The Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released state-by-state results on soil erosion and land cover and use for the conterminous United States from its 2003 National Resources Inventory (NRI).

The NRI provides comprehensive and statistically reliable information on various natural resource conditions and trends on non-federal lands. “This information is the first release of any state-level estimates from the Annual NRI inventory process,” said NRCS Chief Arlen L. Lancaster.

The first NRI was conducted in 1977 and, until 1997, was done every 5 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.

The annual NRI uses a sub-sample of the total complement of NRI sample sites, and requires several years of cumulative data collection to provide estimates at a state or sub-state scale that are in accordance with Quality of Information guidelines established by the Office of Management and Budget and USDA.

This latest release represents 2003 conditions only. It does not include a trend analysis for individual states and cannot be used to evaluate change from previous inventory cycles.

State-level change estimates and associated trending information from the 2003 NRI will be available for release later this winter.

Trend analysis information at national and major-river-basin scales is available for the 2003 NRI on the NRI Web site.

NRCS provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the nation’s soil, water, and 
related natural resources on non-Federal lands.

Additional information about NRI and other USDA conservation programs is available at USDA Service Centers nationwide and online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/NRI/ or http://www.nrcs.usda.gov.