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National Resources Inventory

National Resources Inventory

The National Resources Inventory (NRI) is a statistically based sample of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. nonfederal lands. It is the most comprehensive database of its kind ever attempted anywhere in the world.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service's program for NRI serves as the Federal Government's principal source of information on the status, condition, and trends of soil, water, and related resources in the United States. The assessment of a nation's natural resources and environmental condition provided by the NRI requires a nationally consistent database that allows for manipulation of various parameters in order to make accurate assessments. For these manipulations and subsequent analyses to be useful for public policy considerations, the NRI database

  • has a high degree of reliability,
  • looks at the natural resources over a period of time, and
  • permits analyses at national, regional, and local levels.

The NRI is unique because

  • it provides a nationally consistent database for all nonfederal lands,
  • it features data gathered and monitored in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and each subsequent year by thousands of technical and natural resource data collection experts, and
  • it has a direct correlation with soils data, which permits analysis of resources in relation to the capability of the land and in terms of soil resources and conditions.

Informed and valid decisions are best made when based upon scientifically derived data. The NRI has been developed to supply this type of information. The NRI database is powerful, credible, and scientifically constructed. The present NRI is the result of many decades of development.

     What is the National Resources Inventory?

  •   Understanding the NRI design
  •   Understanding the Data Collection Process

    History of NRCS Resource Inventories

    How Reliable is the Database?

    Database Characteristics

  • Understanding the NRI Data Base

ESTIMATES FROM THE 1997 NRI DATABASE (REVISED DECEMBER 2000) REPLACE ALL PREVIOUS REPORTS AND ESTIMATES.   Comparisons made using data published for the 1982, 1987, or 1992 NRI may produce erroneous results. This is due to changes in statistical estimation protocols, and because all data collected prior to 1997 were simultaneously reviewed (edited) as 1997 NRI data were collected.  All definitions are available in the glossary. 

In addition, this December 2000 revision of the 1997 NRI data updates information released in December 1999 and corrects a computer error discovered in March 2000. 

Contact Information

Jan Carlson
State Resource Inventory Coordinator
316 w Boone Ave Ste. 450
Spokane, WA 99201