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NSSH Amendment 25

July 2013

This is a summary of changes to the National Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH). The official copy of the NSSH is in HTML format and MSWord files at

Part 602 – National Cooperative Soil Survey Conferences

  1. Added two sentences in section 602.00 (b) that reference the exhibits.

  2. Updated 19 occurrences of “Soil Survey Division” to “Soil Science Division” and 8 occurrences of “Director, Soil Survey Division” to “Soil Science Division Director” in the definition section and several bylaws exhibits.
  3. Updated “National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists, Inc.” to “Consulting Soil Scientists Division (S12) of the Soil Science Society of America”, in exhibits 602-1, 602-2, 602-3, and 602-5, to reflect the integration of NSCSS into the SSSA.
  4. The following edits were made in the Tuesday, June 18, 2013 Standards session at the 2013 NCSS conference in Annapolis, MD and approved at the business meeting on Thursday, June 20, 2013:
    • Updated Article VI, Section 1.1 on the membership of the steering committee to allow a quorum with less than 9 members to conduct business.
    • A suggested rotation among the regions for the national meetings was added to Article VII, Section 2.0 in exhibit 602-1.
    • Updated Article IX on amending the bylaws to allow a majority voice vote instead of a ballot.
    • Added dates on when the bylaws were amended and when the amendments were approved by the business meeting of the 2013 conference.
  5. Updated the bylaws for the Western region in exhibit 602-2 as a result of proposed revisions discussed and approved at the 2012 meeting in Davis. The revisions are:
    • Article I, Section 1.0 – Revised wording for what constitutes the region including updating the name for the Pacific Basin to the Pacific Islands Area.
    • Article III, Section 3.0 – Separated the NRCS state soil scientists from the MLRA regional office managers to recognize the recent division of the job positions, added text to mention that representatives of other federal positions are included in the permanent membership, removed the National Congress of American Indians (also removed from article VI, section 6.2.2, 8.), and clarified the name of FLAG as the Federal Lands Advisory Group.
    • Article III, Section 3.1 – Added a USFS representative.
    • Article VI, Sections 6.0 and 6.4 – Deleted text about Special Task Force Committees.
  6. Updated the bylaws for the Northeast region in exhibit 602-3 as a result of proposed revisions discussed and approved at the 2012 meeting in Orono. The revisions are:
    • Article III, Section 1.4 – Changes MO numbers to office names and “team leader” to “director”.
    • Article III, Section 1.6 – Deleted NGMC as a permanent participant.
    • Article III, Section 1.8 – Revised to hosting-state professional soil scientist association.
    • Article IV – Deleted four sections pertaining to the editorial board of the Northeast Cooperative Soil Survey Journal.
    • Article V, Section 1.0 – Added a suggestion rotation for the meetings through 2032.
    • Article VI, Sections 4.1 through 4.8 are deleted since paper copies of proceedings are no longer distributed.
    • Article IX, Section 6.0 – Deleted; Added new Articles XI, XII, and XIII to elevate the hydric soils, subaqueous soils, and soil & ecosystem dynamics as standing committees.
  7. Updated the bylaws for the North Central region (NCRSSC) in exhibit 602-4 as a result of proposed revisions discussed and approved at the 2012 meeting in Lincoln. The revisions are:
    • Changed liaison of the NCRSSC from the NL for Technical Soil Services to the NL for Soil Survey Research and Laboratory.
    • Increased the number of standing committees from 3 to 5 by adding a committee for interpretations and a committee for soil and ecosystem dynamics.
    • Allowed a representative (designee) of the chair of the standing committees to be representative at the NCSS conference.
  8. Updated the bylaws for the Southern region in exhibit 602-5. The revisions are:
    • Updated position title of “MLRA leaders” to “soil survey regional directors”.
    • Updated 2 occurrences of “National Society of Consulting Soil Scientists, Inc.” to “Consulting Soil Scientists Division (S12) of the Soil Science Society of America”.
    • Updated Table 1 for conference structure based on new MO structure and numbers.
    • Updated MO numbers in composition of the Soil Taxonomy and Standards Co-committee.
  9. Added new exhibit 602-6 titled “Conducting NCSS Regional Conferences.”

Part 622 – Interpretative Groups

  1. The name of Part 622 is revised from “Ecological and Interpretative Groups” to “Interpretative Groups.”
  2. Section 622.04 Prime Farmland Soils is deleted and subsequent sections, 622.05 through 622.14, are renumbered. Some previous content on quality control of prime farmland map units in retained and incorporated into Section 622.03.
  3. Sections 622.00 Definition and Purpose through 622.09 contain many substantive changes in content to update policy, guidance on data entry, and reference documents as well as to add hyperlinks with Web addresses to other pertinent documents.
  4. The replica of Agriculture Handbook 210 (Land Capability Classification) as shown in exhibit 622-2 is deleted and replaced with a hyperlink to a Web address where a scanned version of the document is available.
  5. A National guide for assigning land capability class (new exhibit 622-2) and State-specific guides for assigning land capability class, subclass, and unit (exhibits 622-3 through 622-7) are added.

Part 649 – Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas

  1. Revised Exhibit 649-1 to reassign all MLRAs to the new regional office structure. Reformatted all cell entries in the exhibit to Times New Roman font. Replaced MLRA 44 with new MLRAs 44A and 44B for the Bozeman, Montana soil survey regional office. Replaced the acronym “MO” with “SSRO.”
  2. Corrected footnote to Ag Handbook 296 in section 649.00 and 649.05 as well as the citation for the document in exhibit 649-2.
  3. Minor editorial changes were made.