PLSO The Oregon Surveyor May/June 2022

8 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 3 Despite the ongoing (and nowmercifully winding down) pandemic, both professional land surveyors and members of Congress have been busy at work throughout. Once a year these two professions collide when surveyors travel to Washington, DC, for the NSPS Day on the Hill to lobby Congress on issues of significance to our profession. Few surveyors have traveled to Washington, DC, the last two years, and this year was no exception. Nevertheless, Oregon’s largest contingent of surveyors, representing all Oregon congressional districts, did sign up to connect with members of Congress via a number of Zoom meetings held on March 30. Oregon surveyors met with four of the seven offices comprised of Oregon’s two US Senators and five members in the House of Representatives. Many thanks to Jered McGrath, Gina Buckle, Scott Freshwaters, James Hepler, Brent Knapp, Dan Nelson, and John Putnam for their willingness to help out. During the meetings we focused on three issues: From the PLSO State Lobbyist issue summaries is the action requested or the “ask” made of each member of congress by NSPS. Led by Oregon’s NSPS Director, Pat Gaylord, the Zoom meetings were successful in creating several conversations which are ongoing. In 2018, similar meetings led to an in-person “show and tell” meeting with Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR05) where surveyors launched and recovered a drone and showed Mr. Schrader how surveying data, specifically LiDAR data, is collected and used in federal projects (see the July/ August 2019 Oregon Surveyor). In this case, it was an update to an interchange on Interstate 205. In response to an invitation made by Mr. Gaylord on behalf of PLSO and NSPS, Congressman Bentz’s office has reached out about scheduling a “show and tell” in central or eastern Oregon. Representative Bentz is a leading expert on water law in Congress, and has an interest in floodplain issues, water retention issues, and wildfire recovery and mitigation. Many of the worst fires in Oregon in recent years were in his sprawling district. Pat Gaylord reiterated to our group what has been said many times by NSPS Lobbyist J.B Byrd: “Members of Congress and state legislators have a huge and sometimes unintended impact on our profession. Not just because they write the standards for infrastructure spending, but because they can set the standards for how data is collected and used. It is incumbent on surveyors to build relationships with lawmakers and educate them about what we do. They need us for infrastructure spending to be done right, and we need them to understand the value we bring to the table. That comes from spending time together, building relationships, and ultimately building trust.” To that end, if successfully scheduled, this will be PLSO’s third meeting with Congressman Bentz and his staff and will build on our previously established relationship with Congressman Schrader.  Darrell W. Fuller, PLSO State Lobbyist OREGON SURVEYORS VISIT CAPITOL HILL (SORTOF) 1. Educating Congress on the importance of ensuring state licensing for the profession during a period where some states are considering delicensing many occupations and professions. 2. Amending the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). PLSO and NSPS are requesting a specific amendment to ensure the federal government authorizes the development of a plan to provide the Army Corps with an adequate blended workforce. This would include in-house employees and contractors who have the expertise, experience, professional licensure, and knowledge to determine agency requirements and can apply technology, data, and services to management of Corps projects. 3. FEMA, NFIP, and Flood Insurance Mapping Reform. PLSO and NSPS are requesting, among other things, that Congress pass legislation making technical reforms to the flood maps to help make the program more solvent, increase accuracy, and provide an improved ability for FEMA to quantify risk and provide a more fair and equitable insurance premium program. To read detailed summaries of these three issues prepared by NSPS, go to the NSPS website ( and look for the “Advocacy” drop down menu and select “Day on the Hill.” Included in the Led by Oregon’s NSPS Director, Pat Gaylord, the Zoom meetings were successful in creating several conversations which are ongoing.