News and Updates
2018 SDSPLS 35th Annual Convention
January 10, 11 and 12, 2018
Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain, SD
Temporary Licensure Bill 
HB 1319 adopt the Interstate Compact for the Temporary Licensure of Professionals. 
SB 172 provide for an opt out by certain professions from the temporary licensing compact. 
Update 2/20/18 - HB 1319 was defeated on the House floor 46-18.  Thanks to the Design Professionals Coalition and all individuals that got the word out to the legislators that this bill was not in the best interest of the public.  The intention may have been good, but the mechanics of it were not.

Update 2/15/18 - HB 1319 was a Do Pass in committee and now goes to the full House, currently on Tuesday 2/20 calendar, but could be deferred.  Please contact your Representative to oppose this bill.  Expressing our view can be very beneficial in the outcome.  

Update 2/12/18 - HB 1319 is scheduled for committee Wednesday morning 2/14.   SB 172 has been deferred to Senate floor on Wednesday 2/21
Update 2/09/18 - SB 172 has unanimously passed from committee to full Senate. It is on the Monday February 12, afternoon agenda. Now is the time to offer your support for this bill by contacting your Senator.                                     
HB 1319 has so far been deferred by committee. We are watching for updates to revised hearing date.

From President Nielson   (February 2018)
Greetings fellow SDSPLS members!  I hope that the first couple months of 2018 have been treating everyone well.  I am hoping that the deep freeze of winter is past us and that our thoughts can turn toward gearing up for the busy season that lies ahead.  

A great deal has transpired since transitioning to President just a few short weeks ago.  The process to select a new Executive Director continues and our 2018 legislative session has been anything but quiet.  We have two bills that have been particularly active (HB 1319 and SB 172), both dealing with the temporary licensure issue that we discussed at the Annual Meeting.  Rarely does a day go by that there aren’t multiple emails and/or phone call relating to these two issues.  In dealing with these two bills I would like to take a moment to thank all of those who have helped with the opposition of HB 1319 and support of SB 172 (Opt Out).  When I began this legislative session I would have put my knowledge of the legislative process at about a two on a one to ten scale.  Now I think I have worked my way up to a four or maybe even a five.  Don Jacobson, Gary Andersh, Diane Aas, Janelle and our DPC lobbyist Justin Bell are all extremely knowledgeable and have been incredibly helpful with the whole process (all of them are eight or higher on the ten scale).  It is obvious to me that this is not the first rodeo for any of them.  It is truly a benefit to the SDSPLS to have the experience that these people provide - not to mention the time they put in representing us. 
At the time of writing this HB 1319 was defeated in the House of Representatives by a margin of 46 to 18.  However, the Governor still has a window of opportunity to amend this bill and bring it back so we will remain on watch.  To date I have not heard of a specific group other than the governor’s office voice support for HB 1319.  This legislation has been closely watched by our neighboring states and societies as well as the National Society of Professional Surveyors – none of which are in support of this type of Temporary Licensure legislation.  We reached out to our sister societies in Colorado, North Dakota and Minnesota and received prompt and eloquent letters of opposition that we were able to share with our legislators.  Curt Sumner, Executive Director of NSPS, also provided a clear and concise letter of opposition.  Locally, Minnehaha County Register of Deeds Julie Risty joined our effort as well.  We are fortunate to have had this response and support. 
Getting away from politics - I did have the pleasure of attending the NDSPLS convention in Bismarck.  They were gracious hosts and it was very enjoyable and informative to experience a neighboring state’s convention.  I found it very interesting how similar our conventions are.  One of the differences that struck me was how involved the North Dakota membership is with their organization.  Outside of the state board they have fifteen committees, three chapters, and the NDSPLS Foundation.  To top it off, they all had activity!  Every committee had a lengthy written report detailing what they had accomplished for the year.  It amazed me that an organization with membership that appears to be less than half of ours had so much involvement.  You couldn’t talk to anyone who didn’t have some sort of involvement in the organization in some way, shape or form. 
I am not pointing this out to make our organization look bad – but in comparison it is obvious that we could do much better in engagement and participation from our members.  I am not sure what the secret ingredient is to making it happen, but it would be nice to be able to ease the burden from those in our group who seem to always put in more than their share of time.    When I started in the profession I was fortunate enough to have mentors that encouraged involvement in SDSPLS and I was also fortunate to witness and participate in involved meetings.  I always looked forward to going to chapter meetings and hearing the “old guys” talk about the real world issues they were facing.  I think having dialogue with fellow surveyors in a comfortable setting makes it easier for us to call each other when potential problems arise.  I believe that the more involved we become, the better we are individually and as a profession.  One of my goals for this year as your President is to get more people involved in our Chapters, Committees and organization. 
Another goal that I would like to see us work towards is increasing interest and awareness in our profession for kids - not only in high school but as early as elementary and middle school.  Unfortunately most students don’t even know that surveying exists let alone what a surveyor actually does.   Other members have brought forward some great ideas on how to get this idea off the ground.  Our NSPS Director Beau Koopal brought up the “Augmented Sandbox” which I think is a great idea that will really capture the attention of the kids.  If you haven’t seen an Augmented Sandbox – there are videos that can be Googled and there is one at the Washington Pavilion Science Center in Sioux Falls.  It is essentially a sandbox with an X-Box projector that projects contours (land and water) onto the sand in the box.  As the kids move and sculpt the sand the projector changes the contours and colors to reflect land (high ground) and water (low areas).  I would like to take this a step further and have some other surveying related items and activities lined up to keep the kids interested and engaged while they are waiting in line for the Augmented Sandbox.  The NDSPLS Missouri River Chapter went around to 17 different schools this past fall to talk to different groups about the career of surveying.  I would really like to try and do something similar to that and incorporate the Augmented Sandbox into the presentation.  I have asked them for a copy of the Power Point that they use and they were more than happy to share it.  I feel that it is time that we do our own recruiting to the profession and we need to stop relying on our schools to do it for us.  This is an investment that will continue to bring dividends to our profession.  If we interact more often and in a more engaging manner with our schools and students we can anticipate greater interest in surveying and hopefully we will see more and better qualified candidates entering the profession and becoming active participants in SDSPLS.  I will be working on a more detailed plan and I hope that when the opportunity is presented that you will be ready to volunteer. 
In closing - I am adjusting to the learning curve and have been enjoying the start of what looks to be busy year.  I look forward to what the rest of this year will bring.

Nathan Nielson, PLS
SDSPLS 2018 President 

South Dakota

Society of

Professional Land


PO Box 8154

Rapid City, South Dakota 57709