Public Land Survey System ... Page 1
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Does the following legal description confuse you?

Township 5N, Range 6E, Sec. 16, S2 SW4 NW4 NE4, Mt. Diablo Meridian

Do you know how many acres it is? Do you know where it's located? Would you know how to find it?

     The next few pages contains information on how to easily understand the U. S. Public Land Survey System. Click on the "next" button above to continue this easy 6 page tutorial which will help you understand legal descriptions of mining claims, private, and federal lands located within the United States.

      In 1785, the US rectangular survey system was established as a means of laying out square parcels over all surveyed Federal lands outside the original thirteen colonies and their western territories. Today, we call this the Public Land Survey System which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

            Principle Meridians

     The United States contains 37 principle meridians shown as the colored areas of the US map to the right. Each has it's own name to describe it's locality within the US.

     For example, the large green meridian which takes up most of California and Nevada is called the Mount Diablo Principle Meridian.