Soil Resources Management
In addition to the general NPS authorities discussed in the Introduction of this reference manual, state and federal authorities with particular bearing on NPS soil resource management include state water quality standards (which can affect a variety of NPS activities such as earth-moving, sewage system installation and operation, and composting) and applicable provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1131-1136; the National Environmental Policy Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 4321-4370d; and the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. § 470 et seq.
In the context of managing soil resources in NPS wilderness areas, the Wilderness Act of 1964 allows the NPS to use temporary roads, motor vehicles, motorized equipment, or mechanical transport; land aircraft; and construct structures or installations, only if these measures are the minimum requirements for the NPS's administration of the area or are required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons in the area. Before using these measures in wilderness areas for soil management purposes, park staff should conduct a written "minimum requirement" analysis to evaluate the need for and possible means of mitigating the effects of these measures (see Director's Order # 41 for sample "minimum requirement" analyses).
Specific examples of the applicability of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act to NPS soil resource management are explained below (see Soils Inventory and Mapping). For a more general discussion of these two statutes, see Appendix A in this reference manual.Soil Resources Management Table of Contents | RM#77 Table of Contents