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Upcoming Live Continuing Education Courses

The CFedS Program will be presenting an IBLA continuing education (CE) course worth 2 CFedS CE credits at the following five conferences in the coming months:

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Cadastral Builds Program that Serves Tribes, Protects Lands

Although marking a boundary seems simple enough, it is a part of a very important initiative that relies on its many interwoven tasks.

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BLM selects Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada

Mike Harmening has been announced as the Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada, officially effective Monday, November 3rd, 2014. He will report for the position on Monday, October 20, 2014.

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Upcoming Live Continuing Education Courses

The CFedS Program will be presenting an IBLA continuing education (CE) course worth 2 CFedS CE credits at the following five conferences in the coming months:

  • Minnesota: MSPS Winter Seminar – December 5, 2014;
  • Oregon: PLSO Annual Conference – January 21-23, 2015;
  • North Dakota: NDSPLS Annual Convention – February 5, 2015;
  • Idaho: ISPLS Conference – February 25 – 27, 2015; and
  • Washington: LSAW Annual Conference – March 11-13, 2015.
We hope to see you there.

Added: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cadastral Builds Program that Serves Tribes, Protects Lands

Although marking a boundary seems simple enough, it is a part of a very important initiative that relies on its many interwoven tasks.

A surveyor walks along the rocky coast on Federal lands surrounding Coos Head at the mouth of Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. She identifies her geographic position, and marks the Indian Land boundaries by hammering fixed official monument caps into the earth. The survey record will be essential in the transfer of a portion of Coos Head from the Navy to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians to be put into trust status.

Since Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved the Fiduciary Trust Model 10 years ago, the quality and delivery of trust services to beneficiaries, tribes and individuals throughout Indian Country has improved. The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Cadastral Survey Program has been central to this by focusing its efforts on four particular aspects:

  1. The BLM Indian Lands Surveyor Program, which recognizes the unique responsibilities the Federal government has when working with Indian land issues.
  2. The Certified Federal Surveyor Program (CFedS), which provides specialized training to private licensed land surveyors so that their work in Indian Country will meet federal standards. Today 614 CFedS-trained surveyors from 49 states have received certification.
  3. Bolstering of the Public Lands Survey System by protecting Indian assets and resources by determining and maintaining trust boundaries associated with the PLSS in Indian Country by providing modern cadastral services.
  4. Development of a Cadastral-based Geographic Information System (GIS) and assisting tribes and communities in the development and use of modern spatial data tools to protect and manage trust assets and land boundaries.
The BLM Indian Lands Surveyor (BILS) Program's goal is to provide specialized consultation for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) employees, tribal governments and individual Indians concerning boundaries, surveys, land ownership, and geospatial matters related to Indian trust, restricted lands, and fee lands. Within two years, BILS team members were in place at the 12 BIA regional offices. A BILS team member in the Western Region BIA office has said that they now feel like "an intricate member of the BIA team." The BILS Program increases operational efficiency with regional staff management and is a clear point of contact for services related to the management of land boundaries and protection of Trust resources and assets.

Through the Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) Program many private surveyors have made connections with tribes since completing the program and have been working with them since. Some recent accomplishments of the program include the G.I. Bill Reimbursement Section of the Veterans Administration recent approval of the Program, and in addition, the State of Washington Board of Licensing recently recognized CFedS Program training completion to be equivalent to 3 months of profession-level experience.

The value of a Cadastral-based geographic information system was recently realized when the Secretary's Cobell Indian Parcel Buy Back Team needed an accurate method of positioning and mapping known resources against individually owned Indian parcels for the purpose of providing valuations and, in turn, developing purchase offers.

Cadastral has been successfully on the road to achieve the Fiduciary Trust Model goals and can continue to be successful with continued support. Happy Trails ahead!

Added: Wednesday, November 05, 2014

BLM selects Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada

Mike Harmening has been announced as the Geographic Sciences Branch Chief, Chief Cadastral Surveyor for Nevada, officially effective Monday, November 3rd, 2014. He will report for the position on Monday, October 20, 2014.

The announcement by BLM states that Mike brings tremendous knowledge and experience in Cadastral; Records Legacy; GIS; and Title Records. He, too, has an extensive background in Native Corporation allotments/surveys and the legal processes that can surround them.

The Nevada Cadastral Chief has, and continues to be, asked for survey/boundary/title/status expert testimony in Department of Justice litigation. Mike is quite aware of the Authority this position possesses and the importance it holds to facilitate BLM actions.

BLM records have been an item of contention over the last few years in regards to accuracy, availability, and accessibility. BLM Nevada has for several years now, taken a leading role in the creation, maintenance, security, accessibility, and archiving of official federal records. Mike's background in records administration will be an asset to Nevada's Records Legacy.

Added: Tuesday, October 28, 2014