PLSS Township

Date(s): Coverage Availability/Geographic Extent: Footprint: Source(s):
2012 Counties bordering New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana County USDA

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Data Details

Available Formats: Shapefile
Alternative Data: None
Derivative Data: None
Known Issues: Limited area for Texas
Recommended Uses: Research
Spatial Reference:

EPSG 4269


Although Texas was never divided into Township and Range, PLSS Township and Range data does exist for counties adjacent to PLSS states (New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana).

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The PLSS typically divides land into 6-mile-square townships, which is the level of information included in the National Atlas. Townships are subdivided into 36 one-mile- square sections. Sections can be further subdivided into quarter sections, quarter-quarter sections, or irregular government lots.

Normally, a permanent monument, or marker, is placed at each section corner. Monuments are also placed at quarter-section corners and at other important points, such as the corners of government lots. Today permanent monuments are usually inscribed tablets set on iron rods or in concrete. The original PLSS surveys were often marked by wooden stakes or posts, marked trees, pits, or piles of rock, or other less-permanent markers.