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TSSH Part 600


General information (600.00)

Technical Soil Services (TSS) is a function of the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), under the Soil Science Division and the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). Technical soil services are also performed by soil scientists of the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS) as part of the NCSS. This document contains material provided by these agencies and is intended for use by these agencies as it applies to their work.

The term “technical soil services” can mean different things to different people. A major responsibility of TSS within NRCS is to assist users with understanding and properly using the soil survey and to provide users with predictions and interpretations about the behavior of each kind of soil mapped or identified under defined situations.

Within the context of NRCS, technical soil services are provided by soil scientists. These soil scientists, known as resource soil scientists (RSS), work in an interdisciplinary environment with other NRCS specialists, such as agronomists, foresters, grazingland specialists, biologists, engineers, hydrologists, soil conservationists, soil technicians, and program managers, and with university researchers, consultants, community planners, and groups involved in the development and use of soils information for the management of natural resources. NRCS has the legislated Federal responsibility to lead the activities of the NCSS. This handbook focuses on the kinds of technical soil services that are provided by resource soil scientists of the NRCS. Some of the functions performed by NRCS resource soil scientists are also performed by soil scientists employed by the BLM, USFS, and others in State and local units of government; university pedologists; and soil scientists in private industry. Through its regional and national conferences (held in alternate years) and its annual state conferences, the NCSS lays the foundation for the science and methodology required for the development and delivery of quality soil survey information to all users.