Why is SOLO being created?

In spite of Aldo Leopold's warning that soil is the basis of what is on the landscape, the concern for development of long-term soil management practices for forest land is relatively recent. Cumulative effects of over-cutting and overgrazing on our National Forests have diminished the soils' abilities to sustain vegetative productivity, leading to soil loss and habitat degradation.

The hue and cry of environmentalism has heightened our awareness of forest health problems, and required forest managers, who formerly worked in relative anonymity, to bear the light and heat of public scrutiny. It has become increasingly necessary to be able to elucidate to the public, as well as to state and federal legislators, the scientific justification for Forest Service land management policies and practices.

As part of the effort to aid scientists and managers in their work to sustain the health, productivity, natural beauty and cultural value of our National Forests, SOLO will serve to consolidate and cross-reference Regional information on soil monitoring and long term ecosystem sustainability.