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Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society

Soil Survey
2nd and 3rd Order Soil Surveys
Agricultural Soils
Forest Soils
On-Site Soil Investigations



Brochure 1 in Soil Survey Series
Steep Rugged Mountains and Narrow River Valleys
January 21, 2004
Land Use Committee
Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society
Member of the CACNA Coalition
Soil Survey Of Josephine County, Oregon1

The Soil Survey contains information that can be used for soil resource management decisions such as land use requests/applications to the Josephine County Planning Department.  The Soil Survey contains information on chemical and physical soil characteristics that will help predict soil behavior for selected land uses.  The survey also highlights limitations inherent in the various soil types and discusses improvements needed to overcome the limitations.

This soil survey is designed for many different users. Farmers, ranchers, foresters, planners, community officials, engineers, developers, builders and home buyers are just a few of the more common users of soil survey information. Many land use decisions such as building site selection, food and fiber production, wildlife management, recreational development, waste disposal, zoning decisions and pollution control are based on soil conditions.

Great differences in soil properties such as drainage, flooding, depth to bedrock, shrink and swell potential, soil texture, permeability and rock fragment content can occur within short distances. These and many other soil properties that affect land use are described in this soil survey. The location of each soil is shown on the detailed soil maps. Each soil is described and interpretations for specific uses are given.

Value Of Survey

The Soil Survey has 157,532 acres (15%) of 2nd order survey, 880556 acres (85%) of 3rd order survey, and 1,912 acres (0%) of water.2

This survey was mapped at two levels of intensity or detail. The more detailed part of the survey would be considered a 2nd order level and the less detailed part would be a 3rd order level. Soil map units in the 2nd order level are identified by field observation and by remotely sensed data. This data is considered intensive and is to be used for general agriculture and urban planning.

One of the most important parts of the soil survey is the map unit description. These descriptions not only tell what the soil is and give a full description but also name other soils that are typically found within the boundaries of the map unit. One very important aspect to keep in mind is that up to 20 percent of a mapping unit can be occupied by contrasting soil types. These contrasting soil types are called “inclusions” and usually have different management characteristics.

More Information

Josephine County is characterized by steep, rugged mountains and narrow river valleys.  Elevations range from 750 on the river flood plains to more than 7,000 feet on the higher mountains.   The total area of the county is about 1,040,000 acres, of which about 316,000 acres is privately owned and about 724,000 acres is publicly administered.

The average annual rainfall ranges from 30 to 80 inches.   The climate is warm and dry in the summer and cool and moist in the winter.

Would you like to learn more about the Soil Survey of Josephine County, Oregon and/or the soils of your property?  Consider contacting:

Dennis E. Hutchison
Certified Professional Soil Scientist/Classifier
1578 Joelson Road
Umpqua, OR 97486
Phone: 541-673-9783

This brochure is one of five in the “soil survey” series.

1.          Soil Survey
2.          2nd & 3rd Order Soil Surveys
3.          Agricultural Soils
4.          Forest Soils
5.          On-Site Soil Investigations

Would you like to learn more about citizen involvement in land use planning?  Contact a member of the Land Use Committee of the Hugo Neighborhood. 

Disclaimer.  This brochure is as much about providing information and provoking questions as it is about opinions concerning the adequacy of findings of fact and land use decisions.  It does not provide recommendations to citizens and it is not legal advice.  It does not take the place of a lawyer.  If citizens use information contained in this paper, its their personal responsibility to make sure that the facts and general information contained in it are applicable to their situation. (Link)

1.  United States Department of Agriculture. Soil Conservation Service. December 1983. Soil Survey of Josephine County, Oregon. (0R033) (Now Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

2. Soil Survey (page 13, Table 4, and Index to Map Sheets, Soil Legend) - those map unit names with an asterisk were narrowly defined units (3rd Order Survey); without asterisk (2nd Order).

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2012 Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society