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State Mapping Advisory Committee

Origins and Purpose

The 102nd United States Congress established a coordinated program to prioritize the geologic mapping requirements of the United States and to increase production of geologic maps. In 1992, the National Geologic Mapping Act (Public Law 102-285) was signed into law and the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) was created.

The NCGMP has three primary components: FEDMAP, which funds federal mapping projects and is conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS); STATEMAP, a program for matching-funds grants with state geological surveys; and EDMAP, an education matching-funds program with universities. EDMAP also has to go through a state geological survey.

The priorities of STATEMAP are based on: a) state requirements for geologic-map information in areas of multiple-issue need or areas of compelling single-issue need, and b) state requirements for geologic-map information in areas where mapping is required to solve critical earth-science problems. The STATEMAP component of the NCGMP states that: the State Geologist shall determine mapping priorities in consultation with a multi-representational State Mapping Advisory Committee (SMAC). Under the STATEMAP program, SMAC acts primarily as an advisory committee.

Only State Geological Surveys are eligible to apply to the STATEMAP program. A SMAC is needed, and required to meet once a year, for a State Geological Survey to meet NCGMP requirements for funding from the STATEMAP program. The recommendations of the SMAC accompany the geologic mapping projects submitted by the State Geologist.

The North Dakota State Geological Survey approached the Governor's office in 1995 for the purpose of creating a SMAC, which would advise the Survey on geologic mapping projects and thus meet the requirements of the STATEMAP program.

The North Dakota SMAC was created under Executive Order 1995-05. Under this order, SMAC prioritizes and coordinates mapping activities. This procedure meets the requirements of the STATEMAP program. Under the executive order the NDGS chairs the SMAC.

The Geographic Information System Technical Committee (GISTC) was also formed under EO 1995-05. One of the GISTC's responsibilities is to help appoint the membership of the SMAC (membership is subject to approval by the Governor). Since it was established in 1995, SMAC has consisted of from 15 to over 30 members. For practical reasons and the scope of SMAC, which is primarily limited to geological mapping issues, a diverse and targeted membership list is most practical.

SMAC documents from previous years have been designated into several categories to separate the different basic needs in geologic mapping. These categories have included major urban areas, surface geology of shallow aquifers, natural hazards, and state and national parks. Depending on the evolving needs within the State, changes in these categories may occur.

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