News and Updates
2019 SDSPLS 36th Annual Convention
January 9, 10 and 11, 2019
Arrowwood Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain, SD

From our Executive Director   (November 2018)
The old cliché “Where does the time go?” seems to ring truer every year.  It is hard to believe that it is November already and that 2018 is drawing to a close.  The days are getting shorter, temperatures and wind chills are dropping, snow has found most of us, some of our farmers are still working to get the last of their harvests out of the fields, contractors are hustling to finish projects before deep frost sets in and the asphalt plants shut down for the season.  The witches and goblins are gone for another year and the mid-term elections are behind us.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and holiday decorations are already up in our stores and towns.   I watched our Parks Department bed the roses down last week and then string Christmas lights up this week in the park across from my office.

It has been a busy year for SDSPLS.  We started the year with an active legislative session and success in defeating the governor’s proposed Temporary Licensing Compact.  DPC provided effective leadership in that effort and we will be looking to them again in the coming year to help keep us informed and to provide guidance and direction.  DPC went through some changes as well and Diane Aas will be the Executive Director during 2019 with the expectation that the new SDES/ACEC Director (Nancy Hoines) will assume that position in 2020.  We expect to see the movement for deregulation of licensing to continue to work its way through other states in various formats.  It is anticipated that we will see some version of this legislation again in South Dakota and we need to remain watchful.    

We have put together an interesting convention program for January 2019.  John Matonich will be our feature speaker, addressing the topics of deeds and descriptions, easements, and being an expert witness.  Bob Dahl and Ryan Lorenzen with the BLM will have a session on the rectangular survey system and subdividing fractional sections.  You can look for an update on the Corner Records project as well as 12 hours of LSIT sessions available.  There is definitely a good variety of topics and something for everyone.  

There are also a few changes and new things to look forward to this year.  The SDSPLS Chapters have purchased a limited edition American Surveyor Rifle and will have the number 15 rifle out of 50 Surveyor Legacy rifles.  It is a fully functional Henry Big Boy .44 Magnum and will come with a carrying case.  See the enclosed flyer for the engraving details.  Tickets will be $5 for 1 ticket or $20 for 5 tickets with proceeds going to the SDSPLS Special Use Find.

SDSPLS will support entries for the NSPS Plat Map Contest again this year.  See the enclosed flyer for details.  The SDSPLS Board of Directors will choose (or select a group to choose) a winning entry from the various categories.  To have your entry considered please bring a full sized copy of your drawing (mounted if you prefer but not required) to convention for display on Thursday.  SDSPLS will select the winning entries on Friday morning and provide the sponsorship and entry fee for the winning drawings.

We also have a few changes for the Thursday evening banquet.  You will have a choice of prime rib or chicken florentine for your meal.  Please be sure to check the appropriate blank on your convention registration form.

The after-dinner program will have a new look as well.  There will be desert (cake and ice cream) for everyone and Chapter sponsored activities/contests for those that want to try their hand at some of the more traditional surveying skills.  There will be contests for pacing, chain throwing, and a transit set and angle turn, as well as an individual corn-hole tossing contest.  Brush up on your skills as prizes will be awarded to the top 3 contestants in each event.  If you don’t want to participate, you can watch your friends compete or take some time and enjoy coffee, cake and ice cream and the company of your colleagues and friends.

The Young Surveyors group is going to provide the opportunity for corn-hole tossing in our exhibit area and we hope to have an example of an augmented sandbox on hand.  The sandboxes are really fun and interesting tools that could be a great enhancement for our contact with student groups, scout troops, etc.   

I hope that is has been a good year for all of you.  It is a little bittersweet here as I work on what will be my last newsletter and convention.  Your new Executive Director (Rebecca Dodds) has been hired and working with me for the past month.  There is a lot of ground to cover in getting ready for her to transition into this position.  I will let Rebecca introduce herself in more detail in your next newsletter, but she is currently from Rapid City and is married to a surveyor (Chad Dodds).  The location certainly makes the transition and training easier on both of us and being married to a surveyor means that she already is acquainted with the profession and understands what surveyors do.  She has an interesting background that includes skills in management, working with people and the hospitality industry.  I have really enjoyed getting to know her and know that she will do a wonderful job for SDSPLS and will bring a fresh perspective and some new ideas.  We will both be working together at convention this year and I know that she is looking forward to meeting you.  I hope that you will be able to join us in January and that you will make her feel as welcome as you have made me feel these past 20 years.  I am truly blessed to have been a part of this organization and have always felt like I have 300 friends scattered across the state.  I will truly miss all of the wonderful people of SDSPLS.    

Janelle L. Finck – SDSPLS Executive Director 

South Dakota

Society of

Professional Land


PO Box 8154

Rapid City, South Dakota 57709