Soil Survey Program in Washington
The National Cooperative Soil Survey Program (NCSS) is a partnership led by NRCS of federal land management agencies, state agricultural
experiment stations and state and local units of government that provide soil survey information necessary for understanding, managing, conserving and sustaining the nation's limited soil resources.
Soil surveys provide an orderly, on-the-ground, scientific inventory of soil resources that includes maps showing the locations and extent of soils, data about the physical and chemical properties of those
soils, and information derived from that data about potentialities and problems of use on each kind of soil in sufficient detail to meet all reasonable needs for farmers, agricultural technicians, community
planners, engineers, and scientists in planning and transferring the findings of research and experience to specific land areas. Soil surveys provide the basic information
needed to manage soil sustainably. They also provide information needed to protect water quality, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. Soil surveys are the basis for predicting the behavior of a soil under
alternative uses, its potential erosion hazard, potential for ground water contamination, suitability and productivity for cultivated crops, trees, and grasses. Soil surveys are important to planners,
engineers, zoning commissions, tax commissioners, homeowners, developers, as well as agricultural producers. Soil surveys also provide a basis to help predict the effect of global climate change on worldwide
agricultural production and other land-dependent processes. The NRCS Soil Survey Division through its
Resources Staff helps gather and interpret soil information for global use.
NRCS provides the soil surveys for the privately owned lands of the nation and, through its National Soil Survey Center, provides
scientific expertise to enable the NCSS to develop and maintain a uniform system for mapping and assessing soil resources so that soil information from different locations can be shared, regardless of which
agency collects it. NRCS provides most of the training in soil survey to Federal agencies and assists other Federal agencies with their soil inventories on a reimbursable basis. NRCS is also responsible for
developing the standards and mechanisms for providing digital soil information for the national spatial data infrastructure required by Executive Order
Official Soils Information for Washington
Soil Survey - Explore seamless soils data. View, download, and print
custom maps, reports, and interpretations based on your area of
Soil Data Mart - Official spatial and tabular data for use in GIS
and database software is available through the Soil Data Mart.
Survey Status Map (PDF; 497KB) January 2013
State Soil (PDF; 145KB) July 2009
Order Washington State Soil Surveys - Request hard copy of "in-print" surveys for those surveys not available electronically (very limited supply).
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