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News Release

The 2018 National Resource Inventory Release Highlights Rangeland Trends

Petra Popiel

2018 NRI Rangeland Resource Assessment Now Available

DENVER, CO, April 30, 2018 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released the 2018 National Resources Inventory (NRI) Rangeland Resource Assessment. This is the third NRI rangeland resource assessment; earlier reports were released in 2010 and 2014. CLICK HERE to find all reports on the NRI Technical website.

NRI is a statistical survey of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. lands. Data is continually collected from several preselected spots representing hundreds of thousands of acres on a rotational basis across the country including rangeland, cropland, and many Bureau of Land Management (BLM) landscapes. 

“This report strictly focuses on rangeland,” said William Shoup, NRCS State Soil Scientist in Colorado. “Although NRI reports vary depending upon the land being studied, rangeland reports in Colorado are focused primarily on rangeland science, including key issues like rangeland health, non-native plant species, non-native and native invasive plant species, bare ground, inter-canopy gaps and soil surface aggregate stability.”

The NRI program was official established in 1977, however the concept of studying and tracking soil conditions began in the 1930’s when Hugh Hammond Bennet, known as the Father of Conservation and his colleagues wrote extensively about soil conditions and their potential threat to the nation. These studies eventually resulted in the establishment of eight soil erosion experiment stations and the establishment of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) which is now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 

Using the foundation of Hugh Hammond and other’s work, the development of the NRI program has provided the most scientist, long-term findings resulting in reliable data to help the Agency determine if the conservation measures it encourages really work. 

For additional information about the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or the NRI program, please visit,