The Public Land Survey System (PLSS)

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The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. Originally proposed by Thomas Jefferson, the PLSS began shortly after the Revolutionary War, when the Federal government became responsible for large areas west of the thirteen original colonies. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This site explains the history and irregularities of the PLSS as well as the numbering system.


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