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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 27, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter VISubchapter B → Part 611

Title 7: Agriculture



Subpart A—General

§611.1   Purpose and scope.
§611.2   Cooperative relationships.

Subpart B—Soil Survey Operations

§611.10   Standards, guidelines, and plans.
§611.11   Soil survey information.

Subpart C—Cartographic Operations

§611.20   Function.
§611.21   Availability of aerial photography.
§611.22   Availability of satellite imagery.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590q, 42 U.S.C. 3271-3274.

Source: 69 FR 60283, Oct. 8, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General

§611.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) This part sets forth policy on soil survey operations of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

(b) NRCS is responsible for soil survey activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A soil survey provides:

(1) An orderly, on-the-ground, scientific inventory of soil resources according to their potentialities and problems of use; and

(2) Information about each kind of soil in sufficient detail to meet all reasonable needs of farmers, agricultural technicians, community planners, engineers, and scientists in planning and transferring the findings of research and experience to specific land areas.

§611.2   Cooperative relationships.

(a) Soil surveys on nonfederal lands are carried out cooperatively with State agricultural experiment stations and other State agencies. The cooperative effort is evidenced in a memorandum of understanding setting forth guidelines for actions to be taken by each cooperating party in the performance of soil surveys. Similar cooperative arrangements exist between NRCS and other Federal agencies for soil surveys on Federal lands.

(b) Arrangements for nonfederal financial participation in the cost of soil surveys may be made with States, counties, soil conservation districts, planning agencies, and other local groups.

Subpart B—Soil Survey Operations

§611.10   Standards, guidelines, and plans.

(a) NRCS conducts soil surveys under national standards and guidelines for naming, classifying, and interpreting soils and for disseminating soil survey information.

(b) A soil survey Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is prepared prior to the start of each soil survey project, or a work plan is prepared for soil survey maintenance activities. These documents provide specific details and technical specifications to support the interpretive and data needs of the area to be surveyed. The MOU is signed by representatives of NRCS, land grant universities, and in some States representatives of other State agencies. Federal land administering agencies also sign the MOU if federal lands are included in the survey.

§611.11   Soil survey information.

(a) Availability. NRCS disseminates soil survey information to the public by any of the means described in paragraph (d) of this section. NRCS makes soil survey information available as soon as is practicable following field work or other soil survey activity that provides new soil survey information.

(b) Content. Soil survey information conforms with standards and meets the needs identified in the soil survey MOU or work plan as described in §611.10 of this part. Soil survey information includes:

(1) Soil maps that delineate the location and extent of various soil areas;

(2) Soil characteristics for each of the soil areas shown on soil maps;

(3) Interpretations of the soil characteristics; and

(4) Information about the source, version, and applicability or limitations associated with the soil survey information.

(c) Maintenance. Soil survey information is reviewed on a periodic basis to ensure that the information continues to meet evolving needs.

(d) Distribution. Soil survey information is disseminated to the public through electronically accessible maps and reports, electronic access to data files, or printed documents. To the extent practicable, as limited by commonly accepted technology, soil survey information is disseminated in electronic form.

(e) Resource conservation plan data. Information prepared specifically for use in developing resource conservation plans for soil conservation district cooperators is considered confidential. Soil maps and interpretations prepared for this use will not be made available to others without the consent of the landowner as well as the district governing body. However, soil survey information from which the conservation plan was developed may be disseminated as described in paragraph (a) of this section.

Subpart C—Cartographic Operations

§611.20   Function.

The NRCS National Cartography and Geospatial Center provides cartographic services needed to carry out NRCS functions. Cartographic services include general cartography, photogrammetry, aerial photography, planimetric and topographic mapping, drafting, and specialized types of reproduction.

§611.21   Availability of aerial photography.

The National Cartography and Geospatial Center obtains necessary clearance for all aerial photography for NRCS. New aerial photography of designated areas in the United States is obtained yearly by NRCS through competitive contracting. This photography is obtained only after it is determined that imagery of these areas available from other sources does not meet NRCS scale and quality requirements. Orders for reproductions of NRCS aerial photography are subject to the fee schedule cited in §1.2(b) of this title. Order reproductions from the National Cartography and Geospatial center: USDA—National Resources Conservation Service; P.O. Box 6567, FWFC-Bldg. 23; 501 W. Felix Street; Forth Worth, Texas 76115.

§611.22   Availability of satellite imagery.

Cloud-free maps of the United States based on imagery received from a satellite are prepared and released to the public by NRCS. The maps offer the first image of the United States not obscured by clouds or distortions. Orders or requests for information should be directed to the National Cartography and Geospatial Center, USDA—Natural Resources Conservation Service; P.O. Box 6567, FWFC-Bldg. 23; 501 W. Felix Street; Forth Worth, Texas 76115. Orders are subject to the fee schedule cited in §1.2(b) of this title.

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