wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and be prepared for what the weather holds.

12:30-1:30 pm Lunch (provided)
1:30-1:50 pm The post field-work phase (Steve Geiger, Polk County Surveyor)
1:50-2:20 pm Coordinate systems used in Wisconsin and their accuracies (Jerry Mahun, UW-Platteville)
2:20-3:20 pm Panel Discussion: Standards and best practices for PLSS data collection (Kristen Anderson, Columbia County Land Information Director; Chris Colney, Grant County Land Information Officer, Chris Fieri, Marathon County Surveyor; Bryan Meyer, LaCrosse County Surveyor; April Schoolcraft, Jackson County Real Property Lister)
3:20-3:30 pm Wrap up

Click here for a printable flyer.


This event is sponsored by the State Cartographer’s Office (SCO)  at UW-Madison.

The event was organized by the PLSS Work Group. This group was formed by individuals and organizations in Wisconsin to advocate and advance the purpose and importance of the Public Land Survey System. Our goal is to educate and encourage State, County and Municipal agencies in improving, advancing and maintaining the Public Land Survey System statewide.

For additional details, please contact either Brenda Hemstead,  or Howard Veregin.  So that we can plan ahead, we ask attendees to please register in advance. Please Register Here.