LEAD FEDERAL AGENCY/BUREAU AND/OR SUBCOMMITTEE/WORKING GROUP REPORT (Agencies With Lead Responsibilities Assigned under Current Circular A-16 Authorities)
1. Program/Activity Name:
SIMNRE Working Group - NRCS Chair, Dr. Jeff Goebel (Sample Inventory and Monitoring of Natural Resources and Environment)
2. What are the programs this data supports?
- The Federal Government currently funds several national probability surveys to monitor the status and trends of terrestrial natural resources. These surveys are essential because complete enumeration is generally not feasible.
- Within USDA, data coordination and integration efforts mainly include the National Resource Inventory (NRI), the Forest Inventory and Assessment (FIA), and various activities of the National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS).
- Data will be used to determine environmental trending and in turn assist in long-term strategic planning and assessment for natural resources.
3. Uses of Data: What are the end uses of this data? How does it benefit customers, support lead and other agency missions, etc.?
- Statistically sampled natural resource data are used to determine environmental trending and in turn assist in long-term strategic planning and assessment for resource management.
- Data provide status and trends for variety of natural resources health indicators such as lost of farmland and forestland to urban development, farmland health, wetlands and participation rates of specific government sponsored resource programs.
- Data are accessible via the Internet.
4. Charter/Plan: Do you have a current charter or plan for collection? Should it be updated?
- Charter exists but is in need of review and possible update.
- Potential merger with the Sustainable Forest Working Group would require charter modifications. Discussion of merger scheduled for summer FYO1.
5. Metadata: What is the status of metadata? Is it discoverable and served through the NSDI Clearinghouse? What percentage of this theme's data has metadata and is in a Clearinghouse node?
- The SIMNRE Working Group initially addressed the development of standards for natural resources inventory techniques and monitoring efforts rather than database development. Consequently there is no specific theme for which to generate metadata.
- Metadata exists for datasets which exemplify SIMNRE such as the Forest Inventory Assessment program and the National Resources Inventory System, however they are not accessible through the NSDI clearinghouse.
6. Standards: What is the status of this theme's data, process, transfer, and classification standards?
- Standards are in preliminary stage. May be impacted by future merger with Sustainable Forest Working Group.
- Process standards exist but vary slightly based on program. No formal discussion of process standard has been addressed.
- Transfer standard will follow recognized data exchange protocols.
7. Progress: List FY 2000/2001 activities/progress to date.
- Activities during 2000 and 2001 have focused on coordination of NRI and FIA in Minnesota. This work follows findings published in September 1998 by SIMNRE. Document entitled "Integrating Surveys of Natural Resources: the Oregon Demonstration Project."
- Coordination activities involve NRCS, U.S. Forest Service, Minnesota DNR and USGS - EDC.
8. Leadership: Describe your active leadership role with others (private, local, State, Federal) who collect and use this data.
- Cross agency communication and cooperation continues as a result of shared efforts and projects.
- Each federal inventory effort using site inventory techniques for natural resource management has slightly different organizational structures and partnerships to accomplish their mission. However, each works with and or provides data to customers upon request, cooperates with other federal efforts and the like.
- Cooperation with the university/educational community is constant.
9. Collaborative Partnerships: How many major partnerships with others do you have on this theme?
- Partnerships vary by agency effort, however each agency maintains partnerships with local, regional and national entities.
- Various Federal efforts such as the FIA and NRI, cooperate with one-another, university community and private sector when appropriate.
10. Scope: Are you engaged in broad participation and international/global coordination?
11. Policy: Do you have a policy in place for full and open access or data sharing?
- Data access and information policies vary by existing program. In some cases raw data are not available due to privacy issues, however customers are provided tools to derive generalized data or are provided with the product requested.
- The group will address data access and privacy issues during standards discussions in FY02.
12. Are there areas or issues regarding lead responsibilities for spatial data themes that require attention, or lessons-learned that you would like to share with others?
There continues to be some confusion regarding the role of Working Groups and Subcommittees and the leadership role for theme generation as defined in A-16. That is to say, though an agency may chair a specific group, they may not have leadership for the generation of a thematic layer.