St. Louis County office buildings will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

County Surveyor



The County Surveyor is responsible for directing the operation of the Land Survey Division of the Public Works Department. It recommends and implements division goals as approved by the County Highway Engineer. The Land Survey Division oversees programs for the maintenance and preservation of all Public Land Survey System (PLSS) corners established within St. Louis County including related survey records.  It reviews and approves proposed land subdivision plats, and provides professional land survey services or guidance to all St. Louis County departments. 


Find A Private Surveyor

Minnesota requires that all boundary surveys be performed by or under the supervision of a Minnesota licensed surveyor (Chapter 326 of Minnesota State Statutes).

Private land owners in need of surveying services must contact a private licensed land surveyor to have a boundary survey of their land. The County Surveyor office does not conduct private land surveys for property owners within St. Louis County. The following is a list of Licensed Surveyors that have requested to be identified as performing surveys in St. Louis County.

Licensed Land Surveyors in St. Louis County

Objectives and Benefits

  • All Public Land Survey System corners will be monumented and certified with precise GPS coordinates.
  • Survey control for road and bridge construction projects will be readily available for use in design and implementation, and will be replaced where disturbed by construction per MS 160 upon completion.
  • Subdivision plat review as enabled by MS 389 and required by County Ordinances 34 and 60 will provide the necessary oversight to help protect public interest and welfare.
  • Resource Managers will have the necessary location information to complete projects efficiently.
  • The County's Geographic Information System parcel line fabric will be based on reliable survey control.
  • Public and interested parties will have access to county-held survey records, including certificate of survey documents filed under the authority of County Ordinance 21.
  • Helps protect property owners rights and investments
  • Reduces overall survey costs to property owners
  • Helps to resolve legal disputes and misunderstandings
  • Encourages commercial development by providing needed infrastructure
  • Improves accuracy in taxation management


The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) has been around longer than St. Louis County has existed. The plan (originally developed by Thomas Jefferson) was to survey the entire country in a grid system, creating six-mile square townships, and then subdivide each township into one-mile squares. Every half mile, a monument was set to mark a corner. These original surveyors established the corners predominantly with wood posts and then blazed and scribed nearby trees as a reference (bearing trees) in case the original wood posts were ever destroyed. After the original corner was set and accepted by the Surveyor Generals Office, the corner's position is fixed and unchangeable. Once the survey was complete, a plat map was created and utilized for the sale of property from the US Government to private owners. The original public land survey plats and corners are official legal land records for Minnesota. Today, virtually all real property title in Minnesota is based, directly or indirectly, upon the landmarks and records of the United States Public Land Survey System, aka the US Government Survey.

Today, our job is to maintain the numerous records and perpetuate the original positions of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) throughout St. Louis County. We also provide land surveying services to a variety of county departments, including Public Works, Land and Minerals, the Auditors Office, Recorder, Title Examiners and Attorney's Office to name a few. For developers and professional surveyor's, we review and approve plats, common interest community (CIC), and registered land surveys (RLS). For land owners, we assist with general land survey boundary issues and document research.


County Surveyor
Duluth - Survey Desk

Virginia - Survey Desk

All contacts