BOX 3.1 Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument comprises 1.7 million acres of public land in southern Utah and was designated a national monument by President Clinton. This designation marked the beginning of a three-year process during which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) worked with state and local governments and other interests to set up a land management process. To meet this goal, the planning team recognized that an important facet of the process involved making the pertinent spatial data accessible to the large community of data users and interest groups. Digital data presented electronically over the Internet were determined to best facilitate the provision of information in a quick, efficient, and effective manner.

The process relied on assistance from the Federal Geographic Data Committee and on National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) principles and technologies. The opportunity and need for sharing geospatial data led to a unique collaborative planning process. A 17-member planning team solicited public input, developed issues, and prepared management alternatives to create a draft plan. The planning team established a strategy that employed a Geographic Information System (GIS) workstation outside the BLM network and was connected to the State of Utah’s Wide Area Network and the Internet. The draft plan was then posted on the Internet to receive comments during a 120-day public comment period. The benefits of data sharing during this process were identified and evaluated by local decision makers,

(A) No Mans Mesa. Photograph by Jerry Sintz.

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