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Surveying Township

  • PLSS

A township or survey township is a 6-mile-square, standardized unit of land subdivision used in the PLSS. Survey townships are the largest unit of subdivision in the PLSS. Townships are subdivided into 36, 1-mile-square sections that can be further subdivided for sale. The diagram below shows sectional numbering as established in the Land Act of 1796, which is still standard today. Survey townships are referenced by a numbering system that locates the township in relation to a principal meridian and a base line. For example, Township 5 North, range 3 East is the 3rd township east of the principal meridian and the 5th township north of the base line.