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Land Evaluation and Site Assessment

The Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) system helps state and local officials make sound decisions about land use. Combined with Forest measures and Rangeland parameters, LESA can provide a technical framework to numerically rank land parcels based on local resource evaluation and site considerations.

Land Evaluation

In agricultural land evaluation, soils are rated and placed into groups ranging from the best to the least suited for a specific agricultural use, such as cropland, forestland, or rangeland. Then, a relative value is determined for each group. For example, the best group may be assigned a value of 100, while all other groups are assigned lower values. The land evaluation is based on data from the National Cooperative Soil Survey often called the largest and most valuable natural resource database in the world.

LESA measuring land activities






Land Evaluation and Site Assessment activities such as measuring land and productivity assist landowners
and others prior to making land use conversions to non-agricultural uses.

Site Assessment

Site assessment involves three major areas:

  • Non-soil factors related to agricultural use of a site.
  • Factors related to development pressures.
  • Other public values of a site.

Each factor selected is assigned a range of possible values according to local needs and objectives. This process provides a rational, consistent, sound basis for making land use decisions.

Additional Information
Program Contact

Mike Robotham, 202-720-5547