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Wintertime

"u.s. Forest Reserve" Benchmark

13 posts in this topic

A friend of mine found this mark while hiking over Mono Pass, on the border of Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest:

 

http://www.wintertime.com/OH/GC/MyPix/Mono_Pass-mark.jpg

 

I found some U.S. Forest Service history that says "Forest Reserves" were created in 1891, and renamed "National Forests" in 1907. So this 1906 marker was near the end of the forest reserves era.

 

Has anyone here run across other forest reserve markers? Do you know of any in the NGS database? (This one isn't.)

 

Patty

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Patty,

 

These have become a hobby of mine to go find. I have found 9 of these corners on the Lewis & Clark Forest Reserve, near Seeley Lake, Montana. I got the notes from the BLM to see where they were set and by whom. This particular boundary was set by the United States Geological Survey and was submitted to the General Land Office for official filing. I know that there is a boundary done with these type of monuments by the USGS on the Black Hills Forest Reserve. These monuments caught my eye, due to the fact that they are some of the oldest Brass boundary monuments that I have seen. Most boundaries completed at and before 1900 were generally wood posts or stone monuments.

 

This boundary was well done, with large mounds and bearing trees. I have not seen any sign of any being used in the NGS data base. I have not found anybody who has seen any of these before; I was pleased to see your post and see the monument that you posted. You can find a little information in the USGS annual reports from the late 1890's until around 1906 in regards to these forest reserves.

 

Here are a couple images of one of the monuments which I have recovered.

 

a38aa76d-0a2a-4965-8a44-582b4e4ae240.jpg

f91c6473-33ab-47df-b787-5ceb635b2d15.jpg

 

Happy hunting,

CallawayMT

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Thank you very much for that additional information, Callaway. Are you saying that I could contact the BLM to get more information on this mark? Or was that only the case for the L&C Forest Reserve? This mark is on the boundary of NPS and USFS lands.

 

I just realized that I did the link wrong before. Here's the actual photo:

 

Mono_Pass-mark.jpg

 

Patty

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Just a Surveyor's word of caution on these particular station marks.

 

Looking for these seems very cool, but, these are not for the meek. If you choose to hunt these, prepare well. Do not hunt them alone, plan, your trip, dress in layers, pack for a big hike, wear sturdy boots, Bring maps and compasses, GPS if it will work under heavy tree cover, Extra batteries, Conserve Batteries, Food, Extra water, first aid and blister meds, cell phone, and conserve it's batteries too, and check in at the Ranger's Station, especially if you intend to really go deep. If you feel your current state of health is not up to this, then see a doc, work out and work up to it. The real world can go from easy to as hard as you have ever had it in these areas before you realize it. These are remote and alpine locations in some cases, and even breathing can be harder than normal.

 

These Station Marks will be off trail, and surveyors go where the survey needs to be, not always on the groomed trails, so it can be really tough dangerous terrain. We tend to have to put these markers where they need to be and they are not always safe or easy places to get to... Get in the habit of watching where you put your feet and testing your footing before trusting it. Walk lightly. Ankle health is really important out there when your ankles and feet are all you have. Try your best to refrain from running, unless it is an emergency. It is a lot safer to walk.

 

The weather in some of these places can be very hot, very cold, and known to change very rapidly, so be aware of this and don't go if the weather looks like it could be dicey. Prepare that it could happen anyway, because it sometimes does, hours after you start. It is so hard to predict the weather, but you could want shorts and long johns on the same hike. Gloves and caps are a good thing to bring too. This time of year, it is colder than you think. Please trust me on this.

 

Prepare that you could meet up with some forms of wildlife that may take exception to you being there. Prepare that you could be there after dark if something does not go quite right. I would not like to see anyone having to cut their own arm off while trying to save their life from a trap or injury.

 

These border markers are after all what mark the borders of our national parks and some of these locations can be very, very remote. This is just a heads up, to be careful. Civilization can be miles and miles away.

 

Many of you may know this, and I am not saying move your whole house out there, but much of the stuff I have outlined should be in your vehicle so you have what you need when you assess the situation you have before you, this way you can adapt right then and there. Some of this stuff you will always want along. I know some like to pack light, but remember you are hunting for survey markers and this means extra stuff as it is, and again, this is not where the public is generally going to go in the park, so what we commonly think of as a park trail is not what we will find out here. It is worth a reminder to us all anyway. A little safety meeting is always worth checking in on.

 

Good Luck, remember not to go these alone, and stay safe!

 

Rob

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Thank you very much for that additional information, Callaway. Are you saying that I could contact the BLM to get more information on this mark? Or was that only the case for the L&C Forest Reserve? This mark is on the boundary of NPS and USFS lands.

 

Patty

Patty,

 

Yes, if you give the Township, Range, and Section for this particular monument to the helpful people in the BLM office in Sacramento. They should be able to send you copies of the official survey notes for that survey.

 

Good Luck,

CallawayMT

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Yes, if you give the Township, Range,  and Section for this particular monument to the helpful people in the BLM office in Sacramento.  They should be able to send you copies of the official survey notes for that survey.

Cool! And, umm, how do I determine its Township, Range, and Section?

 

Patty

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Patty,

 

John is right about using a USGS map, that is the easiest way to find this information. Do you have a latitude and Longitude for the monument in your image? If so we can help you get the needed information. At that point then you can go to the BLM for the survey notes that you would like. Here is a link to the California Survey Records page where you can find the hours, phone numbers, addresses and costs to find those notes.

 

California BLM Records Research

 

Good Luck,

CallawayMT

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Another tool which can be used to approximate township range meridian and section and works in western states is derived from a program called TRS2LL. A web interface can be found here:

 

TRS2LL interface

 

the part that goes from lat long to the description can be found here:

 

Latitude and Longitude entry

 

UTM entry here:

 

UTM entry

 

It is sometimes time consuming to find the townships and ranges on continuous coverage quad bases like topozone or terraserver since that into is mostly on the map collars which are cut off.

 

- jlw

 

PS For instance Mono Pass is at 37-25-30 / 118-46-21 which plugged into the second link above yields and extensive feport which begins with this:

 

Latitude/Longitude

37.4250°N, 118.7725°W ( 37°, 25', 30.0" N; 118°, 46', 21.0" W )

The legal description is: California, Mt. Diablo Meridian T6S,R29E,sec14

UTM zone 11 (X,Y) 343165 , 4143496

Edited by jwahl
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Hi, everyone.

 

Sorry for the belated reply, but I just got back from Disneyland. (Yes, yes, a rotten job, but somebody has to do it. :-))

 

John, I usually work with the trimmed versions of electronic topo maps, so I don't have all that lovely explanatory text on the edges that would be important in this case! A big thanks to jwahl for saving me the trouble of digging through my old printed maps or downloading another 18MB file of the NAD 83 untrimmed topo. Hopefully the marker is somewhere near the summit of the pass and thus also in Section 14.

 

And CallawayMT, I found the info about the BLM office and will contact them to get exact ordering information. I imagine it would only be a page or two to get the field notes for that mark, so I could order them and give a copy to my friend who found the marker.

 

Patty

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Give me a lat long if you get a chance...

 

- jlw

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Give me a lat long if you get a chance...

My friend didn't have a GPS receiver with her, but the lat/long you found for Mono Pass should do the trick.

 

Patty

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Pulled up this old, old thread after seeing the below while on a bird watching trip in SE Arizona. A drive station along E Rucker Cny Rd at N31.76422 W109.35318. Flat top measures 3.75 in / 9.6 cm with a 0.5 cm side wall thickness, kayakbird

 

1905 US FOREST RESERVE CAP

 

6bceca14-45fe-4e00-833b-8763313c68c7.jpg

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