|Inland Lakes & Wetlands|
|Bayfield County GIS|
|Copyright 2004: Bayfield County|
|Survey Maps and Data||
Extremely important, in fact, essential, to our form of property ownership is the Public Land Survey System. The key components of the PLSS are those section corner, quarter- corner, and meander corner monuments set (in 1858 in our area) by the Federal Government. All description and conveyance of land is based on these monuments.
Although it seems obvious that the maintenance and perpetuation of these monuments is very important, our County, and many others, have not, historically, done a particularly good job of it. However, in an effort to better promote remonumentation, Bayfield County has established a Remonumentation Program. Additionally, to assure that these monument records are properly archived, the Land Records Department has established a specific filing and retrieval system for monument records.
The required content of a Monument Record is enumerated in WI Administrative Code A-E 7.08. A unique ID number, (a numbering system since adopted as the State WLIP standard), is assigned to its respective monument. That ten-digit number (made up of Township, Range, Section, Row, Column) becomes the key number employed to link the Monument Record and its geographic location. (Click here for additional information on the Wisconsin Corner Identification System).
Survey Corner Monuments meeting the strict standards of the Wisconsin Administrative Code can only be filed by Registered Land Surveyors. There are, however, many other users of the PLSS, especially since the advent of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). To permit the capture of valuable data that might otherwise go unreported, we also file forms, which denote potential, but not verifiable, PLSS corners discovered by non-surveyors.
All Survey Monuments throughout Bayfield County are filed, indexed, and maintained in a traditional "hard copy" document filing system at the office of the Land Records Department. We also maintain an Internet access to this data. Select Interactive Map to view a seamless countywide virtual map. Navigate to your area of interest and select the symbol representing the monument of interest. When an individual monument is selected, a hotlink is immediately made to all of the scanned documents pertaining to that particular monument. (Note: All documents are in a PDF format. You must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view these documents. If you do not have Adobe Reader, it can be downloaded and installed, at not cost, by clicking on the icon below).
Another of the initiatives undertaken by the Land Records Department was to create a repository to store, categorize, and permit easy retrieval of maps of survey, plats of survey, certified survey maps, and other documents that could serve to accurately portray lines of property ownership. Prior to this effort much of this data was simply unavailable from County government or existed in an array of Departments (e.g. Register of Deeds, Real Property, Highway, Forestry, Zoning), often in a manner difficult to discover or to access.
Assorted survey maps are indexed by Section - Township - Range for the entire County and are available to the public during customary office hours. Recently, most survey maps contained in this repository were scanned; and PDF images were produced for each document. These maps are also available via the Interactive Map to view and download.
Our current total of approximately 3,000 maps of survey is anticipated to grow markedly in future years because of ever-increasing development, increased survey activity, and greater diligence in the filing of these documents.