Twice Told Tales...................................pg 10 Opus Shared Solutions inMaine....pg 13 The Oregon July/August 2022 A publication of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon
Editorials From the PLSO Office, by Aimee McAuliffe, PLSO Executive Secretary 4 From the Publications Committee, by Tim Kent, PLS 6 Featured Articles Early American Surveying Equipment, by Dr. Richard L. Elgin, PS, PE 7 Twice Told Tales, by Chuck Whitten, PLS 10 Opus Shared Solutions in Maine, by David Wellman, PLS, PE 13 Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History, by Renee Clough, PLS, PE, AICP 15 Columns Member Spotlight, by Vanessa Salvia 16 Surveyors in the News, by Pay Gaylord, PLS 18 The Lost Surveyor, by Pat Gaylord, PLS 20 On the Cover This picture was taken on Weyerhaeuser ground by Dan Hunyada while he worked for Baker and Associates Surveyors out of Eugene. He took this August 17, 2016, up Teeters Creek in Lane County. The Oregon Surveyor is a publication of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO). It is provided as a medium for the expression of individual opinions concerning topics relating to the Land Surveying profession. Address changes & business All notifications for changes of address, membership inquiries, and PLSO business correspondence should be directed to Aimee McAuliffe, PO Box 230548, Tigard, OR 97281; 503-303-1472; email@example.com. Editorial matters & contributions of material The Oregon Surveyor welcomes your articles, comments, and photos for publication. PLSO assumes no responsibility for statements expressed in this publication. Editorial matters should be directed to Vanessa Salvia, firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising policy Advertising content and materials are subject to approval of the PLSO Board and LLM Publications. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising that simulates copy; material must be clearly marked as “Advertisement.” For advertising, contact: Ronnie Jacko, email@example.com; 503-445-2234, 800-647-1511 x2234. A publication of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon Executive Secretary Aimee McAuliffe PO Box 230548 Tigard, OR 97281 503-303-1472 Toll-free: 844-284-5496 firstname.lastname@example.org www.plso.org Published by LLM Publications 503-445-2220 • 800-647-1511 www.llmpubs.com Advertising Ronnie Jacko, email@example.com Design Jon Cannon © 2022 LLM Publications Editor Vanessa Salvia Publications Committee Tim Kent, Interim Chair Pat Gaylord Samantha Tanner Contents Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon @ORLandSurveyors The Oregon Vol. 45, No. 4 July/August 2022
2 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4
3 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org
4 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 From the PLSO Office Aimee McAuliffe, PLSO Exec. Secretary New Membership Year Begins at a Sprint It is official—the new membership year began July 1 and will run through June 31, 2023. If you have not renewed your membership yet, this will be your final edition. I hope you will remember to go online and renew your membership today. Our summer has kicked off with various outreach events and partnerships through legislative activities such as Duty to Defend at the state level, career fairs, networking events with teachers, and more. We are also still in the process of working on ways to market through social media. In June, I spoke with Tim Burch, Executive Director of National Society of Professional Surveyors, about their current project to create promotional footage for each of the states to personalize for their own use. The NSPS goal is to demonstrate the aspects within people’s current lives that apply to the specialization of today’s surveying profession. Examples such as robotics, GNSS, and scanning/remote sensing will demonstrate our personal tech connection with the instruments and skills needed for surveying and geospatial careers. If approved by the Board, PLSO will then allocate funds to tailor the footage to our state and stream it. This is where I ask people to keep an open mind. More than once when PLSO looks to bring on creative professionals to assist in promotion and branding, I get suggestions about doing it on a shoestring budget and doing it ourselves. (I’m taking a dramatic pause right now to let the thought sink in on an ironic level. Could you imagine if someone were to call you and suggest they could do your job without a license, using just the GPS on their phone. OH, wait…) The answer is the same as it is for you. Because we want it done right. Don’t misunderstand me, I haven’t received a proposal with a high price tag that I’m waiting to spring on the board. I’m getting the necessary information and laying the foundation for the board to make an appropriate decision. I know these things take time for an association. And we are getting there, but if you DO want to help, go ahead and buy a t-shirt in the PLSO online store as proceeds go towards funding this project. Another development for the new membership year is to keep highlighting the importance of partnerships, which includes vendor companies. In June, the board voted to include the Sustaining Membership category. Per our bylaws as of June, a Sustaining Member is a business that provides goods or services to the land surveying profession. Any employee of the Sustaining Member may serve as a Committee Chair, but not as a Board Member. Benefits may include a booth discount at the PLSO conference, being listed as a Sustaining Member on the PLSO website and a link to that page from the eNews. Why is the structure different for Sustaining Membership? The category is by company because that is the benefit they need from PLSO—to be in front of you—showing support for what you do. For our surveyors, membership belongs and goes with the professional wherever they work. For our sustaining members, membership stays with the company. Why is this important you ask? We all have the same interests—a healthy, skilled, successful land surveying work force to protect the public it serves. Renew your membership if you have not done so, become a Sustaining Member if it applies, help write curriculum for our up-and-coming professionals, and be kindhearted. Be patient with yourself and others. Be a community.
5 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org From the PLSO Office As we look forward to seeing the 2022– 2023 year unfold, we will continue to promote the profession to students, teachers, and career counselors. We have members representing PLSO in task forces, schools, events, and at the national level. Our Legislative Committee has met with our new Legislative Committee Chair, James Hepler, and lobbyist Darrell Fuller for the upcoming legislative session to discuss bills that may affect the surveying profession. The Conference Committee continues to work on strong continuing education opportunities for our next conference, scheduled for January 18–20, 2023, at the Salem Convention Center. One program that we need volunteers for is the Professional Practices Committee. Board Chairman Jeremy Sherer is looking for professionals to be available for a couple of months to help create curriculum for the Emerging Leaders Program. This program is intended to assist our younger members in developing their leadership skills within the professional community. If this interests you, please contact Jeremy. It has been a really busy year. I know how tired so many of you are, working at the pace that you have been for the past two years or more. I know clients want their surveys yesterday. I know what I’m asking when I ask for your time. Consider it an investment in the people that are coming up to help shoulder the work and pick up the baton for you. That involves paying for their associate membership and getting them involved. Today, while I was writing this column, a member described PLSO as a kindhearted association that deserves a break. I’ll be honest, I chuckled a bit. Not because I didn’t agree. It was just a plain honest statement that was refreshing. I’m not sure what that says about me that I was surprised by it. As I sat with it a bit, I thought it was ironic. That particular member is one of the reasons PLSO is thought of like that, but they didn’t recognize it. They just wanted to do right by the organization, even if I had noticed just the day before they were clearly exhausted from juggling so many balls in the air. It is not my wish to burn out our highly valued volunteers. Let’s help themout and pitch in. Renew your membership if you have not done so, become a Sustaining Member if it applies, help write curriculum for our up-and-coming professionals, and be kindhearted. Be patient with yourself and others. Be a community. How to Send Us Your Work Please email the editor Vanessa Salvia with submissions. firstname.lastname@example.org Your submission should be in .doc format. Please send images separately (not embedded in the document) and at the highest file size available (MB size range versus KB size range—larger sizes are encouraged). Please include the author’s name and email address or phone number for contact.
6 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 From the Publications Committee Tim Kent, PLS FIELDNOTES FROM THE PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE As we struggle to find avenues to recruit the younger generation into the profession of surveying, we are on the edge of losing another long-term program. The surveying merit badge is in the bottom 10 of merit badges earned according to the 2020 report by the blog of Scouting Magazine (blog.scoutingmagazine.org). This report has a plethora of data about all of the merit badges, from the good to not so good, in accordance to popularity and other data points. The surveying merit badge is one of the 57 original programs that began in 1910. There are now 137 badges available and in 2020 there were 603 surveying merit badges earned. This ranked the surveying merit badge at number 136, just one place above the least-earned bugling merit badge. The drafting merit badge doesn’t fare much better. It is ranked at number 134 with 1,026 badges earned. The surveying merit badge has shown a steady decline in the past five years, from 1,028 in 2016 to 603 in 2020. The drafting merit badge has remained steady at about 1,000 badges earned in each of those years. Over the lifetime of offering the surveying merit badge, it is ranked at number 102 with just over 157,000 badges earned. The drafting merit badge is ranked at number 86 with almost 232,000 badges earned. This merit badge decline mimics the overall health of recruiting and employment for the surveying profession. From scouting to TrigStar to TwiST to career days and to any other effort we participate in, each opportunity of recruitment counts, no matter how many are contacted or where the information was obtained. There is no one silver avenue that will magically save the surveying profession. Each of us is responsible to ensure that we leave a legacy to our profession. You are encouraged to do something that will fill the void of new recruits into the surveying profession. The programs are in place, and assistance is available if needed. Set aside some time and make a plan to be involved in recruiting. We will become stronger and more visible if each of us participates. Paraphrasing the famous quote by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon and an eagle scout, “Take one small step for recruitment, one giant leap for surveying.” The organization’s older youth program, Boy Scouts, is now called “Scouts BSA” and includes both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 17. The program for younger kids, Cub Scouts, has welcomed girls since 2018. If you’d like to become a merit badge counselor for local Scouts, please contact email@example.com. Set aside some time and make a plan to be involved in recruiting. We will become stronger and more visible if each of us participates.
7 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org continues Featured Article EARLY AMERICAN SURVEYING EQUIPMENT By Dr. Richard L. Elgin, PS, PE Much of America’s surveying practice descended from the English, but our early surveying equipment did not. The Old World used the delicate, expensive theodolite to divide its lands, sighting on points and measuring angles on a divided, graduated circle. American surveyors needed to establish boundaries over vast wildernesses which were difficult to traverse and they needed to do it quickly and cheaply. Enter American innovation, technology and craftsmanship to improve a device used by mariners for hundreds of years, a form of which was being made in England, the magnetic compass. The result was the rugged, inexpensive standard American compass. As one commentator said of the American compass “where accuracy can be sacrificed to speed and cheapness.” The Compass The compass with its rugged body of wood or brass, two sight vanes, a leveling device and placed on a staff or tripod, required only a balanced magnetized needle resting on a sharp point. The needle aligned itself with the earth’s magnetic field and pointed to magnetic north. Magnetic north was known to move and hence was a poor direction with which to reference boundaries. This movement was well known, being noted in some 1746 instructions that it “…may in time occasion much confusion in the Bounds…and, Contention.” Variation, the angle between the the true meridian (a line of longitude) and magnetic north was known to differ at different locations on earth and the angle was known to change in amount over time and location. True north was a better reference direction and in 1779 Thomas Jefferson wrote that the plats of surveys were to be drawn “protracted by the true meridian” and the variation noted. The first standard American compasses were “Plain” compasses. They used magnetic north and had no mechanism for applying the variation angle, converting magnetic direction to true direction. David Rittenhouse (1732–1796) was an American man of science. He is generally credited with adding a vernier to the plain compass so one could “set off” the variation, the needle still pointing to magnetic north, but the bearing to the object sighted read on the compass circle being the true bearing. Thus the “plain compass” became the “vernier compass,” a great advancement in the American compass. The Land Ordinance of 1785 specified that all lines be surveyed “by the true meridian…the variation at the time of A rare solar compass by a very rare maker, John S. Hougham; Franklin, Indiana. Compass was made about 1861. All images are photos of instruments in Richard Elgin's collection.
8 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 Featured Article running the lines thereon noted.” Tiffin’s Instruction of 1815 (the first written instructions issued by the GLO to its Deputy Surveyors) specified “a good compass of Rittenhouse construction, have a nonius division...” This is a vernier compass, “nonius division” meaning a vernier. Thus, the vernier compass became the standard instrument for surveys of the USPLSS. Until... William Austin Burt and his Solar Compass William Austin Burt (1792–1858) was a GLO Deputy Surveyor, who, in 1835 while laying out townships in Wisconsin, noted unusual deviations in the lines surveyed using his compass. He began work on a method and form of compass that would determine the direction of the true meridian independent of magnetic north. He invented an ingenious device that uses the observer’s latitude, the sun’s declination, and local time to determine true north. The device mechanically solves the PZS (Pole-Zenith-Star) Triangle. The prominent Philadelphia maker, William J. Young (1800–1870) built the device, and Burt was awarded Patent 9428X on February 25, 1836. Burt made improvements to his solar compass and an improved version was patented in 1840. In 1850, Burt’s patent expired, which allowed other makers to produce the solar compass. (The circumstances of the expired patent are a sad story.) There are about 12 known post1850 makers of solar compasses. All the solar compasses made prior to 1850 are marked “Burt’s Patent” and “W.J. Young” or “Wm. J. Young,” he having made them. They are not dated or numbered. Those made by Young after about 1852 are numbered. Is it a transit or a theodolite? Generally, the theodolite refers to an instrument with divided circles to measure both horizontal and vertical angles to high precision, the telescope is relatively long and will not transit (rotate 360 degrees) about its horizontal axis. The more common term “transit” refers to an instrument with both horizontal and vertical circles (only horizontal on early transits), a 4-screw leveling head, bubbles for leveling and a telescope that will transit. William J. Young is credited with building the first dividing engine in America. That allowed him to cut circles and he is credited with building the first American transit in 1831. The transit developed and attachments, such as a variation on Burt’s solar compass, was added by many manufacturers. For mining applications, parallel telescopes were added, thus allowing sightings at large vertical angles into steep mine shafts. Large precise transits were constructed for control surveys and astronomical observations. Horizontal circle diameters can be as large as 18 inches. Solar transit by W. & L.E. Gurley; Troy, New York. continued Gimbaled compass by James Reed (1792–1878) of Pittsburgh. Used in the mines.
9 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org Featured Article Collecting and Values Early and vintage surveying equipment is highly collectible. It is the surveyor’s heritage, representing about 200 years of advancing measurement technology. Some illustrate incredible craftsmanship and artistry (especially of the early makers). As with other collectibles there are highly desirable, usually rare instruments (such as the solar compass). And, there are the early Virginia and Pennsylvania makers that made compasses that are works of art. But, even instruments by prolific makers like W. & L.E. Gurley and Keuffel & Esser are desirable. There are many collectors of early American surveying equipment, some with very large collections. Most collectors buy and sell instruments, research makers and surveying equipment, and a few offer repair and restoration services. Most collectors focus on a particular maker (or two), and others focus on the makers of a particular city (St. Louis, for example), and others are interested in a particular instrument form (transits with unusual attachments, for example). There are online resources for early surveying equipment. Some are www.surveyhistory. org run by David Ingram, the Facebook page, Antique Surveying Instrument & Ephemera run by Dale Beeks, and www. compleatsurveyor.com by Russ Uzes. Among the collector community there is broad and deep knowledge of early American surveying equipment, but that knowledge is not well documented. There are not many reference books on the makers and their equipment. A few have been covered in articles and short treatises but there are not good reference materials on the broad topic. What are we going to do with Grandpa’s surveying stuff, and what’s it worth? Regrettably, there is not a national museum or repository where surveying equipment can be donated. Beloved equipment left to families or owned by old surveyors and seeking a home have limited options. The Smithsonian will not accept any such equipment, except for historically important equipment with known provenance. Most such equipment is not highly valuable. It is likely 90 percent of such equipment would be worth less than $1000 per piece. Eight percent would likely be worth up to $10,000. One and one-half percent up to $100,000. And the last 0.5 percent over $100,000. Most collectors will have no interest in about 90 percent the equipment offered to them (they already have plenty of early to mid1900s Gurley and K&E transits and levels). The best recipient for most low- to midlevel surveying equipment may be a local museum, particularly if the equipment was used in the area by a local surveyor. As with most collectibles, old or vintage surveying equipment is not worth what it was 10 or 20 years ago. The rare, unusual, historically important pieces have not lost their value during that time period and can easily be sold. The Future Boundary surveyors, being mensurators, detectives, and historians, have an appreciation for the equipment that laid out America. The equipment is our heritage, to be preserved, admired, studied, and displayed. Every boundary surveyor needs an old compass and a chain proudly displayed on their desk. Dr. Elgin is a surveying practitioner, educator, researcher, and author. He owns a large collection of early American surveying equipment. He is expert in the Chandlee family of makers, John S. Hougham (Indiana), and the St. Louis makers. He’s written several books including Riparian Boundaries for Missouri, Legal Principles of Boundary Location for Arkansas, and The U.S. Public Land Survey System for Missouri. He coauthored the Sokkia (Lietz) Ephemeris. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An assortment of chains: Gunter’s Chain, 66 feet. A half-chain, 33 feet. Railroad or Engineer’s Chain, 100 feet. Boundary surveyors, being mensurators, detectives, and historians, have an appreciation for the equipment that laid out America. The equipment is our heritage, to be preserved, admired, studied, and displayed.
10 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 Featured Article TWICE TOLD TALES By Chuck Whitten, PLS Initially, I had intended to write a tale of a survey trip that I made in July 2019 about the retracement of a portion of the Second Standard Parallel South, W.M., east of Detroit, Oregon. The original survey of this segment of the Parallel had been first completed by U.S. Deputy Surveyor William E. Campbell in August and September 1891 under Contract Number 563. He had a penchant for calling line trees in his notes, and marked 20 of them in the first mile and a half between the SW corner of Section 31 and the South Quarter Corner of Section 32, starting his work on September 11, 1891. I had found and tied a lot of these line trees on the south line of Section 31 previously and wanted to search the next half mile to the east for several more and then look for the south quarter corner of Section 32 that I believed probably had not been visited since Campbell set it in 1891. I knew from the topog map that once Campbell crossed the ridge at 27.50 chains (1815 feet from the SW corner of Section 32) the line became "steeper than a cows face.” In the bigger picture, I wanted to also look for the closing corner for Sections 4 and 5, T11S, R7E, set three years later by William Bushey in 1894 and then the SE corner of Section 32, set by Campbell. Knowing that there was a logging road on the west side of the North Santiam River, my plan was to begin at the ridgetop and continue easterly (down the steep hillside) to end up on the logging road. On June 11, 2019, a fellow surveyor (and avid mountain climber) Tony Chenier, who lives in Kelso, Washington, met me in Battle Ground, Washington, where I live. We then headed south to Stayton, Oregon (about 12 miles southeast of Salem) to meet Tony’s dad Jim, who was going to accompany us on the “walk.” We then headed east on Highway 22 for another 18 miles to Mill City where we met my friend Alice Bickett, whom I had recruited to leave my pickup on the logging road at the bottom of the hill. She then followed us in her car for 33 miles to the bottom of the hill where she left her rig and got in with us. Then it was another 18 miles to finally get to the ridgetop. It was east, only 1 1/2 miles in a straight line to the logging road, but about a half mile in elevation above it. Alice then circled back to the logging road, left my rig, got in hers, and went back home. I had run a compass line east from the SW corner of Section 32 the month before, looking for line trees and stopped on the ridgetop (at 27.50 chains in the notes), leaving a ribbon where we now stood. I put Tony on line with my hand compass and we started chaining east, down the hill, with a 200-foot rag tape, correcting for slope with a clinometer. (The slope was from 40 to 45 degrees+!) We found the first line tree (a “White Fir, 10" dia.,” now actually a 26-foot hemlock with notches on the west side only) at 36.09 chains (567 feet) and the next one, “a Hemlock 20" diam.,” now a 36-inch hemlock with overgrown notches on both the east and west sides), at 36.62 chains, 35 feet past the previous one. I painted a big red circle around the two notches, being careful not to paint the notches themselves. This 36-inch hemlock was odd in that it was growing on a ledge about 7 feet high. The ground on the west (upper) side was about 7 feet higher than the ground on the east (lower) side. It was also interesting in that there was a limb on the lower side that would have prevented Campbell from chopping the two notches into the east face of the tree. We could see the slanted axe tracks on that now-dead limb that were obviously made in September 1891. We then continued to chain down the hill and within 5 feet of the record distance (3.38 chains, 223 feet) we found ourselves beside the original BT, now a 56-inch alpine fir (Campbell called it a 28" Larch, the common name for noble fir.) Traces of the upper and lower blazes were still faintly visible in the bark on the north side. Campbell’s record call to this BT was S 20° W, 10 links (6.6 feet). We backed off N 20° E, 6.6 ft from the center of the now 56" BT and stuck a nail in the ground. The northern BT (Campbell called it a Larch, 20") was “N 12° W, 28 links” (18.5 feet). This tree was now a 54-inch diameter alpine fir, also with faint axe marks in the bark. There seemed to be about 5 degrees of local attraction alongside the big talus slope, now covered with 10-foot-high “tag alder,” sometimes called white alder (Alnus Rhombifolia, as I recall). We chose to arc the record distances from the center of both BTs and moved the nail about a foot. Then we started to dig through the duff and cleared a 3-foot diameter area in search of Campbell’s monument which he described as “Set Basalt Stone, 16 x 10 x 6, 10 3/4 ins in the ground, for Standard 1/4 Sec. Cor., marked S. C. 1/4 on N. face.” We found a couple big rocks, both with scratches, but not what I would accept as the actual “stone.” I had seen several of Campbell’s “Standard 1/4 Section stones” further east and they were plainly marked as he described. I felt that we were within a foot or so of where the 1891 stone was originally set, but concluded that it had probably rolled or slid down the hill on the 100 percent slope, like so many other stones I had found in the township. We then replaced the nail with a rock, 7x9x20-inch, found nearby, and put up USFS 54-3 and 54-9 signs, chopped a base blaze and nailed a plastic washer to it, and painted blue bands on the two BTs. I could not get a sub-meter GPS position
11 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org Featured Article continues here at the S Qtr Cor of Sec 32 because there was not enough sky visible. For the purposes of this township retracement, which is obviously not “3rd order,” I have been rounding all the coordinates to the nearest foot, since we’re not “building a piano.” Tony then volunteered to lead the way, continuing the line east through the tag alder, but I felt that without a chainsaw, it would take several hours, which we didn’t have to spare. I suggested that we just go back up the hill about 400 feet and start chaining south (to avoid the tag alder) from one of the stationed points I had ribboned on the way down from the ridgetop. After some “cussin’ and discussin,’” we agreed to go with plan B. We jogged south a few hundred feet but hit the tag alder so we had to retreat west another 130 feet. We turned south again for another 100 feet and then started east, parallel with the “Parallel” and kept bouncing off the tag alder several more times until we were finally past it, 564 feet south of the Parallel. We now had clear sailing and jogged back to the north every chance we got till finally regaining the Parallel. Campbell’s notes called for a “Top of Point” about 1,100 feet east of the quarter corner we just left. That seemed strange since there was no indication of such a feature on the topog map. When we got close to that “easting,” Tony called out that he could see the point! Sure enough, on that hillside, there was a rocky protrusion rising up that Campbell had hit dead center with his section line. It was a good reminder that most of the modern USGS quads were made from aerial photos that are really just pictures of the treetops. The resulting contours are actually modeling the treetops and then adjusted vertically for a guess at how tall the trees are. Several months later I found some lidar coverage of this area and the actual ground amazingly shows the point. Continuing our chaining east, when we neared the area for Bushey’s closing corner, it was becoming obvious that his BTs had burned up. The present timber stand looked to be only about 80 years old (should have been about 130 years of age). Consequently, we found no trace of his BTs for the closing corner between sections 4 and 5, T 11 S, R7E, as set in 1894. We continued east another 1,000 feet or so and finally spotted a sign on one of the BTs for the southeast corner of Section 32. From this point on, we kept stumbling down the hill following the path of least resistance till we at last stepped out on the logging road at about 7:30 and then arrived back in Battle Ground three hours later. In September 2021, I recruited my son Jeff, a civil engineer and also a veteran of many survey expeditions over the past 10 years, to accompany me. My mission now was to make survey ties to the two line trees that Tony and I had found two years earlier. I was curious to see how far off line they actually were and also look for a few more line trees near the ridgetop. On September 9, we pulled up to the ridgetop, and to my surprise found that everything north of the top of the hill had been burned by the Lionshead Forest Fire in September 2020. That fire, of about 100,000 acres, was started by lightning in mid-August on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, near the crest of the Cascades, and nine miles fromwhere we were now standing. It had languished there for several weeks while it crawled westerly into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area. Several days later, the east winds, not uncommon later in the fall, rapidly developed into an 80- to 90-mph sustained blowtorch. The small fire blew up and raced west the afternoon of Labor Day weekend. About three days later, the winds finally eased and the fire stalled, but not until it had joined with another lightning-caused fire, the Beachie Creek Fire. Together, they burned more than 200,000 acres of fine timber, 1,300 structures, and resulted in five deaths, as well as destroying homes and businesses in the towns of Idanha, Detroit, Gates, Mill City, and Mehama, all along the North Santiam River. Bruno
12 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 Featured Article continued Mountain, a 5,000-foot timbered peak, acted like a cleaver and carved out a portion of the south edge of the firestorm and deflected it south to the ridgetop where we now stood. It was a good news-bad news situation in that the underbrush and old snags, including line trees, had burned completely up, and the standing timber was now all dead and black. We could look down that 100 percent slope all the way to the two line trees found in 2019 that were 220 feet uphill from the quarter corner. The bark on the north side of them was severely burned (since the winds were pushing this part of the fire south), but the south half of them was not scorched. After taking some pictures, we dropped down past the ledge and continued our “semi-controlled fall” 225 feet to the South Quarter Corner of Section 32. Both BTs were still standing, but were burned and dead, all the way to the crowns. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the only reason a few tags and remnants thereof were still on the BTs was because I use galvanized nails instead of aluminum ones, which just melt. In 2019, I had screwed four horizontal lath onto the northeast side of the southern BT and stapled two fluorescent paper targets (24-inch vert x 16-inch horizontal) to the BT, leaving a 1-foot gap between them. I then screwed a surplus triple prism in the gap. (In 2021, the only thing left of the targets and prismwas one torx head screw!) I aimed the prism at a small 10-acre clearcut 2 1/2 miles to the northeast. I then recorded a compass bearing to the clearcut and a vertical angle. When I finally found that small clearcut a few weeks later, the compass bearing and vertical angle gave me a pretty good idea where the target was. (This had to be done in the morning with the sun at my back. If I waited till afternoon, I’d be looking into the sun and the targets would be in the dark shade.) After pointing my trusty old T-16 (with a DI-1000 mounted on top) to the compass bearing and setting in the vertical angle, I could then turn on the DI-1000 and pan left and right till I got a hint of a signal return in the window. Then it was only a matter of adjusting up and down and side to side with the tangent screws till the signal strength was finally peaked and a look through the scope revealed the targets. I had learned this technique back in the ‛60s when the state-of-the-art distance meter at that time was a Tellurometer, which used microwave technology. To measure a distance, it took two people and two identical MRA3 units, each with an operator. Each instrument weighed about 40 pounds. If you recorded compass bearings and verts ahead of time, you could measure in the rain, if need be, with 1 mile or 20 miles of clouds or fog between units. Each operator had a headset and could talk back and forth with the other. The first distance was determined as the first operator filled out his note form. Then the roles were reversed and the second operator then determined the distance from their end. Prior to the measurements, you had to max the signal strength and this was done by loosening the 5/8-inch bolt under the tripod head and manually rotating the 40-pound unit until the needle showing the signal return was peaked. Measuring from the center of each BT, we found the rock I had placed there two years before. I was standing at that 2019 rock when something caught my eye. It was a stone about 10 feet down the hill below me. The sun was at a low angle to the south, but its rays were just grazing across the face of the stone and I could see marks plainly as they were in shadow. I slid down to it and immediately saw the letters “SC 1/4” on Campbell’s original stone that had also been cracked open by the heat of the burning duff and limbs. It then occurred to me that I should add another tale to the initial 2019 one since now the real stone had finally been recovered! For some reason, I recalled a book titled Twice Told Tales. When I was in about the 4th or 5th grade, my older sister and I used to play a card game called Authors. It was kind of like Go Fish only you asked for book titles instead of numbered playing cards. We played it so much that I knew most of the famous authors and their classic books, but have never read any of them to this day. The renowned author Nathaniel Hawthorn, (1804–1864), was mainly known for House of the Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter. In 1837 he had written a book called Twice Told Tales which was actually a collection of some of his previously published short stories. I thought it proper to give this dissertation that same name, since the developing plot was similar to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” programs that many of us older surveyors remember. This particular tale now has a happy ending! Chuck Whitten graduated in 1967 from Oregon State University with a BS in forest engineering and is still a licensed land surveyor in Oregon and Washington (retired). He has lived near Battle Ground, Washington, since 1977. One of his hobbies since retirement has been recovering and maintaining original GLO section corners under a 1995 volunteer agreement with the Willamette National Forest. I slid down to it and immediately saw the letters “SC 1/4” on Campbell’s original stone that had also been cracked open by the heat of the burning duff and limbs. It then occurred to me that I should add another tale to the initial 2019 one since now the real stone had finally been recovered!
13 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org Featured Article OPUS SHARED SOLUTIONS IN MAINE By David Wellman, PLS, PE [Editor’s Note: David Wellman submitted these photos for the photo contest for the PLSO photo contest in January. We wanted to know the story behind them, so we asked him to tell us more.] The story begins at an Oregon GNSS Users Group (OGUG) meeting in Bend some time ago. Mark Armstrong, who was our NGS Advisor at the time, was giving a presentation on using OPUS and encouraging us to “get out there” and collect some data. What was compelling and piqued my interest was his zeal for the out-of-the-way monuments that are for one, hard to get to and two, ones that nobody had been to for some time. His talk was of a lost highway in eastern Oregon that had been forgotten due to a re-alignment—but hey—the monuments should still be there. His energy and enthusiasm for the mission and adventure was infectious. Okay says I. OPUS for the betterment of the world was indeed a noble cause, yet not as convincing as the thrill of the recovery of the “lost and forgotten.” That in itself is an innate trait we surveyors have. Time passes and work and life get first priority but always in the back of my mind was Mark’s encouragement to measure the marks. Through the years I had acquired a dual frequency X-90 stand-alone GPS unit ready made for OPUS data collection. Continues to work well today. The perfect retirement unit to chase after Mark’s prodding of collecting OPUS Shared Solutions. Now as good surveyors that we are we always have our eyes on the lookout for a brass disc. Upon our notice and exclamation, those we are with usually roll their eyes and continue on. We, meanwhile, rub the dirt off, take a picture, and rush to catch up with the group. This story, and the pictures within, are a bit more planned than those happenstance observations. Knowing of an upcoming vacation to Maine and knowing the specific locales ahead of time allows the diligent surveyor to plan an attack. Having retained my Maine LS I figured I was in good stead to make a few observations now for the betterment of the world. First off was a week along the Maine coast where I grew up as a kid. Little did we know of those brass disc locales on the islands we would explore in our teenage years. Our thoughts were of other things. But today, with NGS Data Explorer, we can poke around for those pesky discs in the comfort of our homes and select continues OPUS deep in Maine woods. Photos courtesy of David Wellman.
14 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 Featured Article those that are one, hard to get to and two, ones that nobody had been to for some time. Such was that of PID PE 1789 PREBLE set in 1944. A short boat ride with a picnic lunch and a wife who likes boat rides to islands for picnic lunches seemed to be a perfect setup. After said short boat ride, PREBLE was searched for and found. All set up and collecting data. A tasty lunch. Pictures of a lovely day on Frenchman Bay in Maine and the world was good. Mission accomplished. continued The photo with the dam in the background has a little different setup in research. We knew we were to go fishing at a sporting camp in the middle of Maine. Deep in the woods. Our mode of transportation was by float plane. Another of my favorite things and certainly checks the “adventure box.” A perusal of the NGS Data Explorer indicated a monument PID RF0729 MILL near the camps. A call ahead to the owner indicated that, yes, they knew of it and seen it many times. OPUS on Maine coast. Boring—doesn’t check that “lost and forgotten box.” Out come the old USGS paper quad sheets—online anyway. Looking around the area I see a benchmark indicated near the outlet to the lake. Ah ha. The X-90 gets loaded along with the fishing gear. On arrival to the camps, I inquire about said benchmark near the outlet. “At the dam?” they ask. Okay this is going to be fun. The “adventure box” is checked twice now. My father, who understands my thrill to find monuments as much as I do his thrill to catch fish, agrees we should take a break and take a look. Recovery was straightforward. The dam was constructed to control lake levels and retain water during the log driving days and remains operational. The monument was set in 1955, probably for elevation control with all recorded indications of being “lost and forgotten.” This was a good opportunity and candidate to enter an existing solid passive mark into the OPUS Shared Solutions database. A new PID was born—BBDP09. Mission accomplished. It’s obvious to me now why Mark was enthusiastic about OPUS Shared Solutions. This type of treasure hunt checks a lot of boxes for this surveyor too. It’s fun. As an aside, I attended (virtually) the Oregon PLSO 2022 Conference. Those of you who attended David Doyle’s session learned of the request by NGS to make a final push for submitting OPUS Shared Solution observations on passive marks. Observations made before the end of the year 2022 will be incorporated into the upcoming National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) calculations. Marks of primary importance have been selected by NGS. Head to the site https:// geodesy.noaa.gov/GPSonBM/index.shtml for more information. The search for monuments in my upcoming travel plans has begun. I’m looking forward to some adventures and hoping to contribute to this effort as well. Won’t you join me? Dave Wellman is licensed in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Maine. He established D. Wellman Surveying LLC in 1999. He is a lifetime member of PLSO, he has served as Midwest Chapter President twice and has been key in organizing many workshops over the years, as well as being a regular attendee of monthly chapter meetings.
15 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org Book Review Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History Reviewed by Renee Clough, PLS, PE, AICP Surveyors credit Thomas Jefferson with the PLSS system. Please don’t attack me for heresy but I’ve always found this a bit unbelievable. Thomas Jefferson had an enormous amount of political responsibility—how could he have had time to also develop something as complex as the PLSS? Now that my dad, John Minor, is retired, he has had the time to make a lot of friends on surveyor message boards. I asked if he could get their opinions on how much involvement Thomas Jefferson had in the PLSS creation. One respondent suggested that Measuring America would be a good resource. It turns out that it was. While not entirely or directly about my question, it answered my question and other questions I didn’t even know I had. The start of the book discusses the invention of privately owned property and even the invention of uniformmeasurements. I had no idea that there was so much variety in measurements so recently in history or that the development of standardized measurements was so extremely controversial. Once the book sets the stage with this background, it moves into a discussion of how the PLSS was developed and the hiccups of early implementation. Around half way through the book, the PLSS discussion is over and the author moves into a discussion of the impacts of the PLSS on things like design of cities, Indian treaties, and farming practices. While the discussion was informative, it wasn’t why I was reading the book, so I had a rather hard time getting through the second half. Admittedly though, that is a rather unfair judgment and I expect that if I had gone into the book with a different mindset, I would have enjoyed the second half as much as the first. In some ways I found the author to be as interesting as the book. It didn’t take much research to determine that he is a Scottish historian, which I absolutely did not expect. This was partly unexpected because surveying principles, terminology, and practices are so well portrayed that I fully expected the author to be a surveyor. Secondly, American history is presented as so personal to the author that it never occurred to me he wasn’t American. From several obituaries I read about Mr. Linklater, it appears that he was fascinated with the relationship between people and land; therefore, I suppose it is fairly reasonable that he would write about early surveying and land ownership in our country. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about the influences on early surveying practices in our country. Measuring America: How the United States Was Shaped by the Greatest Land Sale in History By Andro Linklater Plume Publishing, 2003 320 pages, paperback Renee Clough is a Pleasant Hill resident who has been working in the civil engineering and land surveying industry since achieving her BS in civil engineering in 2001 from Oregon State University. She is an OSBEELS board member. Surveyors credit Thomas Jefferson with the PLSS system. Please don’t attack me for heresy but I’ve always found this a bit unbelievable. Thomas Jefferson had an enormous amount of political responsibility—how could he have had time to also develop something as complex as the PLSS?
16 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 4 Member Spotlight Lee Spurgeon Township Surveys www.townshipsurveys.com By Vanessa Salvia In 1977, Lee Spurgeon took a job with “probably the worst surveyor on the planet,” a surprising first chapter that started with the surveyor in a hole with the rest of the crew either quitting or fired. He didn’t develop his career in surveying until 25 years later, when he took a job with his stepfather, who happened to be a drafter. In the intervening years, Spurgeon taught aviation maintenance in the United Arab Emirates, did stand-up comedy, was a teacher of electronics and robotics, and earned a degree in psychology. This degree proved to be surprisingly useful in his surveying career. A jobsite scuffle between the construction crew and the surveying crew next to a 12-foot-deep trench left the owner of the surveying company in the trench, with his crew unwilling to help him because he had just fired them all, although they did provide him a shovel. “He hired my friend to take the place of the crewmembers that he just fired and that left an opening on the survey crew my friend had left, so that’s how I got into surveying,” Spurgeon says. At the time, he was making screened windows for 3 cents apiece which he says was “the worst job you could possibly ever think of,” so any other job seemed like an improvement. “I applied for the job and told them I didn’t know anything about surveying but I was willing to work hard,” he recalls. “On the first day, the crew chief was hung over and didn’t want to pound hubs into the ground. And I said, ‘Hey, why don’t you let me try that?’ So they did. By the end of the day they said, ‘Alright, you’re no longer rear chainman, you’re head chainman,’ which was a promotion in the first eight hours of being in the job!” Despite that encouraging first experience, Spurgeon didn’t stick with the surveyor with the terrible temper and other character flaws. Later, his mother married a drafter and he had nothing else going on and the pay was decent, so in 1993 he started drafting at Love Land Surveys. “Turns out, I had some talent for drafting and I just kept on doing it, because it was a family obligation,” he says. “But eventually, I started to enjoy it.” Thanks to the psychology background, Spurgeon enjoyed being able to help people who were feuding about their property lines, which is something that a lot of surveyors try to avoid. “People would be brandishing weapons at each other and things like that but by the time we left, you know, we would have peace in the neighborhood,” he says. “By using my degree in psychology, I was able to resolve a lot of conflicts.” He also ended up going to court quite often as an expert witness, which is where the psychology background, in addition to working with a really experienced trial attorney, really paid off. He recalls a big job in Columbia County in which one family member handed over A jobsite scuffle between the construction crew and the surveying crew next to a 12-foot-deep trench left the owner of the surveying company in the trench, with his crew unwilling to help him because he had just fired them all, although they did provide him a shovel.
17 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon | www.plso.org Member Spotlight subpoenas and informed another family member that they were suing them over a piece of land, and they did it during Thanksgiving dinner. The attorney helped prepare their expert witness by helping themwith their demeanor, who to look at, who to address responses to, and things like that. “In order to be a good expert witness, you have to be able to tell a good story,” he says. “When you can tell a story that goes back into history, and you do the detective work and you can explain it, you are infinitely more persuasive to a judge and a jury.” Spurgeon says that his membership in the PLSO helped a lot too. He was state chair for two years and has served as a chapter president and is currently the head of the education and outreach committee. “When you’re in a court setting and you testify that you are a member of the PLSO, it adds a certain amount of authenticity and credibility to what you’re saying in court,” he says. “It makes you much more believable. And being the chair of the PLSO gives you a lot of credibility. If you’re in court against someone who isn’t a member of the PLSO, you have a big advantage.” Having to take the past two years essentially off due to COVID left Spurgeon with plenty of time to reflect on the future of the profession. Spurgeon says the profession needs to change direction, and quickly, in order to survive. He says the notion that you have to go to college or you’re a failure is “a load of crap.” He says there is a perception that young people need a college degree rather than learning a trade and that’s just not true. Also, he says, the message about the profession of surveying hasn’t been getting out in the right way. “We have to stop trying to sell surveying as a math-based profession,” he asserts. “We have computers and data collectors that will do the math for us. And if you are thinking about surveying and resolving boundaries as a math exercise, you’re going to be a terrible surveyor. What I look for when I hire surveyors are people who are going to be excellent detectives.” He would like to attract new surveyors to the profession by telling them they are historical land detectives, dealing with forensic evidence about who owned property or where the old fence lines are that have fallen down. I want to get away from the math model because it just turns people off.” That conversation is one for the board of directors and chapter representatives, but Spurgeon is hopeful that the change in course can be made in time. In the meantime, he will continue writing his surveying-related articles which he enjoys doing, and running his business, Township Surveys, in Oregon City since 2011. Spurgeon considers himself to be truly blessed to be a surveyor. Each day when he goes to work, he says the only thing he is sure about is that his day will be unique, interesting, and that no day will be like any other day. Each day brings new challenges, new opportunities, and new puzzles which require new solutions, and new chances to learn and grow. Lee Spurgeon, in the middle, briefing crew members Bob Epstein and Steven Monterrosa.plso.org