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  1. [surveying] Acronym for Public Land Survey System. The description of the location of land in the United States using a survey system established by the U.S. government in 1785. The system is based on the concept of a township, a square parcel of land measuring 6 miles on each side. The township's position is described as a number of 6-mile units east of a north–south line (called the meridian) and north or south of an east–west line (called the baseline). Each township is divided into 36 sections, each of which is 1 square mile. A section is divided into quarters equal to 160 acres. The quarter section may be further divided into four 40-acre parcels. The PLSS is also known as the rectangular survey, the Township and Range System, or the USPLSS.

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