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National Ecological Site Handbook

Cover of the National Ecological Site Handbook.The National Ecological Site Handbook (NESH) provides standards, guidelines, definitions, policies, responsibilities, and procedures for conducting the collaborative process of ecological site description (ESD) development. Responsibilities for ESD development are shared among disciplines, including soils, range, forest, agronomy, wildlife biology, and hydrology. The NESH describes steps needed to collect information on site attributes, site correlation and classification, site dynamics, and site interpretations to ensure the quality and utility of Ecological Sites.

The eDirectives system at is the authoritative source for NRCS directives, including the NESH. The NESH consists of Title 190, Ecological Sciences, parts 630 through 633. The copy here is provided for convenience.

Proposed Changes

The Soil Science Division is providing a 50-day comment period for proposed changes to the National Ecological Site Handbook. The comment period for the proposed changes will open on June 23 and close on August 11, 2017. Please send any comments to Curtis Monger, National Leader for Standards, National Soil Survey Center at

Summary of Proposed Changes (DOC; 62 KB)

Amendments (Summary of Changes)

Amendments to Part 630 - February 2017 (PDF; 61 KB)