Impact Story: Cadastral Land Surveyors with Great Basin Institute

The Corps Network is collecting short stories from Corps about their projects and the Corpsmembers that put them into action. Read our “Impact Stories” collection for a picture of the people and hard work behind the Corps movement.      

This story features the Great Basin Institute (GBI), an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and service throughout the West. Founded in 1998 at the University of Nevada, GBI advances applied research to support science-based adaptive management of public lands. The Institute is dedicated to the promotion of science through field studies programs, conservation practices, and public outreach. 


From June 2021-October 2021, the crew conducted property boundary maintenance and posting for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in the Tahoe, Plumas, Stanislaus, and El Dorado National Forests, & the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. This project has a long-term impact on these forests, as the boundary line is used for all sorts of projects within them.  

For instance, a forester stumbled upon the crew placing a boundary line in the Stanislaus NF and he thanked them for their work. He was doing tree stand surveys so that a logging company could treat the area, reducing the risk of wildfires and generating revenue for the USFS so they’d have funds available for other conservation projects. He mentioned that knowing exactly where the boundary of the USFS land was made his job easier and more efficient so he could move on to other projects.


An example of tree blazing.

In a way, all USFS projects begin with what was completed; one cannot begin work if the location of the work is unknown. The crew helped delineate the location of USFS land. 

This position helped Corpsmembers gain experience in land surveying that will help them to qualify for future positions. They also gained experience working independently, in small crews (2-3 people), and in remote locations. These conditions can cause confusion and disagreement, two things of which the crew learned to overcome as a team.