Public Land Survey System

The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) also known as the Rectangular Survey System is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. It was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in the year 1783. PLSS surveys are applicable for portions of (30) states.

The PLSS is based on the establishment of a principal meridian, a north-south line dividing land to the east and west. There are thirty-seven (37) principal meridians, each with a name and a perpendicular baseline. From this axis, rectangular parcels have been measured out and divided.

Information can be found below on each of the thirty-seven (37) principal meridians by searching by the name of the principal meridian or geographically by state.

States in PLSS

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoFloridaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasLouisianaMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew MexicoNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonSouth DakotaUtahWashingtonWisconsinWyoming

Principal Meridians

Between the Miami RiversBlack Hills MeridianBoise MeridianChickasaw MeridianChoctaw MeridianCimarron MeridianCopper River MeridianFairbanks MeridianFifth Principal MeridianFirst Principal MeridianFourth Principal MeridianGila-Salt River MeridianHumboldt MeridianHuntsville MeridianIndian MeridianLouisiana MeridianMichigan MeridianMontana MeridianMount Diablo MeridianMuskingum River BaseNavajo MeridianNew Mexico MeridianOhio River Base SurveysSaint Helena MeridianSaint Stephens MeridianSalt Lake MeridianSan Bernardino MeridianSecond Principal MeridianSeward MeridianSixth Principal MeridianTallahassee MeridianThird Principal MeridianUintah MeridianUte MeridianWashington MeridianWillamette MeridianWind River Meridian