Congratulations to our NEW CFedS!


  • Elizabeth Anderson
  • Jacob Edminster
  • Brandon Johnson
  • Buku Saliz
  • Elizabeth Schleif

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NDSPLS CFedS Workshops on February 6, 2020

For those CFedS who attended the NDSPLS CFedS Workshops on February 6, 2020 you can download the workshop handouts by selecting the links below.

Please note that the files are large.

You will receive a total of 2 CFedS Continuing Education Credits upon successfully passing the quiz.

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Jacobsen-Downer (The Rest of the Story) Fresno, CA, Jan 24, 2020

For those CFedS who attended the Jacobsen-Downer (The Rest of the Story) – 59th Annual Fresno State Geo-Eng Conference, Fresno, CA, Jan 24, 2020, you can download the workshop handout by selecting the link below.

Please note that the file is large.

You will receive a total of 1 CFedS Continuing Education Credits upon successfully passing the quiz.

Learn More »

News Archive

Cadastral Builds Program that Serves Tribes, Protects Lands

Although marking a boundary seems simple enough, it is a part of a very important initiative that relies on its many interwoven tasks.

A surveyor walks along the rocky coast on Federal lands surrounding Coos Head at the mouth of Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. She identifies her geographic position, and marks the Indian Land boundaries by hammering fixed official monument caps into the earth. The survey record will be essential in the transfer of a portion of Coos Head from the Navy to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians to be put into trust status.

Since Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved the Fiduciary Trust Model 10 years ago, the quality and delivery of trust services to beneficiaries, tribes and individuals throughout Indian Country has improved. The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Cadastral Survey Program has been central to this by focusing its efforts on four particular aspects:

  1. The BLM Indian Lands Surveyor Program, which recognizes the unique responsibilities the Federal government has when working with Indian land issues.
  2. The Certified Federal Surveyor Program (CFedS), which provides specialized training to private licensed land surveyors so that their work in Indian Country will meet federal standards. Today 614 CFedS-trained surveyors from 49 states have received certification.
  3. Bolstering of the Public Lands Survey System by protecting Indian assets and resources by determining and maintaining trust boundaries associated with the PLSS in Indian Country by providing modern cadastral services.
  4. Development of a Cadastral-based Geographic Information System (GIS) and assisting tribes and communities in the development and use of modern spatial data tools to protect and manage trust assets and land boundaries.
The BLM Indian Lands Surveyor (BILS) Program's goal is to provide specialized consultation for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) employees, tribal governments and individual Indians concerning boundaries, surveys, land ownership, and geospatial matters related to Indian trust, restricted lands, and fee lands. Within two years, BILS team members were in place at the 12 BIA regional offices. A BILS team member in the Western Region BIA office has said that they now feel like "an intricate member of the BIA team." The BILS Program increases operational efficiency with regional staff management and is a clear point of contact for services related to the management of land boundaries and protection of Trust resources and assets.

Through the Certified Federal Surveyor (CFedS) Program many private surveyors have made connections with tribes since completing the program and have been working with them since. Some recent accomplishments of the program include the G.I. Bill Reimbursement Section of the Veterans Administration recent approval of the Program, and in addition, the State of Washington Board of Licensing recently recognized CFedS Program training completion to be equivalent to 3 months of profession-level experience.

The value of a Cadastral-based geographic information system was recently realized when the Secretary's Cobell Indian Parcel Buy Back Team needed an accurate method of positioning and mapping known resources against individually owned Indian parcels for the purpose of providing valuations and, in turn, developing purchase offers.

Cadastral has been successfully on the road to achieve the Fiduciary Trust Model goals and can continue to be successful with continued support. Happy Trails ahead!

Added: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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