S. 1787

National Geologic Mapping Act Reauthorization Act

Statement for the Record
U.S. Geological Survey
Before the
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
On S. 1787, National Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Act

August 22, 2018

The vision of the USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP), first authorized by Congress in 1992, is to create an integrated, three-dimensional, digital geologic framework of the United States and its territories to address the Nation’s changing resource needs.  The NCGMP's mission is to characterize, interpret, and disseminate the geologic framework model of the Nation through geologic mapping and derivative research, to support the responsible use of land, water, energy, and minerals, and to mitigate the impact of geologic hazards on society, thereby facilitating national security and economic growth through informed Earth resource management.

The partnership program between USGS and the Association of American State Geologists is composed of four parts.  The first is FEDMAP, which funds new science that supports the mapping of geological and geophysical processes and structures, as well as topical mapping applications.  Second is STATEMAP, which provides funds to the State geological surveys that are matched at least 1:1 with State funding to support the development of geologic maps across the country.  Next is EDMAP, which has provided almost $10 million since 1992 to support over 1,200 students’ STEM education, thereby training the next generation of geologic mappers.  The National Geologic Map Database, brings together these mapping functions to provide all geologic maps and related reports, data, and summaries to the public, for their use in economic development and decision making.  For example, the information provided through the National Geologic Map Database is essential for understanding the potential for critical minerals throughout the national geologic framework.  This Database is a mandated effort of the USGS and the Association of American State Geologists, and has for 22 years been a noteworthy example of successful State-Federal collaboration to improve efficiencies in managing information for public use.  

NCGMP is the authoritative source for production of geologic maps in the Nation.  Each of the four parts of NCGMP is essential to making geologic maps that are accessible and useful for scientists, decision-makers, and the public.  The USGS believes the expiring authorization should be extended. 

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