Welcome


Welcome to the website for the Manual of Surveying Instructions For the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States 2009 (Manual). The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) was established by the Land Ordinance of 1785, and the first nationwide official Manual was distributed in 1855. The 2009 edition is the 9th Manual in the series.

The Manual has guided the original surveys and resurveys of the Public Lands through the General Land Office, and (since 1946) the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the United States Department of the Interior.

The Manual is directed specifically toward instructing Federal surveyors. However, the principles contained in the Manual on the subject of retracement are an integral part of private surveying in the 30 Public Land States. Additionally, many States have formally adopted the Manual in statute, rule, and/or case law as guidance for private licensed surveyors. Thus, the Manual is a fundamental item in the complex subject of boundary surveys in the United States.

The Public Land Survey System Foundation (PLSSF) has formally partnered with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the publishing of the 2009 Manual. The PLSSF has also formerly partnered with the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) for the distribution of the 2009 Manual. Orders of the Manual are accepted at the NSPS e-store. Thank you for your interest in the next edition of this important book.

An electronic version of the 2009 Manual is available here.

The BLM webpage about the 2009 Manual is located here.