WGA Crucial Habitat Assessment ToolFeatured Date: December 23, 2013
With the launch of this Western Governors' Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT), the Western Governors' Association and its Wildlife Council aim to bring greater certainty and predictability to planning efforts by establishing a common starting point for discussing the intersection of development and wildlife. While not intended for project-level approval, CHAT is designed to reduce conflicts and surprises while ensuring wildlife values are better incorporated into land use decision-making, as well as large-scale conservation projects.
The History of CHAT
With the adoption of its Wildlife Corridors Initiative Report in 2008, the Western Governors created the Western Governors' Wildlife Council and tasked its members with developing policies and tools to identify and conserve crucial wildlife habitat and corridors across the region.
The Wildlife Council first approached the Governors' directive by launching regional pilot projects in 2010 with support from a grant from the Department of Energy. The year-long pilot projects allowed the Wildlife Council to test the framework outlined in their White Paper, helping to refine their vision.
In August 2011, the Wildlife Council established a plan to develop a West-wide tool with the goal of launching a public and regionally compatible crucial habitat GIS tool by 2013. All the while, the Wildlife Council has continued to support the development of state-specific CHATs in individual states.
Now guided by WGA policy resolution 13-04 and focused on implementing the CHAT model, the Wildlife Council is working to make information on important fish and wildlife habitat compatible across the West and available to the public for use in informing land use decisions.
CHATs in Individual States
Arizona, California, Kansas, Montana, Washington and Wyoming have already developed state-specific information on priority species and habitat. In addition, the Southern Great Plains CHAT provides information specific to the lesser-prairie chicken, a species with habitat ranging across five states. Other states are continuing to develop individual systems to provide additional state-specific information.
National Wetlands InventoryFeatured Date: November 12, 2013
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - The development of the new Wetlands Mapper stems from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) need to expand and improve the availability of digital wetlands data. The Service's strategic plan for digital wetland data is focused on the development, revision, and dissemination of wetlands data and information to Service resource managers and the public. The present goal of the Service is to provide the citizens of the United States and its Trust Territories with current geospatially referenced information on the status, extent, characteristics and functions of wetlands, riparian, deepwater and related aquatic habitats in priority areas to promote the understanding and conservation of these resources.
The revision of Wetlands Mapper is in direct response to the need to integrate digital map data with other resource information to produce timely and relevant management and decision support tools.
This new version of the Wetlands Mapper is designed to promote greater awareness of wetlands map data applications and to deliver easy-to-use, maplike views of America's wetland resources in a digital format. It has been developed in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Water Resource Division. This Federal partnership has yielded tremendous benefits in ongoing efforts to configure, improve and distribute the wetlands map information using newer technologies in computerized mapping and web-serving capabilities.
NOAA Electronic Nautical Chart Online Viewer Featured Date: November 11, 2013
NOAA Electronic Navigational Charts (NOAA ENC®) are vector data sets that represent NOAA's newest and most powerful electronic charting product. NOAA ENCs conform with the International Hydrographic Office (IHO) S-57 international exchange format, comply with the IHO ENC Product Specification, and are provided with incremental updates that supply Notice to Mariners corrections and other critical changes. NOAA ENCs and updates are available for free download. NOAA ENC data may be used to fuel Electronic Chart and Display Information Systems (ECDIS).
Users who want to display NOAA ENC Online as a backdrop for GIS applications should use this OGC WMS 1.3 compatible link. Please note that certain functionality, such as identify and search, may not be supported by other GIS applications.
For more information about Esri technology, email email@example.com.
The National Map Featured Date: November 09, 2013
Use The National Map Viewer and Download Platform to visualize, inspect, and download our most current topographic base map data and products for free. Managed by the USGS National Geospatial Program (NGP), The National Map Viewer provides access to all eight primary data themes of The National Map to include US Topo and historical topographic map products. The viewer platform is extended upon the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency's (NGA) Palanterra x3 Viewer.
Data include: Elevation, Orthoimagery, Hydrography, Geographic Names, Boundaries, Transportation, Structures, and Land Cover, while products include: US Topo and Historical Topo Maps. The National Map Viewer also allows visualization and identification queries (but not downloads) of Other Featured Data, to include Scanned Topo Maps, Ecosystems, Protected Areas, Gap Analysis Program Land Cover, Wetlands, Public Land Survey System, and National Park Service Boundaries. Also included is a Natural Hazards panel to view hazards-related information, such as for earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and weather, along with the U.S. National Grid for emergency response.
To research and download historical USGS data, such as Digital Orthophoto Quadrangles or older high resolution orthoimagery and Digital Line Graphs, or to access lidar point cloud data, go to Earth Explorer.
Gap Analysis Program (GAP) Species ViewerFeatured Date: November 05, 2013
The Gap Analysis Program (GAP) Species Viewer displays data on vertebrate species ranges and distribution models for the continental U.S. as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. More specifically, species distribution models based on deductive modeling of habitat associations are displayed across entire species ranges for over 2000 species. Our goal is to build species range maps and distribution models with the best available data for assessing conservation status, conservation planning, and research (e.g., climate change impacts). Ranges are represented by 12-digit HUCs with attributes of occurrence/presence, origin, reproductive use, and seasonal use. Distribution models, created at 30 meter resolution, are based on habitat associations from published literature and core data sets, such as elevation and land cover. To date, we have a portion of our total species available through the GAP Species Viewer. As more species ranges and distribution models are completed, we will continually update our data on the GAP Species Viewer. Please check back for updates.
NOAA Marine Cadastre National Viewer Featured Date: November 02, 2013
The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) and the DOI Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM), in cooperation with federal and state partners, have created a GIS-based marine information system for U.S. waters. The Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (MMC) data viewer is an integrated marine information system that provides legal, physical, ecological, and cultural information in a common geographic information system (GIS) framework. In particular, the MMC would be beneficial to those involved in coastal and marine spatial planning efforts that involve finding the best location for renewable energy projects. Users pick the ocean geography of their choosing and quickly see the applicable jurisdictional boundaries, restricted areas, laws, critical habitat locations, and other important features. With the MMC, potential conflicts can be identified and avoided early in the planning process. The MMC is also a helpful tool in the permit review process. All organizations considering an offshore activity can benefit from this comprehensive, visual approach to data analysis.
Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) Gulf ResponseFeatured Date: November 02, 2013
The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) Gulf Response is an online mapping tool that provides you with up-to-date information about the spill response effort in the Gulf of Mexico. Developed by NOAA with the U.S. EPA, Coast Guard, and the Department of Interior, this site offers a visual and centralized means of accessing spill response information. It represents the federal government's commitment to providing clear and transparent information on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.
The tool integrates the latest response data related to the oil spill, such as scientific samples and information on wildlife and other Gulf Coast resources into one customizable, interactive map. ERMA Gulf Response also integrates real-time information such as weather conditions, tide and currents, and vessel locations.
ERMA Gulf Response is the public version of ERMA developed by NOAA and the University of New Hampshire's Coastal Response Research Center. ERMA was designed to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users—from federal, state, and local responders to local community leaders and the public. Click the map below to use the tool yourself and see both current and historical data about the oil spill, as well as shipping information, past fishery closures, and locations where responders are still working.