The County Surveyor is a position within the Land Information Office. The County Surveyor has been appointed by the County Board as required by WI Statutes to be the County’s authority for the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).
The primary responsibilities of the County Surveyor are:
- to administer the county’s PLSS remonumentation program
- to review & file PLSS record documents and land surveys prepared by professional land surveyors
- to review all Certified Survey Maps (CSMs) & Subdivision Plats to be recorded with the Register of Deeds
- to collaborate with & advise the Land Information Office and Real Property Lister on PLSS and survey related issues pertinent to the County’s digital parcel mapping & GIS data development efforts
- to serve as the Professional Land Surveyor position required by the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP) to be a member on the Vernon County Land Information Council
The County Surveyor works with professional land surveyors who are performing surveys within Vernon County to ensure that PLSS section corners are properly located, maintained, and documented. The County Surveyor also reviews surveys & plats that are recorded and/or filed with the County for compliance with State & County surveying rules and regulations (i.e. AE-7, Chp 236, and Vernon County Ordinances). Under Vernon County policy, the Full-time County Surveyor is not allowed to perform private surveying work within Vernon County to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
The Public Land Survey System or PLSS is the public infrastructure that forms the basis for defining all property ownership and property rights throughout the County. The original government land survey that established and set monuments for the public land survey sections in Vernon County was originally performed from 1839 thru 1852. From about the mid 1860’s through the early 1900’s several County Surveyors maintained & re-set original government corners as well as set many interior corners of sections. The County maintains two volumes of these historical County Surveyor records in the Register of Deeds Office.
These historical records, additional survey records (e.g. plats of surveys, C.O.E. surveys, PLSS monument records/tie sheets, etc...), and other surveying related information are also available through the Online Surveyor Files link provided in the Related Pages column at left. The hardcopy County Surveyor’s files are available for viewing in the Land Information Office located on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse Annex.
Interactive GIS maps displaying PLSS corners, plats of surveys, CSMs, and subdivision plats are accessible from the Land Information & GIS Maps link. Within these interactive maps the .pdf files of ties sheets and plats of surveys are linked to their respective map features and accessible from pop-ups implemented within the maps when a feature is clicked on.
Adobe Reader or another application that is able to open .pdf files is required for viewing the online files. Copies of CSMs or Subdivision Plats must be purchased from the Register of Deeds Office.
In 1996, Vernon County started a PLSS Bounty program to begin remonumenting and documenting PLSS corners. This initial remonumentation effort was completed in 2019. With a Full-time County Surveyor position the County will actively be performing maintenance of PLSS corners. If you are aware of any PLSS corners that are in danger of being disturbed or have been disturbed, please contact the County Surveyor or Land Information Office. Most PLSS corner markers will have a survey marker sign nearby that looks like the following sign and is normally located within a couple of feet of the corner monument.
Survey Marker Sign
Laurence Johns - County Surveyor
Rm. 310, Courthouse Annex