# What is township and range

Basic Section Township and Range Charts

Township: 36 sections arranged in a 6 by 6 square, measuring 6 miles by 6 miles. Sections are numbered beginning with the northeast-most section (#1), proceeding west to 6, then south along the west edge of the township and to the east (#36 is in the SE corner). Range: Assigned to a township by measuring east or west of a Principal Meridian. Feb 24,  · Township lines that run parallel to the baseline are plotted, typically in intervals of 6 miles. Range lines that run parallel to the principle meridian are plotted, usually in 6 mile intervals. Once the township is established it is then divided into 36 sections measuring 1 square mile, giving us what we see in our tax records today.

Ever wonder how the Township, Range and Section are determined? Well get ready for a history lesson. Our story begins intoward the end of the American Revolution as the U. In order townsship the U. The PLSS is now the primary surveying method for the majority of America, excluding the original 13 colonies and Rangs.

First, a baseline is established that runs east to west. Then a principal meridian, which runs north and south is defined.

Our principal meridian is the Gila River or roughly th Avenue. Next, lines parallel to the baseline are plotted along the map. These are called standard parallels. These three lines, the baseline, principal meridian and standard parallels, form a foundation grid ranye allows for more detailed survey work. Township lines that run parallel to an baseline are plotted, typically in intervals of 6 miles.

Range lines that run parallel to the principle meridian are plotted, usually in 6 mile intervals. Once the township is established it is then divided into 36 sections measuring 1 square mile, giving us what we see in our tax records what will humans look like in the future pictures. This property is in section 31, 1 Township north of the baseline and 4 Ranges east of the principle fownship.

A township is divided into 36 sections and each section is a township as per your map. Are you F-ing serious!???!!! It is a very confusing topic. I was confused when I first addressed it. So yes each township is divided into 36 sections that are apx 1 mile, but sections are not divided into townships. I made a slight adjustment to the map to hopefully elevate the confusion. Thanks for pointing it out. State to state things could be slightly townsship.

This article was written for the AZ market. I hope this helps. Iowa has a town — Correctionville [east of Sioux City] — named for the map adjustment.

I understand where you are coming from being someone who grew up in a very rural area. Things do not always line up as nicely as described in this article. The explanation of the article was for the Phoenix metro area. It is very well laid out, which makes it easy to identify the township, section and range.

If you are looking at tosnship specific area of the country, this site may be able to help. Save my name, email, and website townshio this browser for the next time I comment.

Mar 06,  · A Basic Township and Range Grid "A township measures the north/south distance from its parallel base line. A township that theoretically measures 6 miles in size and is the first six miles north of the base line is described as township one north and written as T1N. The second six miles would be T2N, T3N and so on. A township USUALLY measures SIX MILES in size. The first six miles north of the base line is township one north written T. 1 N., running from 0 to 6 miles north of the base line. T. 4. S. would, therefore, be 18 to 24 miles south of the base line. RANGE measures EAST or WEST from the PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN which is a designated meridian. Townships are rectangular blocks of land about 6 miles square. The squares are gridded and numbered according to their position north or south of the base line. Ranges are columns of townships set side by side. They are numbered starting at the meridian that runs through the point of .

Also known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in , following the end of the American Revolution. Originally proposed by Thomas Jefferson to create a nation of "yeoman farmers", [1] the PLSS began shortly after the American Revolutionary War , when the federal government became responsible for large areas of land west of the original thirteen states. The government wished both to distribute land to Revolutionary War soldiers in reward for their services and to sell land as a way of raising money for the nation.

Before this could happen, the land needed to be surveyed. The Confederation Congress was deeply in debt following the Declaration of Independence. With little power to tax, the federal government decided to use the sale of the Western Territories to pay off war debt.

The original colonies including their derivatives Maine , Vermont , Tennessee , Kentucky and West Virginia continued the British system of metes and bounds.

This system describes property lines based on local markers and bounds drawn by humans, often based on topography. A typical, yet simple, description under this system might read "From the point on the north bank of Muddy Creek one mile above the junction of Muddy and Indian Creeks, north for yards, then northwest to the large standing rock, west to the large oak tree, south to Muddy Creek, then down the center of the creek to the starting point.

Particularly in New England , this system was supplemented by drawing town plats. The metes and bounds system was used to describe a town of a generally rectangular shape, 4 to 6 miles 6.

Within this boundary, a map or plat was maintained that showed all the individual lots or properties. The Continental Congress passed the Land Ordinance of and then the Northwest Ordinance in to control the survey, sale, and settling of the new lands. The original 13 colonies donated their western lands to the new union, for the purpose of giving land for new states.

The state that gave up the most was Virginia , whose original claim included most of the Northwest Territory and Kentucky. Some of the western land was claimed by more than one state, especially in the northwest, where parts were claimed by Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut , all three of which had claimed lands all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The first surveys under the new rectangular system were in eastern Ohio in an area called the Seven Ranges.

The Beginning Point of the U. A National Historic Landmark marker commemorating the site lies on the side of a state highway, exactly 1, feet m to the north of the point.

Ohio was surveyed in several major subdivisions, collectively described as the Ohio Lands , each with its own meridian and baseline. The early surveying, particularly in Ohio, was performed with more speed than care, with the result that many of the oldest townships and sections vary considerably from their prescribed shape and area.

Proceeding westward, accuracy became more of a consideration than rapid sale, and the system was simplified by establishing one major north—south line principal meridian and one east—west base line that control descriptions for an entire state or more. For example, a single Willamette Meridian serves both Oregon and Washington. County lines frequently follow the survey, so there are many rectangular counties in the Midwest and the West. The system is in use in some capacity in most of the country, but large portions use other systems.

The territory under the jurisdiction of the Thirteen Colonies at the time of independence did not adopt the PLSS, with the exception of the area that became the Northwest Territory and some of the southern states. The old Cherokee lands in Georgia use the term section as a land designation, but it does not define the same area as the section used by the PLSS.

Maine uses a variant of the system in unsettled parts of the state. The surveying of any regional area, such as a state or multiple states, is a multi-step process. First, two controlling survey lines are established: a baseline which runs east—west and a principal meridian which runs north—south.

The locations of the two are determined by a previously chosen initial point , where they originate and thus intersect. Next, at a defined distance interval, commonly 24 or 30 miles 48 km depending on the year and location, standard parallels of latitude are established parallel to the baseline.

The meridian, baseline and standard parallels thus established form a lattice upon which all further surveying is then based. Subsequent work divides the land into survey townships of roughly 36 square miles 93 km 2 or 6 miles 9. This is done by the establishment of township and range lines.

Township lines run parallel to the baseline east-west , while range lines run north—south; each are established at 6-mile intervals. Lastly, townships are subdivided into 36 sections of approximately 1 square mile acres; 2. The intersection of a township line or baseline with a range line or principal meridian constitutes a township corner , of a section line with any other type of line a section corner , and a point halfway between any two section corners a quarter corner.

The federal government typically surveyed only to this quarter-section level, the subdivision of smaller parcels being carried out subsequently by private surveyors after original sale. Because the survey design is two-dimensional rectangular , while the actual earth is three-dimensional approximately spherical and topographically , adjustments to land areas must be made periodically to prevent error propagation; not all sections can be one square mile nor can all townships be exactly 36 square miles.

More specifically, all north—south running lines all range lines and half of all section lines , as with the prime meridian, are always established with reference to true, geodetic north. But it is a physical impossibility to meet this condition and still maintain a rectangular land grid, because such lines converge on the north pole.

These adjustments are done at two different scales. At the small scale within a township it is done by starting the sectional surveys township "subdivisions" in the southeast corner and moving progressively toward the northwest corner. The algorithm used is to move northward to establish the six easternmost sections and quarter-sections , then move west at one mile intervals, parallel to the eastern boundary of the township, repeating this process, until the western side of the township is reached.

The result of this is that the northernmost and westernmost tiers of sections—11 in all—are thus allowed to deviate from one square mile, but the other southeasterly-most 25 sections are not. This method accommodates the curvature problem within a township and also allows for any errors made during the surveying—which were nearly unavoidable because of the physical difficulty of the work and the crude equipment used—without overly compromising the basic rectangular nature of the system as a whole.

At the larger multiple township scale, the standard parallels developed at the establishment of the baseline, so that townships widths do not continually decrease as the grid proceeds north and is in fact the primary reason for their establishment. Thus, corrections for curvature of the earth exist at two separate spatial scales—a smaller scale within townships and a larger scale between multiple townships and within standard parallels.

A specific and terse location descriptor is always used, in which the townships and sections are indexed based on 1 the township's position relative to the initial point, 2 the section's location within the designated township, and 3 the principal meridian reference. Township, range, and section are abbreviated as T, R, and S, respectively, and cardinal bearings from the initial point by N, S, E, and W; each principal meridian also has its established abbreviation.

That is, the 13th section in the first township south of the baseline in this case, the Mount Diablo Baseline and the 20th township east of the principal meridian the Mount Diablo Meridian.

Since township and range lines are six miles apart, the "T1SR20E" part of the designation instantly places the location somewhere between zero and six miles south of the baseline, and and miles east of the principal meridian. Knowing how sections are numbered within townships, section 13 is identified as therefore occupying the one square mile located 2 to 3 miles south, and to miles east, of the Mount Diablo initial point in central California.

Note that the sections within a township are numbered in an unconventional, Boustrophedon pattern Fig. Therefore, section 13 is adjacent to the eastern range line of the designated township. Numbering in this pattern ensures that numerically sequential sections within the same township are physically adjacent and share colinear boundaries. Distances were always measured in chains and links, based on Edmund Gunter 's foot measuring chain. The chain — an actual metal chain — was made up of links, each being 7.

Eighty chains constitute one U. There were two chainmen, one at each end, who physically made the measurements, one of them typically also acting as "compassman" to establish the correct bearing at each chain placement.

In forested areas, it was essential for rapid progress and accuracy that the lead chainman follow the correct bearing at all times, since no straightening of the chain was possible without backtracking around trees and re-measuring.

It was also necessary to keep the chain level, since all surveying distances are based on the horizontal, not slope, distance.

In steep terrain, this meant shortening the chain, raising one end of the chain relative to the other, or both. In areas where measuring by chain was not possible, such as extremely steep terrain or water obstructions, distances were calculated by triangulation.

Monumentation is the establishment of permanent on-the-ground objects that mark exact locations of surveyed points and lines. They are the legally binding markers used for setting property lines and as such are the culminating work of any survey. They consist of both corner monuments as well as nearby accessory objects that "witness" to them. Witness objects allow subsequent surveyors and landowners to find the original corner monument location should the monument be destroyed.

It was not uncommon for squatters or homesteaders to destroy corner monuments if they felt the patenting of the land would threaten their residence on it. For this reason, destruction of corner monuments, or their accompanying witness objects was, and still is, a federal offense.

At corners, corner monuments are established to mark their exact location on the ground. As with most PLSS specifications, those for corner monumentation also changed over time. In the 19th century, monuments were commonly a rock pile, a wooden post, or a combination of the two.

Trees could be used if the corner happened to fall at the exact spot where one grew. In the 20th century, steel pipes with caps, supported by mounds of rock, became required for example, see Fig. Witnesses can be trees, rocks, or trenches dug in the ground; their exact locations relative to the corner, and the markings made on them, are also recorded in the surveyor's official fieldnotes. Witness trees at corners are more commonly referred to as bearing trees because the exact distance and bearing from the corner, to them, was required to be recorded as well as the taxon and diameter.

On each bearing tree, two blazes were typically required, one about chest height and easily visible, and one at ground level in case the tree were illegally cut, the stump remaining. On the exposed wood of the blaze, surveyors were required to inscribe, with wood chisels, township, range and section information, on typically either two or four bearing trees, if they were within some reasonable distance of the corner unspecified early on but later set at a maximum of 3 chains feet, 60 meters away.

Bearing trees are of vital importance not just for these land boundary purposes but also for their use by ecologists in the estimation of historic forest vegetation conditions before settlement and large scale human disturbance of the land. The data provided in these surveys provide a definitive estimate of original forest composition and structure, and the data have accordingly been used heavily. Along survey lines, monumentation was much less elaborate, consisting primarily of only the blazing and some simple scribing of trees directly on, or very close to, the survey line.

The purpose was to help retrace a surveyed line should that become necessary. It was also additional proof that the line had in fact been run correctly, especially in those cases where the blazed line tree's pertinent information species, diameter and distance from previous corner was recorded in the fieldnotes, as was often required. Records kept by the surveyors during the execution of the work varied over time. Furthermore, how well individual surveying parties actually met the requirements or recommendations at the time, also varied.

The following is a list [4] of the more commonly required landscape and surveying items that were either required or requested be noted, over much of the nineteenth century. Based on the BLM manual's publication date, and the reference to Clarke's Spheroid of in section , the coordinates listed are believed to be in the NAD27 datum.

The Pacific Railroad Act of signed by President Abraham Lincoln was the first major land grant specifically for the transcontinental railroad. This act provided surveyed, public lands for a railroad right-of-way to build rail systems, and millions of acres to raise the capital needed to build and maintain the future railways. Ten square miles of land on each side of the proposed rail track were granted for every one mile of completed railway.

The PLSS was utilized for measurement. Every one-mile length of railway completed was akin to a section. If the railway ran predominantly east and west, a mile 16 km range of one square mile sections was allotted on each side of the foot m right-of-way. If the railway ran predominantly north and south, a mile 16 km township of one square mile sections was allotted on each side of the foot m right-of-way.

The land was granted in alternating sections one square mile , with each odd numbered section going to the railroad company and each even numbered section kept by the government. This created a checkerboard pattern along proposed railway. This was supposed to guarantee that railroad access would increase the value of both the railroad-granted sections and the government-owned sections in the checkerboard.

## 3 thoughts on “What is township and range”

1. Nizuru:

Tks a lot mate. You Always save me

2. Nim: