In recognition of the importance of and need for obtaining and maintaining information on the current status of soil, water, and related resources, the Secretary is authorized and directed to carry out a continuing appraisal of the soil, water, and related resources of the Nation. The appraisal shall include, but not be limited to
(1) data on the quality and quantity of soil, water, and related resources, including fish and wildlife habitats;
(2) data on the capability and limitations of those resources for meeting current and projected demands on the resource base;
(3) data on the changes that have occurred in the status and condition of those resources resulting from various past uses, including the impact of farming technologies, techniques, and practices;
(4) data on current Federal and State laws, policies, programs, rights, regulations, ownerships, and their trends and other considerations relating to the use, development, and conservation of soil, water, and related resources;
(5) data on the costs and benefits of alternative soil and water conservation practices;
(6) data on alternative irrigation techniques regarding their costs, benefits, and impact on soil and water conservation, crop production, and environmental factors; and
(7) data on conservation plans, conservation practices planned or implemented, environmental outcomes, economic costs, and related matters under conservation programs administered by the Secretary.
(b) Collection of data
The appraisal shall utilize data collected under this chapter and pertinent data and information collected by the Department of Agriculture and other Federal, State, and local agencies and organizations. The Secretary shall establish an integrated system capable of using combinations of resource data to determine the quality and capabilities for alternative uses of the resource base and to identify areas of local, State, and National concerns and related roles pertaining to soil and water conservation, resource use and development, and environmental improvement.
(c) Public participation
The appraisal shall be made in cooperation with conservation districts, State soil and water conservation agencies, and other appropriate citizen groups, and local and State agencies under such procedures as the Secretary may prescribe to insure public participation.
(d) Evaluation of appraisal
In conducting the appraisal described in subsection (a), the Secretary shall concurrently solicit and evaluate recommendations for improving the appraisal, including the content, scope, process, participation in, and other elements of the appraisal, as determined by the Secretary.
(e) Completion dates
The Secretary shall conduct comprehensive appraisals under this section, to be completed by December 31, 2010, and December 31, 2015. The Secretary may make such additional interim appraisals as the Secretary considers appropriate.