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National Resources Inventory

New land inventory data has been released by the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).   The conservation agency has conducted a nationwide statistically accurate inventory of land resources since 1977. 

The National Resources Inventory (NRI) was developed to augment NRCS’s soil survey program and provide timely and relevant data on natural resources.  NRCS has recently released state-by-state results on soil erosion and land cover and use for the conterminous United States from its 2003 NRI.

The first NRI was conducted in 1977 and, until 1997, was done every five years. Starting in 2000, NRCS began the transition to an annual inventory cycle. NRCS conducts the NRI in cooperation with Iowa State University’s Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology. 

In order for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to accomplish its mission and provide leadership in conservation on our Nation’s private lands, it is necessary to periodically assess the status, condition, and trends in soil, water, and other natural resources on these lands. 

When the data was collected using the five-year cycle, all 800,000 national sample sites were used.  The current annual NRI data collection cycle rotates through slightly less than 25 percent of these same sample sites.  The NRI does not collect data on Federal Lands.

The latest release:  2007 Natural Resources Inventory


National Resources Inventory Data