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From the Editor

                                   By: Ben Petersen, PLS

             elcome to the Fall 2023 issue of your  most land surveyors complied. They were  certain passages. He finally came back to
        WEvergreen State Surveyor magazine.  used to giving their client a map anyway  me and said I was “giving away too much
        In this issue we celebrate the 50  anniver-  following their boundary surveys so it  information” and had me remove some
        sary of the Survey Recording Act (SRA) en-  was just a matter of conforming to the  bearings and distances. So I pulled out
        abled in 1973 under RCW 58.09.       SRA-mandated sheet size and format and  the electric eraser and made it so. Look-
          Over the years I have heard the Survey   paying, what was then, a very-affordable  ing back I see now that he was still used to
        Recording Act alternately described as el-  filing fee. At least now there was a stan-  hoarding section breakdowns and mon-
        egant, flawed, ambiguous, unnecessary   dard sheet size.                  ument information which was common
        and confusing plus a few other adjectives   I worked for a small survey firm at the   practice for surveyors prior to the SRA and
        some of which aren’t fit to print. The SRA  time, and by small I mean the owner and   part of the reason for its enactment.
        had a convoluted start and remains con-  me. I was alternately the researcher, head   After some tweaking, somehow that
        troversial to this day. You would think that  chainman, calculator or drafter depend-  first Record of Survey got recorded with
        after 50 years we’d have all settled into  ing on the time of day and work needed.  King County. Unbeknownst to us the King
        agreement on the how, when and what  I remember my boss telling me “I guess  County Recorder, Bill Torohoff, would take
        of the SRA, but no. I believe there are as  they got a new law and want us to file  upon himself to apply the recording cer-
        many opinions and interpretations of the  our survey maps with the county”. I had  tificate, and other certificates, if missing,
        SRA as there are licensed surveyors in the  no idea what that meant but he seemed  to the survey map to help the surveyors
        state, and it seems like every one of those  a bit irritated about it.  He came in a few  out. He knew everyone was still learning
        surveyors has a monopoly on the correct  days later with a roll of mylar and some  the ropes. We didn’t know that for a year
        application of the SRA.              ink pens (I had up to this time only known  or more when he finally cornered us doing
          Controversy has dogged the SRA since   pencil and vellum) and let me know we  research at King County and let us know he
        the first discussions of a recording act   needed figure this out.        was too far behind to do it anymore. OK..
        took root in the 1960s. And perhaps even   Neither one of us had ever seen a Re-  I’ve assembled quite a stack of records
        prior to that. I just haven’t been able to  cord of Survey map before so we went  chronicling the history of the Survey Re-
        find those records. I do know that the pro-  through the Survey Recording Act to-  cording Act. Too much for me to write
        posed recording act, modeled after the  gether and highlighted the requirements.  up for this issue so I will be dispensing it
        1891 California registration and recording  I cut the mylar to size (at least the roll was  out over the next few issues of this mag-
        act, was extensively discussed and sub-  already 24 inches) and applied the bor-  azine. Enjoy.
        mitted to the  Washington State legisla-  ders using Koh-I-Noor pens.  The rest of   I’ve gotten a lot of help and want to ex-
        tor numerous times in the late 1960s and  the requirements I pulled out of the act   press my sincere thanks to all the contrib-
        early 1970’s. It met some unexpected and  but I was unsure, and so was my boss, if   utors to this issue: John Thatcher, Pat Bee-
        surprising opposition that necessitated  the Auditor applied the recording certifi-  hler, David Icenhower, Dennis Studeman,
        some compromises but ultimately passed  cate or if we did, so we just left it off.   Vic Banks, Crissy, Tony, Gavin Schrock, Carl
        the legislature and was signed into law by   When I finished my first Record of Sur- Baca, Brad Yarbrough, Knud Herman-
        Governor Evans in 1973.              vey map my boss pondered it for days. He  sen and Jon Purnell, as well as everyone
          While initially there was some resis-  came to me several times with a copy of  who contributed photos. If I missed any-
        tance and outright defiance, in general  the SRA asking for my interpretation of  one, my apologies. Let me know.   n

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