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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
August 22, 2006
In Reply To:  
9600 (923) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2006-072
Expires: 9/30/07
To:             State Management Team
From:          State Director
Subject:       Marking and Posting of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Property Lines
Program Area: All land management program areas with activities or projects adjacent to or near BLM property lines.
Purpose: Washington Office Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-113 provides the policy for the identification and physical marking of BLM property lines. This policy will provide BLM with a legally defensible and visible property line identification methodology and minimize legal proceedings or adverse publicity which results from improperly located BLM property line signs.
This instruction memorandum is to provide Field Managers with further guidance on implementation of BLM’s property line identification policy.
Policy/Action: It is essential that all signs ordered from the National Business Center’s Printed Materials Distribution Services (PMDS) are used and located on BLM lands appropriately.
The BLM currently has several signs available from PMDS that indicate BLM property lines. These signs are usually placed at designated intervals along BLM’s property line. These signs include: S007 (Boundary), S050 (Public Lands This Side Only), S051 (National Resource Lands), S052V (Property Boundary), S120V (Property Boundary), S157 (Boundary of Public Lands), S157V (Property Boundary of Public Lands). The Field Manager will determine when to place these signs in the field. Use of these signs requires consultation with Cadastral Survey in order to comply with the current policy of placement of these signs within 1 foot of the legal property line. Cadastral Survey will determine how best to achieve this requirement.
There are other signs available from PMDS that indicate to the public that Public Lands are in close proximity. These are S160 and S160R (Entering Public Lands), S161 and S161R (Leaving Public Lands, and S012 (Public Lands). These signs should not be placed at intervals along a BLM property line. They are designed to be used at road or trail access points onto or off of Public Lands. These signs should be placed as close as practicable to the legal BLM property line in the field. Consultation with Cadastral Survey prior to placement will facilitate this process.
For field placement of all other signs available from PMDS, the Field Manager will consult at the appropriate level with the Cadastral Survey program. Should the Field Manager determine that a potential exists for these resource activity signs to impact or cause confusion to the adjoining landowner(s), then the landowner(s) will be contacted prior to the field placement of the signs. It should be clearly explained to landowner(s) that the resource activity signs do not identify or represent the location of a BLM property line. This contact should be documented in the appropriate activity/project file.
Close consultation with Cadastral Survey is required on all BLM projects and activities that are located adjacent to or near BLM property lines. This will ensure efficient use of personnel, program funding, and promote minimal project delays.
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: A case-by-case assessment will be necessary to determine the true budgetary impact of implementation of this instruction memorandum.
Background: Refer to Washington Office Instruction Memorandum 2006-113 for further information.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: H-9231-1 Forest Product Trespass Procedure Handbook, Section C.1. Property Lines and H-1741-1 Fencing, Chapter 2, item 8 contain general guidance related to this instruction memorandum.
Coordination: Montana/Dakotas Division of Resources, Branch of Planning & Biological Resources, Branch of Land Resources, Branch of Fire and Aviation, Branch of Cadastral Survey, and Law Enforcement
Contact: Please contact Thomas Deiling, Chief Cadastral Survey at 406-896-5049, or Bill Hensley, State Forester at 406-896-5042 with any questions.
Signed by: Sandra C. Berain, Acting
Authenticated by: Janie Fox (MT920)
1 Attachment
      1-Signs Catalog from PMDS (51 pp in its entirety)
Assistant Field Manager, Havre – 1
Assistant Field Manager, Glasgow – 1

Last updated: 03-18-2013