The National Resources Inventory (NRI) is a statistically based sample of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. nonfederal lands. It is the most comprehensive database of its kind ever attempted anywhere in the world.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service's program for NRI serves as the Federal Government's principal source of information on the status, condition, and trends of soil, water, and related resources in the United States. The assessment of a nation's natural resources and environmental condition provided by the NRI requires a nationally consistent database that allows for manipulation of various parameters in order to make accurate assessments. For these manipulations and subsequent analyses to be useful for public policy considerations, the NRI database
has a high degree of reliability,
looks at the natural resources over a period of time, and
permits analyses at national, regional, and local levels.
The NRI is unique because
it provides a nationally consistent database for all nonfederal lands,
it features data gathered and monitored in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and each subsequent year by thousands of technical and natural resource data collection experts, and
it has a direct correlation with soils data, which permits analysis of resources in relation to the capability of the land and in terms of soil resources and conditions.
Informed and valid decisions are best made when based upon scientifically derived data. The NRI has been developed to supply this type of information. The NRI database is powerful, credible, and scientifically constructed. The present NRI is the result of many decades of development