Tyler Tracz and Will Pyle of Degrove Surveyors attended the three-day Sectional Retracement Camp organized by the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society (FSMS). The Camp was based at 4-H Camp Ocala in the Ocala National Forest, near the town of Altoona. Through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on field work, students learned about the history of the Public Land System and how to retrace the sectional boundaries established by the original GLO surveyors in the mid-1800s. Classroom topics included the formation, administration, and equipment used for the Public Land System, as well as theoretical instruction on sectional retracement. Field instruction gave students a hands-on opportunity to retrace the footsteps of the original GLO surveyors through searching for the necessary evidence to prove individual section corners. Some of the evidence found included decades-old tree markings, stump holes and charcoal remains of reference trees set in the mid-1800s, and a lighter wood post likely buried some time in the early 20th century.
Will Pyle (left) pictured here with Lemar Evers (middle) of FDEP Division of State Lands and Lee Willingham (right) of Bradshaw-Niles & Associates, uncovering the stump hole and charcoal remains of a bearing tree referenced many decades ago.
Tyler Tracz is pictured here using an historical surveyor’s compass in an attempt to find remains of historical reference trees that will help prove the location of the nearby section corner. Compasses like this were used by the original GLO Surveyors in the mid-1800s.
Retracement Camp instructor Milton Denny, PLS, (middle) pictured here with Retracement Camp students, discovering the remains of a lighter wood post, buried as a survey marker probably sometime in the early 20th century.