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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: Monday, March 27, 2006
Celia Boddington
(202) 452-5125

New Program Will Train and Certify Professional Land Surveyors:
Special Emphasis on Providing Cadastral Services in Indian Country

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians have announced a certification program for licensed land surveyors performing boundary surveys in Indian Country.  The Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) program is a voluntary program to train and certify licensed land surveyors to perform the commercial activities of boundary surveying and related services to basic federal surveying standards as established by BLM.  The BIA, Tribes, individual allottees, and other federal agencies will be encouraged to select surveyors from the CFedS roster when contracting for boundary surveys or other cadastral services.

The CFedS program is open to all state licensed surveyors, with an emphasis on Tribal and BIA surveyors.  CFedS certification will be a significant addition to the resume and credentials of the private professional land surveyor and Tribal surveyors. Registration for the CFedS program will begin in the fall of 2006.

The program will consist of three components:  (1) the initial training, (2) the certification examination, and (3) advanced continuing education modules.   The initial training will be delivered by various distance-learning methods, with regularly scheduled question-and-answer sessions via teleconferencing or e-mail, and will require approximately 120 hours to complete, equivalent to a 3-credit-hour college course. Passing the certification examination will require upon completion of the initial training. Completion of the advanced continuing education modules will be required to retain certification.

In the past, the BLM has offered similar training to the private sector on a very limited basis, but for the first time the training will be designed specifically for the professional surveyor executing boundary surveys of federal-interest lands, with an emphasis on trust lands.  The initial training is designed to provide a basic understanding of the Public Land Survey System, metes and bounds surveys, the effects of case law, interpretation of the Manual of Instruction for the Survey of the Public Lands of the United States, accepted field procedures, and proper documentation.  The continuing education modules will examine more complex issues.

The CFedS roster, comprising those surveyors who successfully complete the initial training and certification examination, will report state registrations and contact information and provide a listing of completed advanced continuing education modules. 

For more information go to the CFedS web site at: