Fayette County Soil
Water Conservation District







Preserving and conserving our natural resources can be as simple as using www.goodshop.com when you shop online. Goodshop is a free fund raising program that won’t cost you time or money, but will raise money for Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District while giving you access to thousands of online coupons and promotions. Goodshop is a portal through which you reach and shop at your favorite retail sites. With every purchase you make, including items such as Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops and apparel from Kohls, Goodshop will donate up to 20% of what you spend. Support us by clicking on the logo to sync us for donation or by signing up ! We appreciate it!

I should preface the following with the fact that I tend to make things more complicated than they need to be.  Therefore, once you’re in the site, and become familiar with it, I’m sure you’ll come up with shortcuts that I haven’t discovered yet.

The address for the site is: http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/.  The page that comes up has a green “Start WSS” button and some instructions on how to use the site.  After you read this, Start the Web Soil Survey applicationclick on the button.  The page that opens has four tabs at the top: Area of Interest (AOI), Soil Map, Soil Data Explorer, and Shopping Cart.  The AOI tab should be highlighted.  On the right side is a map of the US.  Since we probably don’t want a soils map of the US, we’ll have to set our area of interest.  Under the four tabs is a “Quick Navigation” heading, with choices of how to get to the map that interests you.  The choice here that will get you real close to where you want to be is PLSS (Section, Township, Range), so click on it.  A drop-down box appears asking you for a location.  First, they ask you to pick a state; that one’s pretty simple.  Then they ask you for Principal Meridian.  Here there is a “View Meridian Map” button, if you don’t know which one.  For Fayette County, pick “Third Principal”.  Next they ask for Section, Twp. and Range.  All that information you can get from the Plat book.  When you have that entered, click the “View” button.  After a little bit (patience is important here, especially if you have dialup), the US map turns into a aerial photo of you section.  Isn’t that cool!  Now we’re getting to the soils part.  Above the map are a bunch of buttons.  The button pushed in is a magnifying glass with a + sign.  This allows you to get a closer map; just drag across the area you want with the mouse.  Pretty soon – remember, patience- a better aerial photo appears.  Then, to choose the area for the soil map, click on either “AOI” button above the photo, then mark the area with your mouse.  The area of the soil map will be outlined with hash marks.  Now go back to the top of the page and click the second tab, “Soil Map”.  In just a few seconds you then have a soils map laid over the aerial photo, with the soil types identified on the left.  It even tells you how many acres of each type are in the area you chose!  The easiest way to print your results then is to click on the “Printable Version” button above the map.  Here you will be able to give the map a title.  Then hit the “View” button again to see the first page of the several pages that will be printed, and then just click on the printer, and you should get a map, a map legend, and soils information.

There’s a lot more you can do on this website, but not enough room in this one area to explain.  Click on the other two tabs for lots more information.  Have fun!


301 South Third Street
Vandalia,  IL  62471
618-283-1095 ext. 3
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday
Karen Sanders - fayettecountyswcd@att.net
Tony Pals - tony.pals@il.nacdnet.net