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  • 05 Jan 2023 4:56 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    FAIRFAX, VA - Legislation to create a current, accurate inventory or “cadastre” of Federal land owned by the Department of the Interior as well as the U.S. Forest Service, known as the Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform (FLAIR) Act, was enacted into law as part of the Omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on Thursday, December 29.

    The provision is found in H.R.2617the Consolidated Appropriations Act,FY 2023, also known as the Omnibus appropriations bill (4,155 pages), in Division DD – Public Land Management, Title I Department of the Interior Provisions, Sec. 103, Cadastre of Federal Real Property, beginning on page 2856.

    “This is a huge victory for the geospatial community. We first wrote the FLAIR Act and had it introduced in 2005. Years of persistence and hard work by many finally paid off. John “JB” Byrd of our firm played a critical role, having been a witness at a House committee hearing on the bill earlier this year, and adroitly and with tenacity shepherding the bill through the House and Senate. When building GIS or doing survey records research, this cadastre will make such data access and integration much more efficient. It will also improve Federal land management,” said John Palatiello of Miller Wenhold Capitol Strategies and Miller Wenhold Association Management (“MW”). Among the MW clients supporting the bill were the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) and the U.S. Geospatial Executives Organization (US. GEO).

    On Friday, December 30, One America News Network (OANN) aired an interview with Mr. Palatiello. To view the interview, click here. The bipartisan cadastre legislation, introduced in 2021 in the House by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) and in the Senate by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) had earlier been approved unanimously by the respective House and Senate committees of jurisdiction before agreement was reached to include it in the Omnibus bill.


    Miller/Wenhold is a federal-focused policy firm that specializes in geospatial, healthcare, transportation, engineering, infrastructure, maritime, tax, trade, small business, procurement, and education issues for clients.

  • 11 Nov 2022 10:12 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    [Jump to eNewsletter Break]

    (Caveat: Complete election results – in Oregon and across the country – won’t be known for more than a week. In Georgia, US Senate results will not be known for several weeks as they will have a runoff election in December. So, any of the conclusions I suggest could be wrong.)

    There is an old cliché about the view depending a lot on which end of a telescope one looks through. That could be quite appropriate of the 2022 election results.

    On the one hand, Republicans could be forgiven for expecting a huge Red Wave of victories. Nationally, Joe Biden – when compared to his predecessors -- is one of the most unpopular presidents at this point in his first term. Add to that inflation, gas prices, supply chain problems, and international instability, and you have a recipe for GOP success.

    Here in Oregon, Kate Brown has been the Governor with the lowest in-state popularity for many months. Add to that the very visible homelessness issue, crime increasing, and nightly rioting in Portland last year (with her tacit support) and local Republicans thought the expected national swing to the GOP might actually include Oregon this year (for a change).

    The Republican electoral expectations, which were amplified by much of the press, were sky high. Unrealistically high as it turned out. So, even victories are now being cast as a defeat. So, let’s look down the other end of the telescope, for just a moment, for some perspective. 

    [Jump from Enews link]

    Republicans WILL take control of the US House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi’s reign is over. While the margin will be thin, this is still a huge victory for Republicans. They won control of the House. They can stop President Biden’s agenda cold. But if you watch any of the talking heads, all they talk about is how poorly Republicans performed on election night. Winning is winning.

    To be fair, the US Senate is still up in the air.

    In Oregon over the past 20 years, only two of nearly 35 statewide partisan races have been won by a Republican. So, to expect Christine Drazan to beat Tina Kotek (even with Betsy Johnson as a spoiler) was a tall order. Statistically there was better than a 90 percent chance that Kotek would win the election.

    Oregon had three open Congressional seats (out of six total) on election night. Republicans talked in serious tones about winning all three. Or at least two of them. This, despite Democrats redrawing all the lines last year. The fact that Republican still may, in fact, win one of them (giving us four Democrats and two Republicans) should be considered a huge win. Republicans were actually competitive in all three districts drawn by Democrats. That’s amazing.

    And in the state house and senate, Republicans WILL make gains and narrow the Democrat’s majority. In fact, it is likely the Republicans have eliminated the Democrats supermajorities in both the senate and house. That’s a pretty darn good year for the GOP -- in Oregon of all places.

    Please note that in Oregon, not only are there thousands of votes still to be counted as this is being written, but because of a new law allowing ballots postmarked on election day to count, Oregon counties literally don’t even know how many more votes are still to come in to be counted over the next few days. Properly postmarked ballots will still count as long as they arrive at election offices within seven days of the election.

    Yes, Republicans did underperform unrealistically high expectations in Oregon and across the nation. But Republicans won. Republicans made gains nationally. Republicans made gains in Oregon. Republicans have reason to celebrate, not dismay, over the election results.

    p.s. I will provide updates as election results are certified and more is certain.

  • 19 Sep 2022 5:54 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    In Loving Memory of Eugene DiLoreto

    Oct. 23, 1925 - Sept. 8, 2022

    It is with deep sadness that PLSO announces the passing of it's co-founder Gene DiLoreto, who peacefully passed away on September 8th at the age of 96 with his family at his side.

    Gene was born in Bandon, Ore., to Angelo and Mary DiLoreto. He had one sister, Rose Angela. In 1930 the family moved to southeast Portland where Gene resided for the rest of his life. Gene attended Creston Grade School and graduated in 1943 from Franklin High School. Following high school, Gene enlisted in the Navy and was assigned to the USS Monterey, an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. He served on the same ship as former President Gerald Ford, although their paths never crossed.

    Following the end of WWII, Gene returned to Oregon and enrolled at Willamette University working towards a degree in mathematics. It was at Willamette, at the Catholic Newman Center, that Gene met Florence Polster. He was enchanted by her strength of character and dedication to her family and faith; she fell in love with his charming wit, kind eyes, and how he could make her laugh. They wed April 15, 1950. Gene would joke over the years that he must have tricked Florence into marrying him–and when you look at their wedding photo, he indeed looks like the cat that ate the canary! They raised five boys together in southeast Portland: Greg, Chris, Vince, Dale, and Mark. In 2022, they celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

    In 1949, Gene began work for the Multnomah County Road Department, where he would work for the next 34 years. Initially hired as an inspector, Gene progressed in his career to surveyor and in 1961, a civil engineer, where his first project was the design of Marine Drive. 

    It was in 1959 that Gene, together with Claire Pense and Harlan Scott, formed the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, before becoming incorporated in in 1960. He rarely missed an Annual Convention, was easy going and happy to take a moment to chat with younger generations about surveying. Read more about the inception of PLSO here. (Pic below starting from the left: Eugene, Bert Mason, Claire Pense)

    During Gene's working career he also founded a small surveying firm, which designed many of the subdivisions in the Damascus, Ore. area. He also provided surveying jobs for all his sons, such that three of them obtained civil engineering degrees from Oregon State and the creative two obtained architecture degrees from the University of Oregon. He was a mentor and role model to all his children and grandchildren.

    During retirement, Gene and Florence traveled extensively, with a driving trip around the United States, a trip to Canada, another trip to Italy to see the old homestead and family. They also visited every county fair in Oregon. Never one to miss a family wedding or celebration, he and Florence traveled all over the country, and notably made the long journey to Montreal to see their oldest son Greg installed as President of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Just before his passing Gene visited the Navy boot camp in Idaho with his son Vince and his wife, where he trained before being assigned to the USS Monterey aircraft carrier.

    Gene was extremely active in his church, St. Anthony's Catholic Church of Portland. He served on numerous parish committees and on the original steering committee together for the St. Anthony's Village, an assisted living facility. Gene could always be seen greeting people as they entered church, taking up the collection, as a reader during Mass, a Eucharistic Minister, and handing out bulletins at the end of Mass. He enjoyed the fellowship of his church particularly the weekly coffee klatch with men in the parish.

    Generous of spirit and of heart, Gene was the proudest of his family. At every large family gathering he seemed to radiate joy, just seeing his brood boisterously laugh and enjoy each other's company. His dedication to his family was unparalleled and Gene reveled in being a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was an uncommonly kind man who was quick to laugh and even quicker to help anyone in need. His deep wisdom, charming wit, and gentle leadership will truly be missed by all who knew him.

    Gene is survived by his wife, Florence; his five sons and their wives; his 14 grandchildren; and his six great-grandchildren.

    A rosary will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the Mount Scott Funeral Home, 4205 S.E. 59th Ave., Portland. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 22nd at St. Anthony's Parish.

    The family suggests donations in his memory be made to St. Anthony's of Padua Catholic Parish, 3720 S.E. 79th Ave., Portland, OR 97206, or Catholic Charities.

    Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits

  • 14 Sep 2022 9:02 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Good morning all,

    I am pleased to announce that Joe Mannix will officially begin his role as the supervisory land surveyor for Northwest Oregon District starting September 25, duty stationed in the Salem Office.  Joe has already started taking over some of the coordination for this position.  As he continues to fully integrate into the Northwest Oregon Lead position, he will begin withdrawing from some his previous lead roles.  For Joe he will be returning to supporting the Northwest Oregon District where he spent several years as a field surveyor in Springfield before taking a technical lead role with the State Office.  Joe’s energy, charisma, and relationships built from his time in Springfield will serve him well.

    Congratulations Joe!

    And I would like to officially announce that Robert Femling has been selected to be the next Branch Chief for Geographic Sciences and well start the position on September 25.  For those wondering, yes this feels very odd to be the one sending this message to the Branch, but while Mary is out that is the way it has gone.  I am sure some of you are wondering “How is that going to work with Mary also in the position?”.  Mary’s current plans are to remain for several more months to be part of the transition and trying to show me the rope while also helping begin the new fiscal year.  I expect to be drinking from a fire hose for that time!  I will refrain from doing much introduction of myself, but I am excited to continue to be a part of this Branch and look forward to leading these groups into the future.

    Thank you all for the work that you.


    Robert Femling

    Cadastral Section 2 Chief

    Bureau of Land Management

    Oregon State Office

  • 09 Sep 2022 10:53 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    As Aimee McAullife's column in the next issue of The Oregon Land Surveyor discusses, PLSO has been working on ways to promote the profession through social media to students. At this phase Aimee has been following surveyors across the country and researching local influencers. One of her favorite surveyor accounts is @geospatially_opinionated on Instagram, run out of Kentucky by Kenny Marhoffer with Davey Resource Group. Other than working as a land surveyor and running a successful Instagram profile, Kenny also happens to organize an annual Surveyor Camp.

    "It's a camping trip that I formed in 2020 that approximately 15-30 people from all across the nation go on every year," Kenny explained. "I pretty much ask people on Instagram if they want to go and then bring it all together through email. I've had people from California, Washington, Maine and Florida come into North Carolina for the trip. It's a mix of men and women, business owners and technicians just starting out. Some people get hired after the trip, but it's really about creating friendships and community."

    This year's trip is September 22-25. You can check out the itinerary here. If you want to attend this year or have more advanced warning for next year, be sure to message Kenny on Instagram at @geospatially_opinionated.

  • 20 May 2022 4:21 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    ACEC Oregon, AIA Oregon and PLSO are collecting information on the impacts of Duty to Defend clauses in many Oregon public contracts for design professionals. 

    In order to move forward with legislation during the 2023 session, we were asked to provide more information on harm caused by the contract requirements.

    As a reminder, PLSO has been supporting the intent on ending the inclusion of duty to defend clauses in public and private agreements. This duty to defend clause is onerous as it requires the design professional be responsible to defend an owner or other party against claims asserted by a third-party even if the design professional is not negligent. 

    We need your help! If your firm has an example of dealing with Duty to Defend please click on the Submit Case Study button below and complete the electronic form by Thursday, June 2.


  • 11 May 2022 10:08 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    NSPS held a virtual town hall on Tuesday, May 10th regarding the proposed changes to the Davis-Bacon Act. These changes would include surveying to be considered “labor” and thus subject to prevailing wage requirements. John Palatiello and JB Byrd, NSPS Legislative Representatives, were on hand to discuss the proposed changes and answer questions. The webinar was moderated by Timothy Burch, NSPS Executive Director.

    NSPS and PLSO members are urged to file comments with the U.S. Department of Labor in opposition to classifying members of survey crews as “laborers and mechanics” under a 90-year old law known as the Davis-Bacon Act.

    For additional information and background, click here.  This includes a recent Town Hall hosted by NSPS, a PowerPoint, and a podcast.

    For instructions on filing comments, and tips on what to put in your comments, click here.

    Comments are due by close of business this coming Tuesday, May 17.  The voice of the surveying profession must be heard.  Comments may be brief, but please, submit a comment.

    For more information, please visit the website:


  • 11 Mar 2022 8:59 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Just wanted to let people know that we had some survey equipment (including a Trimble R10 GPS receiver, metal detector, hedge trimmer) stolen out of a work van today, while it was parked in a client's driveway in a respectable, residential neighborhood in West Linn.  A two-person survey crew was staking line within 100 ft of the van when it happened.

    That same work vehicle had equipment stolen out of it one night toward the end of last year, when it was parked overnight (near a streetlight) beside our office building in Tigard.  (We do not leave it there overnight anymore.)

    We also had someone try to walk away with a Trimble total station and tripod last September near SE 82nd Ave.  A crew member chased them down and confronted them before they "soft-dropped" it on the ground, doing minimal damage, thankfully.

    The criminals are certainly getting more brazen all the time.  Take heed!

    Tony Ryan

    Weddle Surveying

  • 11 Nov 2021 2:06 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Legislative Update from Dave Williams:

    I am pleased to report that PLSO had a very successful 2021 Legislative session.  Both Bills we sponsored were signed by the Governor and become effective on January 01, 2022.  HB2312 – Amends ORS 92.017 regarding Judicial Property Line changes. Provides that lawful units of land whose property lines are relocated by certain judgments remain lawful units. Prohibits requiring additional validating procedures or denying permits because of judicial boundary changes.  HB2884 – Amends ORS 92.176 extending the time for recording partition plat incorporating city or county’s permit validating a unit of land from 90 days to 365 days. 

    We supported legislation, HB 3082 - that eliminates the inconsistency between minimum thresholds that require a competitive bid process in ORS 279B (goods and services) and ORS279C (public improvements/construction services).  It amends ORS 279C.335 raising the contract price at which public improvement contract solicitations are exempt from competitive bidding requirement from $5,000 to $10,000.  Additionally, we supported HB213 – which voids certain provisions in construction agreement requiring design professional to defend or indemnify against certain claims except to extent design professional’s negligence caused indemnitee’s damages. Provides that design professional may not be held liable for attorney fees incurred to defend claims against indemnitee before design professional’s fault is determined.  We will be looking to future Sessions to advance this legislation.

    I cannot overstate how important the efforts of our Lobbyist, Darrell Fuller, were to the success of this legislative session.  Without him, navigating the legislative process, especially during COVID, would be immeasurably more difficult.

    At last weeks Board Meeting we looked into an issue reported to me by Ryan Erickson regarding certain property line adjustments in Lane County.  The substance of the email is as follows:

    The PLA in question was done in 2003 and at the time Lane County did not regulate property line adjustments so they would just tell folks to comply with ORS 92.  The PLA in question involved 3 maybe 4 property lines and the adjustment was done in one PLA deed.  Apparently, there have been recent LUBA decisions that say adjusting multiple lines in one deed is incorrect. This causes Lane County to issue the determination that all these properties are not legal lots.  Basically there is no remedy other than possibly trying to unwind everything back 20 years and start over again with multiple land use applications and multiple owners working together to “fix” this.

    The Board directed the Legislative Committee to look into this problem, find out if this is an issue in other areas of the State and determine if a legislative fix is the best course of action.  I will be contacting the committee members and requesting that they bring this to the attention of their chapters for discussion.

    Finally, I would like to begin the search for the next Legislative Chair.  I accepted this position while still actively running the company I cofounded in the late 1980’s.  Five years into retirement I find myself increasingly distant from the issues that once were in the forefront of my day-to-day life.  I believe the organization would benefit from someone younger and more engaged in the everyday details of the surveying profession.  I encourage anyone interested in this position to contact me and I will outline the duties and time commitments and benefits related to being the chair.

  • 25 Jun 2021 8:36 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The National Society of Professional Surveyors ("NSPS") has updated the ALTA/NSPS standards for an ALTA ("American Land Title Association") Survey, effective February 23, 2021.  Revisions and clarifications were made to both the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements ("Standards") and Table A Optional Requirements ("Table A"). 

    Of particular note, pursuant to the NSPS website, the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1995 case of Gutierrez de Martinez v. Lamagno, 515 U.S. 417, through its interpretation of a portion of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, found that the word "shall" is used frequently as a synonym for the word "may", neither of which is indicative of the word "must".  A Joint Committee, comprised of members from both the NSPS and ALTA, reviewed each use of the words "must" and "shall" and used the one that was most appropriate in each case, with "must" indicating an imperative.  Throughout the Standards, the term "property" is now referred to as the "property to be surveyed" or the "surveyed property".

    In additional to many minor revisions to the Standards, the Joint Committee added a provision to require that evidence of utility poles on or within ten feet of the surveyed property be marked on a plat or map without expressing a legal opinion as to ownership or nature of any potential encroachment of the utility pole or its crossmembers or overhangs.  Utility locate markings are also to now be included on a plat or map, including the source of the markings with a note if unknown.  In addition to all easements identified in title evidence provided, if a surveyor finds a recorded easement that is not otherwise included, the surveyor must advise the insurer, show or otherwise explain it on the face of the plat or map and make a note that the insurer has been advised.

    Fewer revisions were made to Table A; however, there are three that are substantive.  First, item 6(a), which relates to zoning of the surveyed property, adds to the first sentence, "(a) If the current zoning classification, setback requirements, the height and floor space area restrictions, and parking requirements specific to the surveyed property are...".  These items are to be added to the plat or map.  Second and third, item 10(b) which relates to party walls being plumb was deleted, as well as item 18 pertaining to wetlands.

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