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NSSH Amendment 21

December 2011

This is a summary of changes to the National Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH). The official copy of the NSSH is in HTML format and MSWord files at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/home/?cid=nrcs142p2_054242. Selected parts are also on eDirectives at http://policy.nrcs.usda.gov/Default.aspx.


Part 608 – Program Management

  1. Section 608.01 Responsibilities and Organization was edited to clarify the responsible agency staff person. The names of the functional branches of the NSSC are updated. The responsibilities for all offices are edited for clarity and some omissions are corrected. The responsibilities of the Management Team and Technical Team are added as new section items 608.01 (e) and (f), respectively.
     
  2. Acronyms, such as “MLRA SSO”, are used more consistently to reduce the verbiage.
     
  3. Section 608.03 Areas of Limited Access, Denied Access Areas, and Areas Not Completed, is revised to add a definition and purpose and provide guidance on Identifying Areas Not Completed (NOTCOM).
     
  4. Section 608.04 Determining Workloads, is revised to add a definition and purpose and is expanded to clarify the required workload plans for initial soil survey versus update soil survey.
     
  5. Section 608.05 Priorities for Soil Survey Activities, is revised to add a definition and purpose and clarify the guidance.
     
  6. All references to Part 610 were updated to match the revision for this other part of the NSSH.
     
  7. The exhibits were changed as follows:
    • Previous exhibits 608-1 Long-Range Plan of Operations for Initial Soil Surveys and 608-2 Annual Plan of Operations for Initial Soil Surveys, are retained but are renamed to remove mention of “update soil surveys requiring extensive revision.”
    • Previous exhibit 608-3, Example of Needs Identified for an MLRA Soil Survey Area Long-Range Plan), was removed.
    • Previous exhibit 608-4, Example of a Project Evaluation Ranking Procedure was removed from Part 608 and moved into Part 610 (as new exhibit 610-5).
    • Previous exhibit 608-5 Example of a Project Plan and exhibit 608-6 Annual Plan of Operations for an MLRA Soil Survey were removed.
    • Previous exhibit 608-7 Goal and Progress Guidelines and exhibit 608-8 Business Area Responsibilities for Goals and Progress, are renumbered as 608-3 and 608-4, respectively.
    • Exhibit 608-4 Business Area Responsibilities for Goals and Progress, was edited to correct some table names and data elements. New subsection (II C.) for ESD Development Progress was added.
       

Part 610 – Updating Soil Surveys

  1. Edited to incorporate a proposed protocol requested by an adhoc committee appointed by the MO leaders related to: purpose, format and use of MLRA soil survey update documents; maximizing the use of NASIS; and streamlining the planning and implementation process.
     
  2. Sections 610.00 through 610.07 were extensively revised and renamed in a major effort to provide clear and concise guidance as a result of input received after two comment periods during 2011.
     
  3. All references to Part 608 were updated to match the revision for this other part of the NSSH.
     
  4. The exhibits were changed as follows:
    • Exhibit 610-1 Sample Project Evaluation Worksheet was retained and renumbered as exhibit 610-4.
    • New exhibit 610-1 Resources for the Inventory and Assessment Report was added.
    • Previous exhibit 610-2 Sample Evaluation Information for Long-Range Planning was removed.
    • Previous exhibit 610-3 Example of a Soil Survey Update Implementation Guide was removed.
    • New exhibit 610-5 Example of a Project Evaluation Ranking Procedure was added.
    • New exhibit 610-6 Project Plan Checklist was added.
    • New exhibits 610-7a, 610-7b, 610-7c, and 610-7d Project Plan Examples were added.