Insofar as was possible, the committee sought to determine the extent to which these already exist within the USGS.
The committee has identified certain key concerns that bear on geologic mapping activities in the USGS. These follow in an unprioritized order.
The committee found that no separate, single, national geologic mapping program exists in the USGS. Although much of the geologic mapping done by the USGS is done in the Geologic Framework and Synthesis Program, a large amount is also done within the context of the missions and objectives of the various other branches and programs. There is no overriding guidance or management that regularly assesses and coordinates the many different geologic mapping efforts and products in the USGS. The committee believes that coordination of these many activities as part of a well-defined national geologic mapping program would serve the prospective needs of the USGS and the nation.
The USGS should develop and adopt a long-term, stable, and evolving national program to coordinate its geologic mapping activities and the preparation of geologic maps among its branches and programs. Such a program should include a clear statement of long-term geologic mapping mission and objectives, a definition of methods, assignment of responsibility for coordination of activities, a process for setting priorities, and a mechanism for annual assessment of progress. In addition, there must be more cooperation between the USGS and state surveys and universities who are involved in geologic mapping.
Geologic maps provide basic information that is critical to solving problems and making decisions in an increasingly complex world concerned with the occurrence and abundance of natural