Soils

Data Construction

Soil surveys in Montana are conducted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in cooperation with the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS)—a nationwide partnership of federal, regional, state, and local agencies and institutions. Completion of all soil survey areas for Montana is on-going with survey areas prioritized by cooperating agencies at the national and state level. Data integration into the soils database is completed by National Cooperative Soil Survey staff members and it involves edge-matching the new soil data to existing data in the database. Soils interpretations may also be built that add to the soils attribute table. Attributes may also be updated in the soil physical and chemical fields when new field sampling data is gathered.

Soil survey mapping currently underway in Montana is overseen by Regional Soil Survey Offices located in Bozeman, MT (SSR4); Salinas, KS (SSR5); and St.Paul, MN (SSR 10). Each Regional office has 6-9 full time staff positions dedicated to oversight of survey activities, survey certification and publication. Soil survey field work in Montana is being conducted by NRCS staff located in Dillon, Havre, Missoula and Miles City MT. Each of these Montana survey area offices have 4 full-time soil scientists dedicated to soil mapping, correlation, data entry and compilation.