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Discussion Starter #1
Latest acquisition has an orange Alberta survey marker post at the SE corner, I don't see a buried peg anywhere. Then about 20 feet further north(to my detriment), there is a brand new fence installed entirely by the owner of the quarter south of me. Lots of stakes along the fence, and a nail with ribbon right at the corner, but again, I don't see a survey peg. The survey plan for this property also seems to indicate the marker being south of the property line, and the fence looks to be on the property line. No comments on the survey.

Could it be that the orange survey stake is incorrect? What takes precedent if it is? The neighbor is the owner of a large local gravel company, had intentions of developing for gravel, but could not obtain permits. So not a fly by night operation, I don't know him well, but we have met. Fence was reinstalled along previous fence line. I should take gps over and see if fence is actually straight with the world, but are they necessarily straight, or were there errors in the original surveys, and they take precedent?
 

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Lots of those orange markers "disappear" or get moved, but there is nothing grey about true survey data and that is what determines legal boundary. Had a mile of "new" boundary along edge of land here - to my detriment - where neighbor decided to construct a new fence that was at least 20' inside original; he paid for survey and constructed fence accordingly. Funny enough, just bought some trees out in BC and there was hodge-podge of survey ribbons, markers etc from appraisals/sales gone by, but the very old axe blazes that marked the survey reference trees at corners of property were right-on what computer showed when you were standing there. Usually the way people "protect/mark" boundaries gives a pretty good indication of who you are dealing with.
 

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Latest acquisition has an orange Alberta survey marker post at the SE corner, I don't see a buried peg anywhere. Then about 20 feet further north(to my detriment), there is a brand new fence installed entirely by the owner of the quarter south of me. Lots of stakes along the fence, and a nail with ribbon right at the corner, but again, I don't see a survey peg. The survey plan for this property also seems to indicate the marker being south of the property line, and the fence looks to be on the property line. No comments on the survey.

Could it be that the orange survey stake is incorrect? What takes precedent if it is? The neighbor is the owner of a large local gravel company, had intentions of developing for gravel, but could not obtain permits. So not a fly by night operation, I don't know him well, but we have met. Fence was reinstalled along previous fence line. I should take gps over and see if fence is actually straight with the world, but are they necessarily straight, or were there errors in the original surveys, and they take precedent?
Original surveys take precedence, we have some very crooked surveys in my area. There is no way I could go off gps, but it would be nice. If you can find the buried pins is better than going off the orange stake.
 

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You definitely can't use a tractor's GPS heading line. That wouldn't take into account corrections the surveyors made as they moved across the township, or the natural grid distortion as you move farther from a meridian. The quarter line may not be exactly north and south as surveyed.

It's pretty amazing how the surveyors managed to layout squarish blocks of land over a round surface, and used things like chains and transits.
 

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Get out the metal detector and look for the pin.
Quite often the pin is just buried in the dirt.
However here where the bush has grown up since settlement and bush was cleared with a cat the pins get rooted out when that happens.
 

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The survey markers in Alberta only mark the one direction. They are not used to mark the corners. So often you will see 2 survey markers 200 feet apart. One marks the North-South line and the other the East-West line.

The fence is probably in the correct location.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The survey markers in Alberta only mark the one direction. They are not used to mark the corners. So often you will see 2 survey markers 200 feet apart. One marks the North-South line and the other the East-West line.

The fence is probably in the correct location.
Thanks, that's the kind of info I was looking for. That also explains why I often see survey markers in the middle of a property line.
I had always assumed that the markers were the equivalent to a pin, But your explanation makes much more sense.
I'll check for the pin one day before worrying about it.
This isn't the kind of operation who would spend a bunch of money putting a fence in a random fence in the wrong location.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Just had a look on my way by. Saw another survey marker cross the road It was almost lined up with the new fence on my side of the road. And there is a pin right below it. Although the property line fence on that side of the road is at least 100 feet too far south. So I dug around on my side of the road and found the survey pin right underneath the orange survey marker with ribbon tied to it. I looked at the fence closer and it has a significant curve to it so apparently what I said in the last post wasn't very accurate.

So how can the property lines on both sides of the road be offset by almost 20 feet? Does the survey pin take priority when it can be found, or do the surveyors measure from another known point?
 

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Lots of those orange markers "disappear" or get moved, but there is nothing grey about true survey data and that is what determines legal boundary. Had a mile of "new" boundary along edge of land here - to my detriment - where neighbor decided to construct a new fence that was at least 20' inside original; he paid for survey and constructed fence accordingly. Funny enough, just bought some trees out in BC and there was hodge-podge of survey ribbons, markers etc from appraisals/sales gone by, but the very old axe blazes that marked the survey reference trees at corners of property were right-on what computer showed when you were standing there. Usually the way people "protect/mark" boundaries gives a pretty good indication of who you are dealing with.
I’ve known farmers who move the survey stake so it corresponds to where they wanted the fence to be! Real stupid idea
 

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Anyone have a picture of these survey markers?
They're the ones usually sticking up out of an old scrub pile! Shouldn't be too hard to find one!!! lol
 

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Just had a look on my way by. Saw another survey marker cross the road It was almost lined up with the new fence on my side of the road. And there is a pin right below it. Although the property line fence on that side of the road is at least 100 feet too far south. So I dug around on my side of the road and found the survey pin right underneath the orange survey marker with ribbon tied to it. I looked at the fence closer and it has a significant curve to it so apparently what I said in the last post wasn't very accurate.

So how can the property lines on both sides of the road be offset by almost 20 feet? Does the survey pin take priority when it can be found, or do the surveyors measure from another known point?
With the limited information given, it sounds like you are on a Correction Line, which occurs every 4 Townships. Due to meridian convergence, that means meridians (North/south lines) converge to connect at the North Pole. Township lines are reset every 4 townships so that sections maintain their theoretical size (area) as you go north.

https://www.alsa.ab.ca/Public-Information/Albertas-Township-System
 

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Most of gime theres a concrete post burried, we have had several fields resurveyed becuase neighbors were over the line, its not cheap but awesome once its staked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
With the limited information given, it sounds like you are on a Correction Line, which occurs every 4 Townships. Due to meridian convergence, that means meridians (North/south lines) converge to connect at the North Pole. Township lines are reset every 4 townships so that sections maintain their theoretical size (area) as you go north.

https://www.alsa.ab.ca/Public-Information/Albertas-Township-System
That would be a reasonable explanation, but correction lines should run E-W, this is shifted N-S, and the next correction line is 10 miles North of here. Thanks for the link, interesting topic. I really want to know more about how it was done, especially out here. This country would be solid heavy tall bush if not for farmers ( although evidently it was all burnt off when the first settlers got here), full of Muskegs(impassible) and rivers, some big hills etc. How they even got around let alone accurately surveyed it beyond me.
 

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The stake above ground is the "witness" marker. The metal pin under the ground (if there is one) is the "monument". The monument shows where the boundary is while the witness is just a way to help find the monument.


When re-establishing the boundary line, a survey will try to use the original monuments. If the monument cannot be found, try will re-establish a monument based on other information. In Saskatchewan (and I would imagine Alberta), the government has dimensions of each quarter section. You can download that data electronically and for free if you know where to go (ISC in Sask). Quarters are not exactly 1/2 mile on each side.

If you know what you are doing, you can lookup the coordinates of the corners of the quarter section. The will be in the UTM coordinate system. Those can be converted to the more common WGS84 system that most GPS systems use. Handy for finding roughly where the boundary should be. To find it more accurately, you need someone trained in surveying.


There is quite a bit of interesting information on this web site:

https://www.isc.ca/About/History/LandSurveys/SurveyMonuments/Pages/Types.aspx

They actually have copies of the log books of the original surveyors. Those guys did an amazing job given the technology they had and the difficulty of the landscape.
 

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I think the surveyors must have done my area late on a Friday, may have gotten into the booze a little! The road past my place zig zags north and south, or maybe it was the road builders who were on the sauce?? Either way, those surveyors had a tough, tough job, amazing how well they did it considering the technology they had (none) and the conditions they were working in.
 

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There seems to be some variation in what actually happens to property lines out in the country. I know of one situation right next to one of my quarters on a NS quarter line that was east 50 feet of the line on my land. The owner that was losing land had it surveyed and as a result built a new fence well into the other guys crop. Created some ruffling of feathers in the area. Who knows why the old fence was that far wrong but the new survey changed it. What about the little notation on your land title that says more or less? One line of thinking would be that you accept where the fence or stakes are when you buy land because measurements are always subject to cumulative errors and human error but some of these changes make you wonder what the right thing really is.
 

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There seems to be some variation in what actually happens to property lines out in the country. I know of one situation right next to one of my quarters on a NS quarter line that was east 50 feet of the line on my land. The owner that was losing land had it surveyed and as a result built a new fence well into the other guys crop. Created some ruffling of feathers in the area. Who knows why the old fence was that far wrong but the new survey changed it. What about the little notation on your land title that says more or less? One line of thinking would be that you accept where the fence or stakes are when you buy land because measurements are always subject to cumulative errors and human error but some of these changes make you wonder what the right thing really is.
Pretty doubtful the survey was off 50ft.
More likely somebody did something old fence was not built on the property line.
You know neighbours sometimes don't get along so maybe if one wouldn't pay his share for a new fence we build it on our own property a ways in so the other one can't use it type of thing.
New survey generally doesn't change things.
They go back to known good markings and survey from that.
 

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Agree, highly doubtful original survey off that much. That’s over 3 acres if it was 50’ the whole half mile.

In-laws have a quarter with SW fence starts pretty much at the pin and is just about 100’ off at the NW corner.

Fence is good and straight, it’s just not straight down the property line! ?
 

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Seen it happen here, fence built on wrong side of undeveloped road allowance or homesteader trail.
 
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