SGC was engaged to complete a Boundary Retracement Survey of a parcel of land situated on picturesque Bailey Island, Maine. The parcel has been in continuous ownership by the same family for many years, and was adjacent to an active lobster pound. This unique parcel was situated on a peninsula, with ocean frontage on both sides.
Similar to all boundary surveys, this project began with extensive land records research at the registry of deeds, followed by field reconnaissance to uncover boundary line evidence. Field locations were accomplished using conventional survey methods following SGC’s strict QA/QC procedures, under the supervision of a professional land surveyor.
This challenging project involved many facets of land surveying including; reconciling poor deed descriptions, previous surveys, easements and rights-of-way, riparian rights, and subdivision/land use restrictions. The concept of land surveying as “land investigation” was illustrated, as a detailed plan was developed showing all historical and proposed boundaries, rights and encumbrances and physical features of the parcel.
In 1999, the State of Maine purchased a strip of land, 500-feet wide and parallel to the shoreline of Moosehead Lake, from Plum Creek Maine Timberlands, LLC. This conservation land is under the management of Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands (BPL), Western Office. SGC was contracted by the BPL to physically mark the boundary line between the land owned by Plum Creek and the State of Maine. Working with BPL to manage the project and its budgetary constraints, a plan was established to mark the 40-mile line in yearly increments of 4 to 6 miles.
Plum Creek’s GIS office provided UTM-19 coordinates of the major angle points in the boundary, as agreed by the BPL. SGC established primary GPS control points within the project site as a basis for navigation and quality control. The surveying methods depended on the difficulty of the terrain, tree cover, and access, and included a combination of geodetic grade GPS observations, survey grade sub-meter GPS mapping, conventional traversing and magnetic compass readings. A system of independent observations and other quality control measures was put into place to ensure placement of corners within the agreed-to tolerance. 5/8-inch iron rods with stamped aluminum caps were set at each corner. The line segments were cut-out with chainsaws and machetes, and adjacent line trees were blazed and painted.
The success of this project demonstrates the diversity of tasks associated with the surveying profession. It required an understanding of complex geodesy and coordinate systems in combination with the ability to navigate through the dense Maine woods cutting line, which SGC could supply.