Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

4.4: Responsibility for soil surveys

  • Page ID
    14448
  • The Natural Resource Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service) of the USDA has the primary authority and responsibility for soil surveys. In some areas, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Reclamation, or the Bureau of Land Management conduct surveys of lands within their jurisdictions. Other state agencies such as departments of natural resources or conservation and the county or city governments may cooperate. This joint effort is called the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

    The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) today provides these soil surveys in a digital format through the Web Soil Survey (United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2016). The Web Soil Survey provides all the information previously contained in the county soil survey reports. It also contains additional tools and information that has not been available in printed versions of the soil surveys. Another advantage of the Web Soil Survey is that the information contained in it can be updated as needed, instead of being updated following new surveys of the same county, which take 30 to 60 years! Your instructor will walk you through some of the main features of the Web Soil Survey and show you how to request a PDF copy of a soil survey report for a designated area. You will use these skills for your Soil Survey Report assignment.

    Read through and complete the following activity and questions. All questions should be answered and completed labs are due at the end of the laboratory period. No late work will be accepted.

    • Was this article helpful?