Skip

NTCHS Annual Meeting Minutes (1/04)

January 13-14, 2004
Newark, Delaware

DRAFT Meeting Minutes

Members Present: Chris Noble (COE), Ed Blake (Nevada, NRCS), Mike Lilly (NRCS), Mike Whited (WLI, NRCS), Lenore Vasilas (Maryland, NRCS), Chien-Lu Ping (University of Alaska), Mike Vepraskas (North Carolina State University), Jimmie Richardson (North Dakota State University), Ralph Spagnola (EPA), Wade Hurt (NSSC, NRCS), and Chair, Karl Hipple (NSSC, NRCS).

Members Absent: Wayne Skaggs (North Carolina State University), Randy Davis (FS), Herb Huddleston (Oregon State University), Richard Griffin (Prairie View A&M University), Bill Volk (BLM), and Dave Zuberer (Texas A&M University). NOTE: A replacement for Buck Reed (USFWS) has not been named.

New members are Ralph Spagnola and Dave Zuberer.

Resource Personnel Present: Various members of the Mid-Atlantic Hydric Soils Committee and Maxine Levin, NRCS Soils Division Program Manager, participated part-time.

Meeting was called to order by Hipple at 8:02 a.m. on Tuesday, January 13. After introductions, Hipple distributed objectives for this meeting and minutes of the previous meeting. Members read the minutes and made minor corrections. Motion for approval of corrected minutes was made by Whited and seconded by Lilly. Motion passed.

Report on testing of Indicator TF7 in the Midwest distributed by Whited. Additional data are needed prior to any decision. Vasilas reported on testing of Indicator TF2 in the Mid-Atlantic States. Preliminary results seem to indicate that any proposal to move the indicator to use status might include employing the use of a Propensity Index to identify Red Parent Material soils and may require more redox concentration coupled with redox depletions. Testers are not quite ready to make a proposal to the NTCHS. Letters of support to keep Indicators TS3, TS5, and TF6 were distributed. Action Item: Richardson to obtain data that seem to support the use of Indicator TS2 to Hipple; Hipple to distribute to full NTCHS.

Hurt led a discussion concerning NTCHS recommendations for all Test Indicators. Recommendations are as follows:

  • TA1 (Playa Rim Stratified Layers): Delete. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) technology captures those hydric soils for which this test indicator intended.
  • TA2 (Structureless Muck): Delete. No activity concerning this indicator has been reported.
  • TA3 (Coast Prairie Redox): Move to use status. Data are available.
  • TS1 (Iron Staining): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TS2 (Thick Sandy Dark Surface): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TS3 (Dark Surface 2): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TS4 (Sandy Neutral Surface): Delete. No activity concerning this indicator has been reported.
  • TS5 (Chroma 3 Sandy Redox): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF1 (? Cm Mucky Peat or Peat): Delete. No activity concerning this indicator has been reported.
  • TF2 (Red Parent Material): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF3 (Alaska Concretions): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF4 (2.5Y/5Y Below Dark Surface): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF5 (2.5Y/5Y Below Thick Dark Surface): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF6 (Calcic Dark Surface): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF7 (Thick Dark Surface 2/1): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF8 (Redox Spring Seeps): Delete. Magnetic susceptibility (MS) technology captures those hydric soils for which this test indicator intended.
  • TF9 (Delta Ochric): Move to use status with revised area for use.
  • TF10 (Alluvial Depleted Matrix): Maintain as a test indicator for the present.
  • TF11 (Reduced Vertic): Move to use status with revised area for use.

Spagnola moved that Hurt draft a letter indicating NTCHS recommendations for indicators currently considered test and for Hipple to distribute the letter nationally. Richardson seconded and the motion passed. Action Item: Hurt will draft letter and Hipple will distribute nationally.

Hipple led a discussion concerning Policy/Guidelines on dropping Indicators. Blake suggested that a record keeping/documentation procedure be established for each of the indicators and test indicators to document the rationale behind each. Following discussion, it was decided that Hurt would provide a copy of his "Chicago Report" to each member. It was also decided that Hipple would maintain a file for each indicator and test indicator, at NSSC. These files will hold supporting data and miscellaneous information relative to the indicators.

Motion by Whited to revise Field Indicators of Hydric Soils of the United States, Version 5.01, Page 4, 2nd Column, 5th paragraph, 1st sentence to read as follows:
2. Adding a test Indicator-Minimally, the following should accompany all requests for adding or deleting – The words "or deleting" are additions. Seconded by Hurt and motion passed. Action Item: Hipple to revise website.

Hipple reported that a 2005 National Hydric Soils List is to be produced and will be based on the NASIS stored data and a 2006 National Hydric Soils List is to be produced based on NASIS created data. Plans are that these lists will be available to users without having to access NASIS.

Vepraskas led a discussion concerning the current Hydric Soil Technical Standard (HSTS) particularly the potential to add use of IRIS (iron) pipes. These are PVC pipes coated with Fe oxide or hydroxide. In anaerobic soils the Fe oxide or hydroxide will reduce and dissolve off the pipe. This technique could substitute for redox potential measurements required by the HSTS. However use and interpretation guidance are needed. Vepraskas moved that a committee be established to work with Byron Jenkinson (developer of IRIS technology) on a procedure that allows IRIS technology to be used with the HSTS. Seconded by Richardson and motion passes. IRIS Committee established consists of Vepraskas, Chair, Mike Ulmer, Marty Rabenhorst, Whited, and Hurt. Action Item: IRIS Committee report due 1 month prior to next NTCHS meeting.

Vepraskas led a discussion concerning the conflict with on-site determinations of the hydric status of a soil created by having the two methods: 1) meeting the HSTS and 2) meeting Criteria 3 or 4 and requested a NTCHS decision concerning which took precedence. NTCHS took no action.

Hipple led a discussion concerning the format of the National Hydric Soil List. The NTCHS preferred format is to have map unit symbol, map unit name, component name, percent component is of map unit, hydric rating, landform, and criteria met. Note: This suggested format needs to be reviewed to determine if it conflicts with Farm Bill requirements.

Hurt reported on the Magnetic Susceptibility (MS) work he has been conducting with Bill Zanner (University of Nebraska). The theory is that hydric soils should have significantly lower magnetic susceptibility than nonhydric soil due to the reduction of iron in hydric soils. This theory did not work in the Texas Coast Prairies but worked well in the playas of Oregon. In 2004, work will continue in Minnesota.

Noble reported that Army COE has initiated a 4-year plan to regionalize the 1987 COE Manual with beginning efforts in Alaska and the arid western states. The work is reviewed by a National Oversight Committee consisting of Federal Agency employees. NRCS is to have two members. The NTCHS recommended that the two NRCS members be Hipple and Whited.

Whited reported he has initiated an effort to compile a wet soil monitoring database on data collected nationwide and exhibited the HGM for prairie potholes, and provided the committee members copies of a correlation of New England Indicators with the NTCHS Indicators. Whited moved that NTCHS the first sentence for Indicators A2 and A3 be amended by adding "underlain by mineral soil that has chroma less than or equal to 2", seconded by Hurt, and motion failed. Whited moved that the User Notes to NTCHS Indicators A2 and A3 be amended by adding the sentence "The organic material is underlain by mineral soil material that has chroma less than or equal to 2." Seconded by Richardson and the motion passed.

Ping iterated the effort mentioned by Noble that Alaska is in the process of regionalizing the 1987 COE Manual in Alaska.

Hurt led a discussion concerning a letter from John Galbraith, Virginia Tech, which included a summary table that explained the color contrasts faint, distinct, and prominent. Vepraskas moved that Table I, also a table that explains the color contrasts faint, distinct, and prominent in Soil Survey Technical Note 2 (Sol Color Contrast) be added to any future revisions to Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States. Blake seconded, and motion passed. Action Item: Hipple to write letter to Galbraith thanking him for his efforts.

Richardson moved for adjournment, Lilly seconded, and the motion passed at 3:30 p.m.

Meeting was re-called to order by Hipple at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 14.

NTCHS desires the COE Manual regionalization be continued and that with regionalization NTCHS Hydric Soil Indicators be included for use. Hipple appointed a committee of Hipple, Chair, Maxine Levin, Whited, and Spagnola to liaison these desires to others.

Spagnola reported that the Mid-Atlantic Hydric Soil Committee is a co-sponsor of a Hydric Soil Workshop scheduled for August 3-6, 2004 in Norfolk, Virginia. He also requested abstracts from committee members and reported that he is working on getting EPA to officially adopt the NTCHS Indicators.

Richardson led a discussion on extreme variation of water table levels in sub-humid and semi-arid areas.

Whited led a discussion concerning the definition of the depleted matrix and the possible need to add depletions within the definition for soil material with colors such as value 5 and chroma 2.

Hipple led a discussion concerning next year’s meeting and the need to have a central theme that concerns the regionalization of the 1987 COE Manual. Noble agreed to provide a meeting location and moved that the meeting be held during the week of January 24-28, 2005. Seconded by Lilly, and motion passed.

Richardson moved for adjournment, seconded by Vepraskas, and motion passed at 3:20 p.m.

During the afternoon of January 14th and morning of the 15th, the NTCHS joined the Mid-Atlantic Hydric Soil Committee for field trips that may involve the addition of one or more Hydric Soil Indicators. On the afternoon of the 15th, most NTCHS members participated in the Mid-Atlantic Hydric Soil Committee’s business meeting.