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Conserving world-class wildlife resources. Facilitating responsible development.

Application of Comprehensive Assessment to Support Decisionmaking and Conservation Actions

Project Information

Contact(s):
Zachary H Bowen
Patrick J Anderson
Marie K Dematatis
Timothy J Assal
Tags: Baseline Synthesis, Science Project, Science

Title: comprehensive_assess.jpg

This is a collaborative, two-part project to compile and analyze resource data to support WLCI efforts. Part 1 entails directing data synthesis and assessment activities to ensure that they will inform and support the WLCI LPDTs and Coordination Team in their conservation planning efforts, such as developing conservation priorities and strategies, identifying priority areas for conservation actions, evaluating and ranking conservation projects, and evaluating spatial and ecological relations between proposed habitat projects and WLCI priorities. In FY2014, we helped the Coordination Team complete the WLCI Conservation Action Plan and BLM’s annual report, and we provided maps and other materials to assist with ranking FY2015 WLCI conservation priorities. We published a paper outlining a geospatial framework for collaborative, landscape-scale projects and lessons learned from Part 1. This scalable framework should be applicable to any conservation project that relies on geospatial data, and it will benefit natural resource managers, scientists, and geospatial professionals.

Part 2, designed to support decision-making at the WLCI programmatic level and conservation planning at landscape scales, is a multidisciplinary Integrated Assessment (IA) of factors affecting conservation and management across the WLCI region. The IA may be used to identify areas of high conservation and restoration value and those with high development potential on the basis of the current landscape. It also may be used to consider scenarios of potential future development, which, in turn, may be used for evaluating the conservation and restoration potential of a given area. Finally, the IA provides WLCI partners or other entities with a framework for conducting future reassessments and evaluations of change. It addresses priority resources in the WLCI region and their conditions, agents of change, and potential future conditions associated with development and climate change. The IA framework is transparent and hierarchical in that it allows users to decompose the summary scores and evaluate individual resources. A variety of logical assumptions based on current knowledge and data availability are inherent to the initial assessments. Users may incorporate local knowledge into finer scale assessments to inform local management projects for land-uses and resource values not considered in this initial IA effort. In FY2014, we used IA data to evaluate the relations between energy development and crucial winter habitat for mule deer. This effort will help WLCI partners understand these relations and how to use the IA for addressing future conservation and management questions.

 

Products Completed in FY2014

Products Completed in FY2013

  • WLCI conservation project maps for the BLM WLCI 2012 and 2013 annual reports and posters for the WLCI Executive Committee Meetings.
  • New and revised spatial products associated with WLCI conservation priorities and actions.
  • Continued development of the WLCI IA Web application, at http://www.wlci.gov/integratedassessment.

Products Completed in FY2012

Products Completed in FY2011
 
  • First version of IA analysis and product development completed.
  • Web application and dynamic mapping platform (http://www.wlci.gov/integrated-assessment) used to display the IA, and to access underlying resource scores.
  • Presentation of IA results and web application to multiple audiences - see annual report for details.
  • GIS data and geospatial maps and posters associated with the IA and proposed and completed habitat projects. 
  • Continued to update data directory and theme group descriptions of compiled and derived data associated with the comprehensive assessment and integrated assessment. This product was used to identify and transfer data to support BLM Rapid Ecoregional Assessments.
  • Continued to develop limited metadata standards for data obtained from WLCI partners. This information is provided in the data directory.
Products Completed in FY2010
 
  • Bowen, Z.H., 2010, Development and status of the WLCI Integrated Assessment, July 9, 2010, presentation to the WLCI Executive Committee, Rock Springs, Wyo.
  • GIS data and geospatial maps and posters associated with the IA and proposed and completed habitat projects. 
  • Continued to update data directory and theme group descriptions of compiled and derived data associated with the comprehensive assessment and integrated assessment. This product was used to identify and transfer data to support BLM Rapid Ecoregional Assessments.
  • Continued to develop limited metadata standards for data obtained from WLCI partners. This information is provided in the data directory. 
Products Completed in FY2009
 
  • GIS data and geospatial maps and posters associated with proposed and completed habitat projects.
  • Continued to obtain datasets relevant to WLCI.
  • Prepared a data directory and descriptions of compiled and derived data associated with the comprehensive assessment and IA.
  • Developed limited metadata standards (origin, entity from which the data came, and date received) for data obtained from WLCI partners. This information is provided in the data directory. 
Products completed in FY2008
 
  • Obtained over 175 datasets relevant to WLCI.
  • Created and populated an MS Access database, an enterprise geodatabase, and an ARC GIS map service that identify the status of compiled data in terms of quality and appropriate metadata.
  • Developed numerous map products, as well as evaluation criteria for habitat projects and for ranking and prioritizing conservation actions, to support the CT and inform decisions.


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