USDA-NRCS and Young Soil and Water Conservation District Celebrates public
USDA-NRCS and Young Soil and Water Conservation District Celebrates publication of Young County Soil Survey
Story by John Sackett and Sidney Paulson
ï¿½For the past 75 years, the NRCS has led the nation in protection of our natural resources,ï¿½ said Don Gohmert, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist for Texas. The basis for all conservation practices is a soils inventory before determining the best management practices to apply. Soil survey has been around since 1899 and an important part of the NRCS (formerly the Soil Conservation Service) since its beginning in 1935. Although soils have not changed much soil science and technology has changed.
On August 2, 2010, Sidney Paulson, soil scientist who worked on the Young County Soil Survey, made a presentation to the Young Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) board of a leather-bound copy of the soil survey for Young County. A presentation was also made to retired soil scientist Tom Cyprian as the project leader and author of the Young County Soils Survey. Sidney shared along with his coworkers John Sackett, MLRA 80-85 project Leader, and Will Tripp, Soil Scientist, the appreciation for the effort and assistance that the board and Tom has meant to the Soil Survey program and the accomplishment of producing a Soil Survey for Young County.
This published soil survey marks the completion of the last initial soil survey in north central Texas. The first published soil survey in north central, Texas was Grayson County completed in 1909. Since then soil survey has had several additions of soil taxonomy and is currently on the 11th update to the Keys to Soil Taxonomy, which is a soil scientist guide to classifying soils into a national classification system. We have gone from drawing soil boundaries on plane tables to aerial photos, and now today all descriptions and boundaries of soils are recorded digitally in the field.
Soil mapping was conducted by field soil scientist trained to understand the interaction of soil forming processes and soil-landscape relations. By understanding how soil properties and characteristics change across the landscape, a soil scientist mapped out the various soil types in an area quickly, usually mapping several hundred acres in one field day. This requires extensive field work with the soil mapper traversing the landscape and digging many holes as deep as two meters (80 inches) deep to observe soil properties and conditions. The boundaries of the soil map units are then delineated on an aerial photograph. The final product is a soil survey that includes maps showing the distribution of different soil types. These tables indentify attributes of the soil types for example soil suitability for septic systems, houses, wildlife habitat, ponds, ecological sites and agricultural uses.
The Major land Resource Area (MLRA) 80B, 84B, 84C, and 85, which includes most of north central Texas, is in the process of being updated using the latest understanding and classification of Soil Science and using the latest technology to enhance and expedite the update of the Soil Survey to ensure the user have the best information available when making land use decisions. We thank the SWCDs and cooperators for the help in making this a quality product and look forward to continuing the working relationship in the future.
Sidney Paulson (left) presents Tom Cyprian (retired Soil Survey Project Leader) a leather-bound copy of Young County Soil Survey.
Sidney Paulson (right) presents Nathan Shack (chairman of the Young Soil and Water Conservation District Board) a leather-bound copy of Young County Soil Survey.