APPENDIX C
EXAMPLE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Although many of the proposed partners have examined this possible memorandum of understanding (MOU), it has not been agreed upon and should be taken only as an example. This example used Ohio, however, the general content could be similar elsewhere. The proposed partners in this example are the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (state office), the Ohio State Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio State Environmental Protection Agency, and county auditors. Again none of these organizations have formally endorsed this example.

INTRODUCTION

A current effort within the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) is to digitize the original soil survey maps for the Soil Survey Geographic Data base (SSURGO). SSURGO is the most detailed level of soil mapping done by the SCS. This level of mapping is designed for use by landowners, townships, and county natural resource planning and management.

The mapping bases used meet national map accuracy standards and are either orthophotoquads or 7.5-minute quadrangles. SSURGO is linked to a Soil Interpretations Record attribute relational data base, which includes over 25 soil, physical and chemical properties for approximately 18,000 soil series recognized in the United States. Information that can be queried from the data base includes available water capacity, soil reaction, salinity, flooding, water table, bedrock, and interpretations for septic tank limitations, engineering, cropland, woodland, and recreation development.



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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships APPENDIX C EXAMPLE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Although many of the proposed partners have examined this possible memorandum of understanding (MOU), it has not been agreed upon and should be taken only as an example. This example used Ohio, however, the general content could be similar elsewhere. The proposed partners in this example are the U.S. Soil Conservation Service (state office), the Ohio State Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio State Environmental Protection Agency, and county auditors. Again none of these organizations have formally endorsed this example. INTRODUCTION A current effort within the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) is to digitize the original soil survey maps for the Soil Survey Geographic Data base (SSURGO). SSURGO is the most detailed level of soil mapping done by the SCS. This level of mapping is designed for use by landowners, townships, and county natural resource planning and management. The mapping bases used meet national map accuracy standards and are either orthophotoquads or 7.5-minute quadrangles. SSURGO is linked to a Soil Interpretations Record attribute relational data base, which includes over 25 soil, physical and chemical properties for approximately 18,000 soil series recognized in the United States. Information that can be queried from the data base includes available water capacity, soil reaction, salinity, flooding, water table, bedrock, and interpretations for septic tank limitations, engineering, cropland, woodland, and recreation development.

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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships SSURGO data are available in either the USGS Digital Line Graph (DLG-3) Optional Distribution Format or the SCS Geographic Exchange Format. SCS soil map symbols (e.g., AbC) are made available as ASCII file when SCS soils data are distributed in the DLG format. NEED FOR DIGITAL SOILS DATA The broad value of digital soils data is widely recognized at the federal, state, county, and local levels. Four agencies are identified in this agreement with a common need for soils data: the SCS, the State Department of Natural Resources (SDNR), the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), and the County Auditors (Counties), representing county government. The SCS, in carrying out its responsibilities in the National Cooperative Soil Survey, has need for digitized soil survey data. The SCS uses these data for conservation planning, watershed management, engineering interpretations, and to help prioritize conservation and land use needs. The SDNR in carrying out its assigned responsibilities under applicable state law has need for soil and water resources data from conservation programs to meet identified state and local needs. The SEPA uses soils data to improve their ability to evaluate ground water pollution, aquifer and wellhead protection; perform best management practice selection and watershed prioritization; and develop pollutant-loading models and soil erosion models. The Counties use soils data for purposes such as siting decisions, to determine soil limitations for various uses, and to determine agricultural land valuations on parcels. CURRENT STATUS Since 1987 through a cooperative agreement, the SDNR and the SCS have jointly produced SSURGO data at a rate of three to four counties per year. At this rate it will take 20 years to complete SSURGO coverage of

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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships the state. Where SSURGO data are not available, the Counties, SEPA, and other groups often commission private firms to digitize the data or do it themselves. Usually soils data generated by one of these groups cannot be used by others, due to lack of common standards for data format and quality, and the limited area of coverage. For these reasons and to meet SCS standards and specifications, the data must also be digitized later into the SSURGO format. Over time, this approach results in a costly duplication of effort; therefore, an accelerated schedule for generating SSURGO data is highly desirable. TERMS OF AGREEMENT In consideration of the mutual benefits to be derived, the SCS, the SDNR, and the SEPA agree to the following: To accelerate the digitation of soil surveys in the state by targeting a five-year production schedule to complete coverage of the entire state, contingent upon availability of suitable base maps, soil recompilations, and funding. To complete the digitizing and delivery of output products for mutually selected counties using standards specified in Technical Specifications for Line-Segment Digitizing Soil Survey Maps. The use of SCS standards and specifications to digitize soils surveys of the second order will result in a data format usable by all parties in this agreement, other federal agencies, state, and local agencies and the public. That the State Department of Natural Resources will be the lead agency in carrying out this agreement, under the coordination of the Department GIS Coordinator. That funding and/or cost sharing will be furnished according to this formula: 50% of cost SCS 16.67% of cost SDNR 16.67% of cost SEPA 16.67% of cost Counties

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Promoting the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Through Partnerships Support will take the form of cash to SDNR, and/or cost-sharing in the form of contributed labor, hardware, software, or other means agreed by all parties in a written contract. SDNR may, at its discretion, perform the work in accordance with the funding provided, or subcontract the work. That the SDNR will maintain a permanent archive of SSURGO data for the state and distribute them to state residents, business, and agencies, in accordance with state law. That the SCS will also maintain a permanent archive of SSURGO data and distribute them according to its standard pricing schedule. That SCS, SEPA, SDNR and Counties will each appoint a representative to serve on a coordinating committee. Each representative will coordinate activities and funding on behalf of his/her agency. The SDNR representative will be the Department GIS Coordinator, who will chair the committee. Each representative will have equal decision-making authority. In addition, representatives will assist in planning the work, preparing agendas, participating in public meetings if necessary, and other similar activities. That SCS, SEPA, SDNR and Counties intend to maintain the soils data in a long-term partnership arrangement. Updates to the soil maps will be digitized and funded according to the terms of this agreement. It is mutually agreed that this agreement may be terminated if either SCS, SDNR, and SEPA fail to comply with any of the conditions of this agreement.