Can landowner receive payment for surveys to a pipeline, which is next to their property? Have been approached and mailed papers to sign giving them the right to perform all the things surveyors do. Word is there is going to be a 48" line going in alongside the existing. RG

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Why would a landowner wish to give someone use of 60 acres of land for 4 months with access to come and go at will? It is very difficult to monitor the damages that persons cause while in and out of your property. The pipeline company wishes to have a legal document signed which encompasses 60 acres. The pipeline goes next to one corner of the 60. This is my family member's land and I am inclined to advise them not to grant access unless the pipeline company can come up with some type of fee to compensate them for the use of the property. A small fee might pay for some firewood on these cold nights.
I do not feel that it is greedy, only that this is private property---not community property.

There are four items, which I would think fees could be attached to:
1) Line of sight clearing--we grow trees in these parts
2) Placement of stakes--these will be used for the production of someone else's income and the fee involved is an expense toward generating that income.
3) Geotechnical soil borings--not sure about this, but sounds like they will make off with some dirt and probably leave some holes.
4)Environmental/archaeological and appraisal studies--this should not hurt the landowner much, but I do not have any formal training in this.

The seismograph crew finished up here on our place just a mile or so away and who would have thought that they could leave there mark so well. I noticed a hole the other day along my fenceline where the charge blew out the top of the soil-- I think it is going to be a big hole someday. We have already found another that looks like a sinkhole starting to form on another forty where the branch runs over this hole-- the large tire rut rerouted the waterflow where it crossed the branch and now there is a hole 4 feet in diameter twenty feet away and almost 3 feet deep.

I just have reservations about recommending that we allow these folks to come through without some compensation. AS one person replied-- a court order might be ok if they would like to come through. I appreciate the input--will call the pipeline outfit tomorrow and let them know what yall think.


F. The following persons may enter or remain upon immovable property of another, unless specifically forbidden to do so by the owner or other person with authority, either orally or in writing:

(1) A professional land surveyor or his authorized personnel, engaged in the "Practice of Land Surveying", as defined in R.S. 37:682

We can enter without your permission unless explicitly requested not to. I'm sure a precedent was set regarding a "No Trespassing" sign, but I couldn't find anything. In my opinion, a surveyor isn't technically trespassing unless the landowner has instructed them, "do not enter my property."

If a surveyor is damaging your land, they are a negligent surveyor and you should take action. In my experience there are only a handful of instances where damage may occur. They are more than capable of correcting any damage.

In regards to pipeline surveying, If you do instruct them to "not enter" your property, they will be back in a month, maybe two, with a court order to survey your property as part of a condemnation proceeding. My company deals with this on a regular basis. I have yet to encounter a judge that won't grant a surveyor at least 10 days to complete a survey. Surveys are harmless unless you're encroaching on an adjacent landowner's property. :)

Half of the States in the country have some type of "Right-of-entry" law protecting Surveyors. In my opinion, all of them should.

p.s. Here is the State of Louisiana link
I don't know Caliente.

I was always under the impression that surveyors had the right to access property, especilly when looking for section corners and benchmarks.

We ha had may surveys done, and never once have we had to get surface owner approval to access lan, even outside of our leasehold.
Lethal: When a surveyor is told not to enter a property and they go ahead and do it anyway - which has been the norm and not the exception here of late - and then they leave stakes and nails in open fields that can mess up a $3,000 tractor tire or get some metal in the header of a $400,000 combine, then there is a problem and legitimate reason for them to stay off a property. You give them an inch and they will take 40 miles. There are many reasons to be worried about them. Most recently, a partner of mine that has land in a producing unit found out that the surveyors had surveyed along a bayou from the high bank to the high bank instead of mean low water to mean low water (without his permission) - cost him about 25 acres in a producing Haynesville unit. Go try to get that back from the State! If you are going to have them on your property, find out why they are there and make them put some money up front for damages.
Ray: See my reply below - surveys are not always harmless.
Ray: See my reply above - surveys are not always harmless.
First 'Buddy' I love the attitude towards surveyors. I know, we are some necessary evil that you must put up with to enjoy the spoils of such things as roads, property lines, running water, electricity, etc.

As I mentioned, a handful of times there are situations that occur. It is inevitable. Most recently one of my crews had unknowingly run over a lawn sprinkler. Of course we replaced it once we were notified. To be honest I don't know the exact circumstances but if you're running over surveyor stakes, they are there for a reason. The stakes represent something through your property of which you should be aware. If you ask a surveyor they will tell you. The client of whatever the stakes represent (in this case likely a pipeline or easement) should have contacted you prior. Perhaps it is because this is my profession and I have an unfair advantage, but I think a 4' wooden stake with orange or pink flagging hanging from it is pretty easy to see. This is even more true when the surveyor paints the lath, which all of my field crews are instructed to do. The surveyors also have to see between these stakes, so some type of line has been cut accordingly. Survey nails are set into the ground, typically inches below grade. There is always the possibility of exposing them through excavation or plowing, but even then, they are far and few between. We always run into more "garbage" (read as: old pbr cans) on sites than we would ever leave behind ourselves. It is in the best interest of the surveyor to make all things they set as visible as possible. For landowners and clients to see, and for themselves to recover at a later date.

What are inches? Surveyors take nothing, we simply show you exactly where things are or where they will be.

As far as your friend's situation, there must be more details you are leaving out. You don't mean to suggest he signed and didn't notice it was 25 acres short? If so, he is fortunate to be in a situation where his land is so vast he can overlook 25 acres. It doesn't sound as if it would be very hard to get it back, he simply needs to present his case to the court. Likely the party in error will be forced to pay.

Lastly, we have never been requested or forced to provide funds for damages up front. If necessary we will sign documents stating the land will be left just as it was encountered and we will pay for any damages created. Are there surveyors out there that don't follow good practices? Of course. There is no profession immune to that.

Ray: I appreciate your reply. I have several friends who are engineers/surveyors who are absolutely top notch in their field as well as in their personal life. I think that so many of the problems that we have encountered have occurred because the majority of the surveyors are from out of town, don't know the area and don't know the people/landowners. For instance, recently had a call from a firm from So La. to ask permission to survey a section south of SHreveport for one of the majors. I happen to come along and spotted their truck and stopped - they had set up 3 miles south of where they thought they were and on another ownerhsip. I got them off the fellow's property and took them to where they needed to be.

As far as my partner and his 25 acres, he was never contacted about surveying his section and only saw the notice to the public in the legal news. At that point, the company had already made application with the State for drilling permit, plat was filed of record - so now what do you do? He will have to hire an engineer and lawyer up to present his case before the Conservation Commission/State Land Office. You should know that there are so many instances of this that the State Land Office will now require that you come to Baton Rouge to present your case. Is all of this the surveyor's fault? No, shared responsibility with the oil company, in my opinion. The oil company should have requested/notified the land owner and the surveyor should not have taken the easy way out and surveyed from high bank to high bank and instead, should have gone from mean low to mean low.

I could site many more instances, but it has become so bad that we have decided that when we do have a courtesy call for a survey you are going to be told no unless you put up $1,000 for every section that you want to survey. You will have two weeks to have it complete. No metal stakes in the field period. You get your money back when you get your wooden stakes out of the field and you have not run 4-wheelers all over the place leaving ruts. Ray, I appreciate your profession and have sympathy for the physical conditions that you often work in, but some in your profession don't know how to follow directions and unfortunately, at least in our case, we have had to implement the above, primarily for pipelines.


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