Finally, an update for the Utah Public Land Survey System (PLSS) Fabric! The Utah Geospatial Resource Center (UGRC) has published a PLSS Fabric Version 2.0 (V2.0) for the start of 2018. As the US Geological Survey describes, “The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States.” The PLSS Fabric is a new method for parcel management that allows all of the various PLSS data layers to be updated simultaneously, which has helped expedite the updating of the data.

Utah’s updated version of the PLSS Fabric includes:

  • GPS surveyed locations that are used as control to generate adjustments to corner locations
  • Updates and adjustments from our partners at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • And improved Land Ownership data from the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA).

The hardworking folks at SITLA, under the direction of GIS Manager Kate Staley, have been making good progress in updating SITLA-related land ownership data in the PLSS. So far, SITLA has successfully incorporated data for fourteen county areas and is in the process of incorporating data for a fifteenth county area. (These county areas usually show the townships that cover a certain county, rather than the exact county lines, so, generally, a county area may be a little larger than the actual county and may overlap with the boundaries of a neighboring county.) At SITLA’s current rate for updating this data, SITLA is on track to finish its updates this year.

Like SITLA, the BLM has also been updating BLM-related data in the PLSS Fabric. Specifically, the Bureau has been working on updating Utah tribal area data based on completed resurveys. So far, the BLM has completed work on the Duchesne, Uintah, Grand Salt Lake, and Sevier county areas.

For our part at UGRC, incorporating our data has been a little slower, as updating the PLSS Fabric is a learning process, and we’re still developing best practices for moving forward. So far, we’ve updated the data for three county areas: Morgan, Sevier, and Salt Lake. We are updating our areas based on supplied tie sheets and the included surveyed locations of corners. Most of our supplied tie sheets show data for private lands. In the past year we have collected over 350 tie sheets through our PLSS Corner Management App, to go with approximately 19,000 other tie sheets we have received over the years. One issue we have found in the older tie sheets is that they have great descriptions of each monument and its surrounding area but no precise X, Y location for the point. These older tie sheets will be kept as a Monument Record, but they can’t be used as a control for adjusting the fabric to an improved location.

Available for download

The Utah PLSS Fabric production version is available for download in several forms from the PLSS / Geographic Coordinate Database (GCDB) Cadastre Data Page PLSS / GCDB Cadastre Data Page. The file sizes are quite large, so please consider this when downloading.

  • Utah PLSS Fabric V2.0 (833 GB zip file): the entire statewide fabric with an ArcMap 10.4 mxd and set layer files to correctly draw the PLSS data
  • Published CadNSDI V2.0 (509 MB zip file): PLSS Fabric data in the individual feature classes (i.e., townships, first division, second division, intersected, special survey, meandered water, metadata at a glance, and point) published in the CadNSDI schema
  • Published Utah PLSS V2.0 (184 MB zip file): PLSS Fabric data in the individual feature classes (i.e., township, section, quarter section, quarter-quarter section, meandered water, special surveys, and point) published in the UGRC schema

As the PLSS Fabric grows, updates will be made every couple of months. Changes and updates will be noted in upcoming newsletters, so sign up below, or keep checking back.