Geographical Information Systems (GIS) & Land Records


Beltrami County has contracted with Kramer Leas DeLeo (KLD), a professional surveying and engineering company with offices in Brainerd and St. Cloud, to conduct remonumentation work at PLSS corner locations in Beltrami County.
Beginning in October 2020 and continuing through November 2022, survey crews from KLD will be working in Alaska, Langor, and Roosevelt Townships.

What are PLSS Corners?

You may often hear PLSS corners referred to more commonly as section corners, although quarter corners, meander corners, and witness corners are also other types of PLSS corners.  Early in our nation’s history there was a need for a logical and systematic way to sell and develop the lands west of the thirteen colonies.  In 1784 Thomas Jefferson and several military engineers developed a rectangular survey system which is known today as the PLSS.  The system was devised to provide a basis for providing title to land and a way that the title can be related to the parcel it describes.  One of the major requirements of the system was the establishment of monuments marking the corners of this rectangular system.  These corners are the foundation for virtually all property ownership in the county.  In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the federal government originally surveyed lands in Beltrami County.  This remonumentation project will help protect and perpetuate these corner monuments.

What is Remonumentation?

The term remonumentation refers to the process of researching, locating, performing maintenance, and documenting the findings and work performed at PLSS corner locations.  Remonumentation is not a survey of your property lines.  Remonumentation does, however, reduce the cost of boundary surveys because the legal description that defines your property often originates from or is otherwise tied to a PLSS corner location.  If you own a large tract of land like a section, quarter section, or quarter quarter section, one or more of your property corners may be marked by a PLSS corner.

What do the Suvey Crews do?

Research: The survey crew, with assistance from the county, will research historical records for each corner to gather the information they need before heading out into the field.

Field work: After research is completed, the survey crew will go to the physical location of each corner and attempt to locate the corner monument and the reference ties (such as bearing trees).  Some corner monuments will have been preserved better than others over the years, and it may be relatively easy to locate the monument and the reference ties.  Sometimes the survey crew will find little to no evidence of the corner monument or reference ties, in which case they conduct survey work to reestablish the corner location and set a new monument and reference ties.  At most corner locations that are not on roadways, the survey crew will place a red or orange fiberglass stake next to the monument.  They also commonly put red paint or yellow aluminum tags on the nearby bearing trees.  Some corners are located on roadways, and those monuments are set below the surface of the road and can only be located with a metal detector or by excavating.  Sometimes the survey crews will need to cross private land to access a corner location, or a corner may be surrounded by private land on all sides.  They will contact the land owner(s) in those situations.

Documentation: The survey crew uses a standardized field worksheet to document all the work performed at each corner location.  This information is later transformed into an official document known as a Certificate of Location of Government Corner, or COLOGC.  When complete, these documents are recorded by the County Recorder and are public records.

Accessing PLSS Corner Records

Use the web-bassed mapping application Online Mapping to access COLOGC documents, field worksheets, and photos of corner monuments.