The Standards provides a tool for a BLM review, but not an approval, of administrative (unofficial) surveys. You can request a review of past and current unofficial surveys. The report of the review can alert you to concerns about the surveys. In other words you can seek a second opinion in those cases when it is prudent.
By providing a standardized process and documentation for the exchange of information between the resource and facilities managers (those who deal with the land resources and land uses) and the boundary expert (those who deal with the where of the land). Surveyors are trained to identify latent ambiguities in legal descriptions, and boundary encroachments. Surveyors interpret survey records and compare them with title records and the physical conditions on the ground to guard against potentially costly ambiguities and unauthorized use of lands.
Why should I have a surveyor conduct a Certification of Inspection and Possession (CIP)?
A surveyor brings the unique knowledge combination of title records, survey records, and boundary location evidence. A surveyor is trained to distinguish between corner monuments from spurious corners. In many cases, but not in all cases, the surveyor can tell by inspection, after some preliminary research, whether a fence or other use is or is not on the true boundary line.
What is Boundary Assurance?
Boundary Assurance is a land boundary management tool for trust and restricted land transactions and resource activities. Boundary Assurance is not a land survey. Boundary Assurance is a non-survey alternative which can be used by BIA, Tribes, and BLM for the purpose of assuring the boundary location either prior to or after a transaction and resource activity.
How is Boundary Assurance performed?
The Boundary Assurance process is the result of the latest innovative and advanced boundary management techniques, supported by automated survey and land records, photography, mapping, and computer software, which provides the BIA or Tribe with sufficient detail to satisfy their boundary management requirements.
Is it a survey?
No! While it is true that the Boundary Assurance process cannot furnish the kind of detail that would be available through an official survey, it is, as already noted, sufficiently specific and detailed to satisfy the BIA or Tribe's boundary management requirements in many cases.
Will Beneficiaries be misled?
The BIA and BLM's discussions with Tribes and Allottees emphasize the Boundary Assurance is not an official survey and does not satisfy the needs that can only be fulfilled by an official survey. Boundary Assurance can be sufficient to meet BIA or Tribe's own internal transactions and resource activities related to boundary location. Except for a complimentary copy of the Form given to the Tribe and Allottee at the completion of the process, there is no different use of distribution made of the Boundary Assurance. It is permanently filed by the BIA and BLM for future reference.
Has a cost analysis been made?
Yes. By better utilization of limited and specialized expertise the savings will be significant. It has been estimated that with implementation of the Boundary Standards a savings of 8% in direct costs and 6% in surveyor work months per year can be achieved. This is equivalent to 8 additional projects a year being completed, based upon fiscal year 2004 appropriated dollars. The potential savings in litigation avoidance is difficult to estimate but could be significant also.
What is a Certified Federal Surveyor(CFedS)?
A CFedS is a surveyor who has demonstrated their knowledge of boundary surveys in Indian Country by passing the rigorous BLM cadastral survey certification process. CFedS can conduct Boundary Assurance activities under the direction and control of the BLM.
What is a Pre-approved Agency or Tribal Official or Agent?
The Boundary Standards allow for pre-qualified BIA or Tribal employee or contractor to conduct Legal Description Reviews. This is a person who has demonstrated their knowledge of legal descriptions in Indian Country by passing rigorous BIA and BLM land tenure courses. This individual will execute Boundary Assurance Legal Description Reviews under the direction and control of the BLM.
Where is the increased capacity?
The Boundary Standards allows the U.S. to increase its cadastral services capacity without sacrificing quality. The creation of the Certified Federal Surveyor Program will utilize local expertise. Tribal members and BIA employees will be encouraged to become licensed land surveyors and federally certified. The creation of the Pre-approved Agency or Tribal Official or Agent program will also utilize local expertise. Tribal members and BIA employees will be encouraged to become proficient in legal description creation and review, and federally pre-approved.
Can the Boundary Standards be changed?
Yes. The Boundary Standards will be subject to amendment through due process when experience teaches us how to make them better.
Who bears the cost for the Boundary Standards process?
The department, agency, tribe, or land owner requesting the Boundary Standards is responsible for the cost.