Construction Surveys

343 FW 3
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of Realty

3.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes the responsibilities U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) employees have to ensure they:

A. Construct buildings and structures on lands that we own so they do not interfere with existing rights, and

B. Conduct surveys for construction projects correctly, cost efficiently, and in support of Service land management and land acquisition programs.

3.2 What are the authorities and terms you need to know to understand this chapter? See 343 FW 1 for the authorities and definitions of terms for all the chapters in Part 343.

3.3 Who is responsible for managing construction projects? 360 FW 1, Engineering and Construction Policy, Objectives, and Responsibilities, describes who is responsible for the different types of construction projects.

A. Non-exempt projects, which are those that include life-safety issues (e.g., buildings, dams, roads, elevated boardwalks), are typically managed by the Regional Engineering office.

B. Exempt projects that do not have life-safety issues (e.g., fences, road resurfacing, construction of kiosks and trails) can be managed by the Project Leader or facility manager. However, the Region may assign a Construction Project Manager from the Regional Engineering office for these types of projects, when necessary.

3.4 What are the responsibilities for construction projects as they relate to land surveying? See 360 FW 1 for the general responsibilities for engineering and construction management. Following are the responsibilities for construction as it relates to land surveying:

A. Regional Asset or Facilities Manager:

(1) Develops cost estimates for proposed construction and deferred maintenance projects, such as those found in the 5-Year Construction Plan and the 5-Year Deferred Maintenance Plan,

(2) Contacts the Regional Land Surveyor for an estimate of cadastral and topographic survey costs for proposed projects, and

(3) Informs the Regional Land Surveyor when a construction project is funded and to confirm preliminary survey cost estimates.

B. Construction Project Manager or Project Leader:

(1) Ensures all construction activities are within Service land boundaries that:

     (a) Have been located by an approved cadastral survey, and

     (b) Have been posted according to Service standards (see 343 FW 2 and the Land Survey Handbook);

(2) Contacts the Regional Land Surveyor to schedule surveys before beginning a project; and

(3) May contract out control and topographic surveys required for construction projects if they make sure that (also see 343 FW 4):

     (a) They are performed in accordance with the technical standards the Regional Land Surveyor has prepared, and

     (b) The Regional Land Surveyor receives copies of survey field notes, maps, and digital files for archiving.

C. Regional Land Surveyor:

(1) Evaluates the need for cadastral surveys in support of construction projects, and provides cost and time estimates;

(2) Conducts or oversees cadastral surveys required as part of construction projects, regardless of the origin of project funding; and

(3) May assist the Project Manager or Project Leader in any of the following ways:

     (a) Searching the land ownership records to identify any easements or other real property interests that may affect the project,

     (b) Acquiring new or existing maps, such as aerial imagery or topography,

     (c) Preparing or administering contracts for the topographic or other surveys needed for project planning and design, and

     (d) Providing contract technical specifications and selecting project horizontal and vertical datums for surveys that the Project Manager/Project Leader contracts out through architecture and engineering contractors.

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022