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News Release

Georgia NRCS Publication Tracks 30 Years of Land Use Trends

Natural Resource
Conservation Service
355 East Hancock Ave., Ste. 212
Athens, GA, 30601
Voice:  706-546-2069
Web:  http://

Release No.: 00009.17   ­

Dan Wallace
(706) 546-2244

Printable version (PDF) (43 KB)

ATHENS, GA September 2017, — State Conservationist Terrance O. Rudolph of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced today the official release of the publication “Georgia’s Land: It’s Use and Condition – 4th Edition.” This publication is a product of the National Resources Inventory (NRI) program, an effort that tracks land use changes and resource condition trends.

“It’s been said many times that to plan for the future, we have to know the past. That is one reason why we are excited about the release of this publication. This latest installment further demonstrates the benefits of the NRI program and the important role of our partners,” said Rudolph. “Being able to show how land use has changed in 30 years gives the public and decision makers valuable perspective when considering the direction of future conservation efforts.”

Among the many changes reported in the publication, the largest land use change during the 30 years from 1982 to 2012 was the net reduction of cropland by 2.6 million acres. The second largest change reported was the development of 2.4 million acres into urban land and rural transportation. This represents a doubling of developed land in 30 years, making developed land the second largest land use in Georgia since about 2004. Forest land remains the single largest land use in Georgia.

The NRI is conducted by the NRCS in cooperation with Iowa State University’s Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology. The NRI’s basic data themes are trends in land use, irrigation, prime farmland, soil erosion and wetlands.

To learn more about the document click here or download the document here.  Georgia NRCS also invites you to visit to learn more about how NRCS is “Helping People Help the Land.” 

If you have any questions about the data presented in this document or how to obtain a hard copy of the publication, please contact Georgia Resource Inventory Coordinator Dan Wallace at 706-546-2244 or