Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329175

Title: Land Ecology Essay I: The siren song of the finish line

item BROWN, JOEL - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item SMITH, DAVID - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2015
Publication Date: 12/9/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Brown, J., Smith, D. 2015. Land Ecology Essay I: The siren song of the finish line. Rangelands. 37:241-243.

Interpretive Summary: We propose that the greatest value for the National Cooperative Soil Survey Program is to shift resources to interpreting existing maps of soil properties, rather than attempting to remap, at a more precise scale, existing concepts. Ecological Sites, among other interpretive applications, could greatly improve land management decision making, especially in the application of conservation practices.

Technical Abstract: As the National Cooperative Soils Survey nears the completion of initial mapping and description activities, the options for next steps are being considered. One option is to deploy new and emerging mapping technologies for existing and refined concepts of soil behavior to create more precise maps of the spatial distribution of soil properties. Another option is to focus efforts on interpreting existing soils information for new land use and management options, and for a new group of users. We suggest that the greatest benefits are to be gained from a very localized, specific implementation of new mapping technologies and a major, broad effort on new interpretations of existing information, particularly the implementation of an Ecological Site Initiative.