TABLE B-2 Sources of Physical Data on the Environment and Natural Resources





Resource Planning Act (RPA)

Under the Resource Planning Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service conducts renewable resource inventories of forest lands and collects statistics on forest products. These data are used to identify trends in extent, condition, ownership, quantity, and quality of timber and other forest resources.


The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration collects and publishes data on the volume and value of commercial fish and shellfish landings, the catch by recreational fishermen, employment of people and craft in the fisheries, number of recreational fishermen, production of manufactured fishery products, and fishery prices.

Land Quality


National Resources Inventory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service conducts a survey every 5 years—the National Resources Inventory—to determine conditions and trends in the use of soil, water, and related resources nationwide and statewide. The National Resources Inventory is an inventory of land cover and use, soil erosion, prime farmland, wetlands, and other natural-resource characteristics on nonfederal rural land in the United States.

Air Quality


National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) examines air pollution trends of each of the six principal pollutants in the United States. A yearly EPA document—the National Air Quality and Emissions Trends Report—gives an analysis of changes in air pollution levels plus a summary of current air pollution status.

Water Quality


National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress

The EPA publishes the National Water Quality Inventory Report to Congress, which summarizes water quality information submitted by 61

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