The U.S. National Vegetation Classification is supported by a formal partnership between the federal agencies, the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and NatureServe, working through the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) Vegetation Subcommittee. Primary signators include the U.S. Forest Service (which chairs the subcommittee), ESA, NatureServe, and the U.S. Geological Survey Core Science Systems (USGS/CSS). Together we are committed to supporting the implementation and maintenance of the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) Standard (FGDC 2008).

The primary functions of the Subcommittee and the partners in the implementation of the NVC Standard are to:

  1. Disseminate and archive the classification content
  2. Document the vegetation plot data that form the basis for the recognized types
  3. Propose revisions to vegetation types or adopt new types
  4. Conduct peer review for new and revised types
  5. Report the results of the peer review process in a public proceedings and through incorporation of approved changes into the public record of the classification content

The lead agency for FGDC Vegetation Subcommittee is the USDA Forest Service (Research and Development) with the USGS Core Science Systems providing implementation support.   The Ecological Society of America’s Panel on Vegetation Classification provides guidance on the peer review and revisions process.  NatureServe has played a central role in the development of the NVC at all levels of the hierarchy.  Fourteen federal agencies have representatives involved in the subcommittee activities.

Information about the Partnership/Subcommittee can also be found on the FGDC web site: