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The Latest PLSO News & Announcements

  • 19 Apr 2016 4:05 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The sixteenth PLSO Willamette Branch Surveying Student Appreciation Night will take place on Monday May 16, 2016 at Oregon State University in the Gallery in front of the Ag Production Room at the La Sells Stewart Center from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    The speaker is being supplied by Marcus Reedy with DEA and the topic will be collecting data for a GIS.

    The event is free for surveying, geomatics, students and $ 40 for PLSO members and other interested persons. PLSO is requesting help from its members  by having them pick up the cost of a student dinner. There will be a drawing for student door prizes at the end of the meeting.

    The link is:

    The caterer needs a head count so interested persons should have their registration in by Monday May 9, 2016 when the final meal count will be sent to Valley Catering.

  • 19 Apr 2016 9:21 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    News Release

    Ted Wheeler             

    Oregon State Treasurer



    April 14, 2016

    Contact:           James Sinks, 503-881-4747 (cell)



                            Twitter: @OregonTreasury

    Input sought from Oregon employers statewide to help design landmark retirement savings plan, which launches in 2017

    Surveys and interviews will help shape savings plan approved by lawmakers   

    SALEM – When it launches in mid-2017, the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers and businesses.

    To help design the plan, input is being sought from employers statewide.

    “This is an opportunity to help shape the best possible plan for employers and workers, and help every Oregonian build toward a more secure future,” said State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, the chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board.

    The current opportunity to engage is an online survey, which can be found here. In addition, a sampling of employers and sole proprietors who volunteer will participate in a wide-ranging interview with researchers from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

    The survey is targeted toward employers who do not offer their own workplace retirement plans, and gathers information about why they don’t currently offer a plan, such as cost or complexity. Owners and any workers at those businesses are expected to be able to participate in the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan. 

    The deadline for responses to the survey is April 28.

    The Center for Retirement Research of Boston College has worked with other states on similar programs and is performing the required market analysis and feasibility study for the Oregon plan. 

    Businesses also are invited to help guide the construction and rulemaking for the new plan by engaging with the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, which holds public meetings, and by participating in working groups that are considering plan design, program design, financial literacy and outreach opportunities. Learn more at

    Today, roughly half of Oregon workers do not have access to an option to save for retirement through their employer, even though research says people are most likely to save and will save more when that opportunity is available.

    The plan will offer Oregonians a worry-free way to save for retirement. In addition, employers that currently don’t offer plans to employees – many of them small businesses -- will benefit because the state-administered plan will offer a simple and convenient path to help their workers start saving. The plan will impose no fiduciary risk to employers, and their clerical responsibilities will be kept low.  

    All Oregonians will benefit when more people save, because it will reduce the pressure on already strained, taxpayer-funded safety net programs.

    Retirement savings rates are lower among women, minorities and people with a high school education level or less. Insufficient retirement savings can force tough sacrifices, such as skimping on food, housing and health care.

    Approved by the 2015 Legislature, the envisioned Oregon plan will not be a pension, will not be connected in any way to the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund, and will not offer any matching funds or any guarantee of performance by the state or employers.

    The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are set by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.

  • 07 Apr 2016 4:02 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    By Tim Kent

    The past few months has brought changes to the educational opportunities for geomatics and surveying that will affect the future of our profession. If there ever is a time to be aware of and become active in supporting the surveying and geomatics education programs, it is now. This of course is not news to many but with the continued dwindling of students in surveying and geomatics programs across the nation, it has become a crisis. No longer can we support a program that has low enrollment by writing letters and calling the college president or dean stating how much we need the program. The time is now for all of us to recruit new students and to contribute monetarily to college programs.

    Last year brought a new model for managing and directing all colleges in Oregon. Each college became an independent public body and has its’ own Board of Trustees that has the authority to approve the mission, programs, budgets and strategies of the university and then forward them to the higher education commission for final approval. Add to the new model of doing business the recent announced retirements of the Dean, College of Engineering, Technology and Management (where the Department of Geomatics is located), the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the request by the college president to not renew his contract for next year, there will be some changes at Oregon Tech. Change is inevitable when the top three positions of leadership are new to an institution and time will tell how this will affect the college programs.

    Last month brought another change to the Geomatics program. The Provost announced the suspension of the upper two years of the Geomatics program at Wilsonville effective June 30th. This came as a mild surprise to the Geomatics staff but not entirely unexpected. The decision to offer the program at Wilsonville beginning in 2012 was based upon a polling of surveying professionals that indicated over fifty people would attend classes at that location. There were none the first year which was expected but then there were none in the following years either. The only students that ever attended were transfer students from Clark College in Vancouver. An opportunity to obtain a bachelor’s degree in surveying in the Portland metro is no longer available. The program can be revived if it can be documented (not merely surmised) that a sufficient number of students will enroll and the profession assists with providing equipment for the program.

    If you believe in your profession and feel committed to keeping it a profession, then the time is now to make sure it continues. Recruitment and mentorship of new surveyors and contributions to college programs needs to occur now. Like it or not, education is the key to our profession. We can no longer be competitive without it, or continue to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

  • 30 Mar 2016 3:46 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)


  • 29 Feb 2016 12:31 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    OIT Land Surveying Workshop

    Oregon Tech Alumni Association and Geomatics Program are proud to present this year's Land Surveying workshop on March 25th in Wilsonville.  Click for more information.

  • 29 Feb 2016 10:45 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    It's that time again! National Surveyors Week is this month. Here are ways you can help raise awareness about the profession:

    1.) Support NGS Efforts by recovering Bench Marks

    • For details on the NGS national effort click here.
    • Watch the one-hour NGS webinar on the 2015 program here.
    • If you choose to observe a mark with a 4+ hour session, please share your solution here.
    2.) Share surveying photos and promote the profession through your company and personal social media accounts. Great platforms include: Facebook, Instagram, Blogging, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit. To read more about integrating social media platforms into your company communications, click here

    3.) Contact a local elementary school or your child's teacher and request to make a 20-minute presentation on what surveyors do.

    4.) Share everything you did with PLSO

  • 28 Feb 2016 2:40 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO), a non-profit trade association that represents the surveying profession in Oregon, announced Albert Hertel as the 2015 Surveyor of the Year. Hertel is President of Caswell/Hertel Surveyors, Inc. in Beaverton.

    “Surveyor of the Year is one the highest honors that PLSO bestows,” explained Aimee McAuliffe, Executive Director of PLSO. “The honoree has to demonstrate a history of high competence, integrity and professionalism, as well as assisted other surveyors in advancement within the profession. Al Hertel has demonstrated this throughout his career.”

    After graduating from Oregon Technical Institute, Hertel worked for a local engineering firm for a time before a four-year enlistment in the United States Navy – including an “all-expense paid” trip to Viet Nam for a year.  Upon returning, Hertel progressed from survey technician to owner at Caswell/Hertel Surveyors. He has been involved in many projects from both the public and private sectors, from boundary and subdivision work to utility and street surveys. Having filed over 1,200 Records of Survey and Plats in Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties alone, Hertel has left his mark on the development of the local community.

    In addition to his firm, Hertel has been a member of PLSO since 1988. He has served as the local Pioneer Chapter’s Secretary-Treasurer for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. He is a steady volunteer at numerous Career Fairs and has sponsored the Trig Star program at Valley Catholic High School, as well as proctoring exams at Beaverton School of Science Technology, Glencoe High and St. Stevens High School. Trig Star is a national program set up to promote the study and mastery of trigonometry by honoring the individual student who has demonstrated superior skill among classmates at the High School level. It is a gate way to acquaint students with the use and practical application of trigonometry in the surveying profession.

    “In joining PLSO, I have grown in leadership,” said Al Hertel. “I have been on the Curriculum Advisory Committee at PCC, been to a Boy Scout jamboree in Scappoose, given a Trig Star talk at 4 different High Schools--multiple years, been to several High School Job Fairs, helped Proctor the Oregon LSIT/LS test in several cities throughout Oregon, and served as the Sec/Tres of the Pioneer Chapter for several years. Throughout all this I have gained the friendship of many colleagues, government planners & surveyors, and teachers, both high school and college. Thank you for this great opportunity. I have been blessed by each contact that I have made.”

    # # #

    The Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, based in Tigard, represents more than 500 licensed land surveyors and associates throughout the state. It serves the land surveying industry in Oregon through professional education and outreach, holding paramount the interests of the public. To learn more visit

  • 22 Feb 2016 2:41 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) is holding the following Committee Meetings on Friday, February 26, 2016 in the Conference Room of the Board office at 670 Hawthorne Avenue, SE, Suite 220, Salem, OR 97301. 

    • Rules & Regulations
    • Examinations & Qualifications
    • External Relations
    • Finance
    • Oregon Specific Examination Task Force
    • Professional Practices

    Additional information about OSBEELS can be found at:

    Please direct any questions about the upcoming meetings to the Board office.

  • 18 Jan 2016 5:42 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    IR-2015-137, Dec.17, 2015

    WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

    Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

    • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 57.5 cents for 2015
    • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 23 cents for 2015
    • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

    The business mileage rate decreased 3.5 cents per mile and the medical, and moving expense rates decrease 4 cents per mile from the 2015 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.

    The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

    Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

    A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

    These and other requirements for a taxpayer to use a standard mileage rate to calculate the amount of a deductible business, moving, medical or charitable expense are in Rev. Proc. 2010-51.  Notice 2016-01 contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

  • 12 Jan 2016 7:50 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)




    TIME: 4-6:30 p.m.

                              WHERE: Caufield House

               723 Main Street Oregon City

    Hor d’oeuvers Buffet $18 per person

    No Host Bar

    Please RSVP and pay Debbie Fuller by February 12:  or 503.742.4492

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