Larry Decker - Section Manager
This section is a vital component of the day-to-day operations of the State Land Office and also acts as Title Consultant to the Office of the Attorney General, the State Mineral Board, the Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and other agencies directly or indirectly involved with State public lands.
*** Title and Boundaries Sub-Program: (L.R.S. 41:1131 et seq)
Pursuant to the statutory responsibility of the Commissioner of Administration to make title determinations and boundary settlements, this sub-program serves as his technical consultant to obtain the necessary field survey information and title abstract data. Because the beds and bottoms of all navigable rivers, streams and lakes, the banks or shores of bay, arms of the sea and a portion of the Gulf of Mexico, belong to the State of Louisiana, this technical assistance becomes most apparent in the evaluation of waterways to determine navigability at the time of statehood. These water bottom investigations assist the State Mineral Board in the evaluation of oil and gas mineral lease applications as well as insuring the collection of all royalty revenues which may be due the State of Louisiana. Water bottom investigations performed at the request of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assists them in insuring that oyster leases are issued on State water bottoms. Title investigations at the request of the Department of Justice as well as a review of Corps of Engineers Permit applications prevent unauthorized construction of impediments on navigable streams and lakes and insures that the proper permits and rights-of-way are obtained before initiating work on State public lands and waterbottoms. Title investigations performed at the request of the Lands and Waterbottoms Management Section of the State Land Office aids in the selection of non-controversial areas to be developed for campsites. Many times these title investigations also permit the Lands and Waterbottoms Management Section to proceed with timber cruises and timber sales on State public lands which otherwise may be subject to title dispute.
*** Field Surveys Sub-Program: (L.R.S. 50:121 et seq)
This sub-program gathers all of the field data necessary for the title and boundary determinations mentioned above, as well as to provide assistance to the Public Lands Utilization Manager when requested. The State Land Office has a field survey crew that is capable of surveying and locating property lines on State properties using conventional and GPS surveying technology. This is an invaluable aid in determining the boundary of State lands and important to maintaining the title to most of our State public lands. These surveys are one of the highest priorities of this office due to the fact that State public lands, once properly identified, can be managed to maximize revenues therefrom. A statewide GIS using computerized mapping for all State property is presently being developed.