Monument Conservation

“Land is one of California’s most precious assets, the ownership of land, and consequently the ability to define boundaries is dependent of monuments and their perpetuation.”
2 DEC 1985 letter from Board to all County Surveyors and City Engineers

Survey Monuments are Protected by the Law

The law protects monuments which are critical to the protection of private property rights and public infrastructure of California. Below are relevant sections of law pertaining to survey monuments. Click the links below to review the laws or visit:

Business & Professions Code §8771
Streets & Highways §732 & §732.5, §1492.5, §1810.5
Penal Code §605
1985 BPELSG Opinion
2011 BPELSG Opinion

Information and Resources for Land Surveyors

In an effort to assist the land surveying profession,CLSA has developed resources for land surveyors to ensure monument preservation.

Public Agency Land Surveyors Click Here
Private Land Surveyors Click Here

Resources for Public Agencies

Business and Professions Code §8771 requires public agencies to enforce the perpetuation of monuments on construction projects within their jurisdiction. Click here for some helpful resources.

Resources for Contractors

Business and Professions Code §8771 requires the perpetuation of survey monuments. Click here to learn about the contractors' responsibility for protecting monuments.

Resources for Speakers at Service Clubs, Chambers or H.O.A.

Talking points and Presentation ideas for speakers at Service Clubs, Chambers or H.O.A.Click here to learn about the speakers' talking points for protecting monuments.

Information for the Public

In surveying, monuments are defined as physical objects on or in the ground, which establish the location of boundary lines. Monuments are often referred to as “property markers” by a lay person. Monuments come in many forms and sizes, ranging from a small tack in a lead plug in concrete to a large house size boulder, a 200- year old Douglas Fir tree, the center of a river, or the crest of a mountain range. Monuments can be natural or manmade. See examples below

A survey monument defines the location of private or public property lines. If a monument has been removed or altered, the landowner may be burdened with excessive costs to pay for the reestablishment of the monument by a professional land surveyor

If you are aware of a project that will destroy survey monuments, please contact your city or county surveyor. Click here to find your county surveyor.


For More Information

For more information regarding monument conservation, please contact CLSA Monument Conservation Chair, Ron Nelms

The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG) has designated staff for any Monument Conservation issues.
Please contact BPELSG at: