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1997 National Resources Inventory Revised December 2000

OVERVIEW

  • Results confirm same issues, concerns, conditions, and trends as reported a year ago.
  • Basically no change in portions of land in different uses. Total acreage for cropland, pasture, range, and forest land revised up; developed land (including urban and rural transportation), minor land, federal, and water areas revised down.
  • Final results change the estimate for developed land as a portion of total non-federal land downward 0.4% from 7% reported last year. Total was reduced just over 7 million acres to 98.3 million acres developed in 1997.
  • Some shifts in ranking of states by rates of growth in development during 1992 to 1997 and for total amount of land developed. Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, and Tennessee had largest reductions in acreage adjustments for urban land. However, states such as Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Georgia remained at the top for rates of development.
  • Observe the same trends in irrigation shifts from the west to eastern and mid-western states. Same concerns as previously reported on competition for water, risk management for drought, and conservation needs for water quality and quantity.
  • No change in total erosion of 1.9 billion tons per year, results confirm same trends for erosion reductions leveling off since the mid 1990's.
  • Still have same concerns for excess erosion on highly erodible and non-highly erodible land that degrades soil quality, water quality, air quality, wildlife habitat, and the environment. This is 29% of all cropland. Serious needs persist for conservation treatment on all land.
  • Acreage of grazing land was revised upward from last year but same issues and concerns for conservation treatment needs on this vast land area which is nearly 40% of the private land.
  • Results show that 101.2 thousand acres of wetlands were lost each year, on average, between 1992 and 1997 and that 68.6 thousand acres were gained for an overall annual net loss of 32.6 thousand acres per year.
  • Development accounted for 49% of gross wetland losses, agriculture 26%, forest land 12%, and 13% was due to miscellaneous causes, over half of which was because of natural climatic variations.
  • Nearly 59% of wetland acreage is on forestland and 16.5% is on agricultural crop, pasture, and CRP land.
  • Just under 31% of wetland acres are in the southeast, 24% in the mid-west, 17% in the south central, 13% in the northeast, 9% in the northern plains, and 6% in the western states.