Master Title Plats
The website to access electronic images of master title plats and use plats for Montana and the Dakotas is now http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/. Once there, click on "Search LSRs" (land status records) to search for plats.
MTPs and related records were developed in the 1950s under the Records Improvement Process (RIP). Information was extracted from the General Land Office tract books and plats, and used to create MTPs and Historical Indexes (HIs). Areas where MTPs exist are referred to as the new records area, and tract book records exist on microfilm. If an MTP wasn't created (because of no federal land or mineral interest), the area is referred to as the old records area, and our office still maintains the original tract books. Researchers need to refer to tract books and GLO plats for status information in the old records areas. (All of Montana is in the new records area, but the eastern parts of North and South Dakota are the old records area.)
A MTP is a graphic illustration of land and mineral status within a township. The base of the MTP is based on the most recent survey information. MTPs are continually updated as status or survey information changes.
If there is a lot of detail within a small area, a supplemental plat is created (enlarging the detail for easier drafting and reading).
A Use Plat is created for certain uses, such as oil and gas leasing (OG Plat), coal leasing, and other minerals. If a use plat has been created, it will be noted on the lower right hand corner of the MTP.
The term Master Title Plats as used here includes not only the Master Title Plats (MTPs) and Township plats, but Oil and Gas plats and supplemental Oil and Gas plats. Additional plats will be posted as they become available in digital format.
The application to access the electronic images of the master title plats and use plats for Montana and the Dakotas are now available on the Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States (BLM-ES) General Land Office (GLO) Records Web Site. The website is http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/.
The Explanatory Township shows most of the types of lines used along with the information conveyed by each, and an explanation of various notations that can be found on the plat. The Legend is a listing of abbreviations and symbols, as well as a brief description of features that can appear on the Master Title Plat or Use Plat. Click on the state's name to see a Montana (1.3 mb), North Dakota (921 kb), or South Dakota (2.2 mb) township & range map for reference.
For additional information about MTPs or HIs, contact the Montana/Dakotas Public Room.