The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently modernized their website www.nrcs.usda.gov. The new NRCS website has been designed with the conservation program user in mind. The goals of the new website are to support and enhance the NRCS mission by delivering relevant, timely, customer-focused information in an easy-to-navigate platform.
Key features include:
- It’s been designed using the U.S. Web Design System, so you’ll see a certain “family resemblance” among USDA and other federal websites, including farmers.gov.
- It’s accessible (or 508 conformant), meaning the site is designed for use by people with disabilities.
- It’s mobile responsive, meaning that it should work on a phone or tablet as easily as on a desktop computer.
Content is organized under four key headers:
- Conservation Basics: In this section, there is information on natural resource concerns such as soil, water, plants, animals, land, etc. and Conservation by State which allows users to explore state level information and well as state office contact information.
- Getting Assistance: This section provides links to technical help, financial help, compliance and cultural resources, and other topics.
- Programs and Initiatives: There are four key sub sections:
- Programs which directs users to information from NRCS on programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP);
- Easements which directs users to information from NRCS on programs such as Wetland Reserve Easements;
- Watershed Programs which directs users to information from NRCS on contents such as Emergency Watershed Protection and Watershed and Flood Prevention Operation;
- Initiatives which directs users to information from NRCS on initiatives such as Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and High Tunnels.
- Resources: In this section, users will find detailed information on NRCS conservation practice standards, soil survey and taxonomy resources, links to NRCS databases, education and teaching materials and resources such as the Web Soil Survey which is described in more detail below.
Be sure to check out Guides and Instructions – Users can search by resource type, NRCS program, natural resource concern, and state.
Web Soil Survey
A popular resource found within the NRCS website is the Web Soil Survey (WSS). The WSS provides agricultural producers, agencies, Technical Service Providers, and others electronic access to relevant soil and related information needed to make land-use and management decisions. The WSS:
- Provides an alternative to traditional hardcopy publication for quicker delivery of information,
- Provides access to full soil survey report content,
- Provides access to the most current data, and
- Provides customers with the ability to download spatial, tabular, and thematic soils data for use in GIS.
To learn more about the Web Soil Survey, visit https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/resources/data-and-reports/web-soil-survey
DeAnn Presley, Soil Management Specialist
Peter Tomlinson, Environmental Quality Specialist
soil conservation NRCS website