On Saturday, February 6, 2021, Warren Smith, Kevin Hills, Kevin Nehring, and I took the oaths of office to serve as President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer and President respectively, of the California Land Surveyors Association (CLSA). We are encouraged to take on these responsibilities because we are surrounded by our dedicated Board of Directors, hard-working committee Chairs, committee members, and Liaisons, and a highly qualified and devoted Executive Director and her very talented management team at California Advocates Management Services (CAMS). All of us are working together to follow the CLSA Strategic Plan to achieve the CLSA Mission:

The California Land Surveyors Association advances the interests of the land surveying profession by advocating for the membership, promoting education, and increasing awareness of the profession’s value. 

The mission statement above was developed in 2019 and approved in February, 2020, as a part of the CLSA 2020 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan, a signature achievement of President Hovorka’s administration, was developed to guide CLSA activities, and decisions in 2020, and in the years ahead, with the best interests of CLSA, our members, and the profession at the forefront. Our Objectives within the Strategic Plan, are as follows:

1.   Advance the sciences and technologies within the surveying profession
2.   Increase awareness of the surveying profession
3.   Promote cooperation between the public and private sectors
4.   Establish channels of communication with other organizations
5.   Advance the protection of public welfare relative to surveying and mapping issues
6.   Encourage ethical and professional behavior
7.   Monitor and shape national, state and local laws and regulations
8.   Foster educational opportunities
9.   Honor persons for service to the public, the surveying profession, and the Association

Each of these Objectives has at least three Goals, which serve to fulfill the Objective. Our ability to achieve these Objectives, and in fact the strength of CLSA, depends on increasing our membership. Increased membership translates to more people available to share their ideas, help work on Goals, and ultimately more political capital and organizational funding. This all means better value for our members.
With this in mind, I ask each of you to recruit new members into CLSA at every opportunity. Recruit Professional Land Surveyors, Land Surveyors in Training, Survey Technicians, Engineers, GIS people, Title Officers, and students. To get the most benefit from their membership, individuals need to attend and participate. Help with Chapter activities, proof-read the newsletter or website, write articles or submit photos for publication, make a presentation, serve on a committee, serve as an officer or Director. Serve on a local or statewide committee, or reach out to your local Director or the CLSA Executive Committee for opportunities to channel your specific interests to improve CLSA. Today, no matter what day it is, is the best day to join, or rejoin, CLSA. 

As I write this message, California is still experiencing the challenges and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although projections indicate a return to “normal” is still a long time coming, CLSA as an organization is growing, and delivering on our commitments to help our profession. In response, we are poised to hold a Virtual Conference based upon the success of the 2020 Tri-State Virtual Conference we held last year with Arizona and Nevada. The 2021 Conference is being referred to as the “Western Regional Virtual Survey Conference.” We will be one of seven western states participating. Other states include Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington. These are certainly a “Magnificent Seven” western states! 

I encourage each of you to attend, and I ask that you, in turn, encourage others to join CLSA and attend this conference as well. There will be dozens of educational sessions. To enhance the value of the virtual conference for our members, most of the educational sessions will be recorded and available to watch later. Vendors will be demonstrating their products and showcasing new items. One-on-one appointments can be scheduled, and questions can be asked on all products available. Just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun! There will even be guided discussion social events in the intermissions between educational sessions, and virtual happy hours in the evening. One of these sessions at the 2020 Tri-State conference sparked the creation of a forum for additional mentoring opportunities for land surveyors. Your participation could help improve the profession for decades! Don’t miss it! 

Keep yourself and your people safe. 
Robert M. McMillan, PLS, EiT
We are now accepting pre-orders for the 2021 publications. 2021 publications include:
  • 2021 PE Act and PLS Act with Board Rules
  • 2021 Complete Package with DVD
Available now:
  • 2021 Subdivision Map Act & Index

Reminder - NSPS provides a registry of stolen equipment. 
Offers a $.07 per page discount and will automatically donate $.10 per page to CLSA when members download courthouse documents through this website. These instruments include Deeds, Easements, Rights-of-Way, Releases, Liens, etc.
Save up to 60% on your office supplies. Click on the Office Depot Logo to begin utilizing the CLSA-Office Depot Discount Program. If you do not know your username and password, or for more information, contact the CLSA Central Office.
The CLSA Education Foundation was established in 1993 and is committed to supporting land surveying students and programs. Last year over $50,000 in scholarship aid was provided to land surveying students. 
Donating to the Education Foundation is easy! Click HERE to donate via PayPal.

Thank you to everyone who clicks through to Amazon through the CLSA's Education Foundation Amazon Smile account! If you're not doing so already, please shop on Amazon with this link.
The January 2021 issue of the monthly GPS on Benchmarks Update is now available.

In this issue: Campaign Countdown
Only 11 months remain until the December 31st, 2021 deadline to collect and submit GPS data to NGS for use in developing products to be launched with the modernized National Spatial Reference System. NGS will use the GPSonBM data received by the deadline to compute the initial set of 2020.0 Reference Epoch Coordinates (REC) that will be released with the modernized system. This initial set of RECs will be the only ones used to build the 2022 Transformation Tool. While RECs will eventually be computed for data submitted after the deadline, the transformation grids will not be updated to include new data.

Click HERE for details.
Trying to get licensed in California or just want to brush up on topics not encountered everyday? Sign up for the 2021 OC-CLSA LS Review Class! 

This opportunity only comes around once a year. These excellent instructors have taken time out of their busy day to share the wealth of knowledge they have acquired over a lifetime of surveying. 

This year they've moved the entire course online and all meetings will be held virtually via Zoom. No need to add another drive to your commute, simply log in from your home or office.  

Linked HERE is the course outline and schedule, along with details for costs and signing up. This year’s course is put together by Daryl Christian, any questions can be directed to meetings@oc-surveyors.org.

Review Class Kickoff is this Tuesday, February 16th at 5:30 PM, don’t be late!

We need a minimum of 12 people to get the class to go.

CLICK HERE to register.
The 2021 NSPS Student Competition will be held in conjunction with the Spring meetings of the National Society of Professional Surveyors. This year’s competition will not include field exercises in order to accommodate official health and safety advice. The Competition will begin with an online briefing event on February 16, 2021 with a presentation by NSPS of the purpose of the Annual Student Competition and purpose of this year’s challenge. The event will not involve person-to-person contact. Therefore, potentially opening the event to teams that may have found raising funds for travel & a hinderance to participation. There will be two separate divisions, one for students matriculated into Associates degree programs and one for students matriculated into Baccalaureate degree programs. The status of a student’s eligibility will be their status on January 1, 2021. Any team made up of students matriculated into both Associates and Baccalaureate degree programs must compete in the Baccalaureate degree division. Graduate students may not be part of a team.

The team must email the registration form to trishm@nsps.us.com or faxed to 240-439-4952, no later than February 26, 2021. There will be no fee to participate. Teams will provide a final registration form along with their Technical Report.