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48 Each resource agency provides copies of the environmen- impacts to important habitat systems and wildlife resources tal GIS data they currently use in-house for transportation (Florida's Integrated Wildlife Habitat Ranking System). project review. Data have different update cycles, which are coordinated through the database. The EST database sends FDOT is an interagency partner with the Florida Fish and automated requests to agencies requesting any data updates Wildlife Conservation Commission on the implementation based on the established and agreed-upon update schedules. of the "Florida Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan" Agencies update data through an online form, placing data and development of a "Cooperative Conservation Blueprint." on a secured FTP (file transfer protocol) site for download The blueprint is a new GIS tool that unifies existing tools and and quality assurance and quality control. Protocols and identifies Florida's most critical lands and waters needing responsibilities for the GIS data are established through for- conservation. This tool also fills information gaps on the life mal ETDM Agency Agreements with the 23 state and fed- history, status, trend, population, and management needs for eral resource agencies participating in the ETDM Process. the Species of Greatest Conservation Need that are identified Detailed instructions for data collection, processing, and in the plan [see Florida Cooperative Conservation Blueprint management protocols are also provided in the Environmen- (CCB) for more details]. tal Screening Tool Handbook available on FDOT's ETDM Public Access site. Currently, 525 data sets are incorporated The Critical Lands and Waters Identification Project into the EST, including more than 70 data sets pertaining (CLIP) is the flagship project of Florida's Century Commis- to the state's wildlife and habitat resources. These data sets sion. The project is led by the GeoPlan Center at the Uni- currently are available online and for download [see "Flori- versity of Florida and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory da's Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) Pro- of Florida State University. The Century Commission is a cess" in the References]. volunteer commission tasked with envisioning Florida's future by forecasting what Florida will look like in 25 and At the state level, the Florida Department of Environmen- 50 years. The Commission makes recommendations to the tal Protection serves as the principal source of information governor and legislature regarding how they could address on protecting the state's environment and has developed the impacts of population growth. CLIP uses science and the online collections of spatial data that can be useful in trans- best available statewide spatial data to show Florida's criti- portation planning. Three of the more recently available cal environmental resources in a database that can be used databases include the GeoData Directory, the Geospatial as a decision-support tool. Use of this tool for collaborative Resource Index, and MapDirect. The GeoData Directory statewide and regional conservation and land use planning is an online database of GIS layers, including land use and allows the state to envision and ensure the sustainability of landcover, habitat, wetlands, watersheds, floodplains, topog- Florida's green infrastructure and vital ecosystem services raphy, geology, and a myriad of other resources. The Geo- [see Florida CLIP for more details]. spatial Resource Index is the agency's central database for searchable maps and spatial data. The MapDirect application Florida's Wildlife Conservation Planning Tool was cre- was launched in the summer of 2008 and replaces a number ated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Com- of existing single-purpose web-mapping applications into mission to provide information that assists with planning a single integrated application with extensive capabilities. and conservation on a regional scale. The electronic manual Mapdirect provides access to a large number of environmen- provides guidelines for habitat mapping, initial site assess- tal resource data layers and imagery layers, buffer analysis ments, survey protocols for listed species, multiple-species capabilities, drill-down reporting capabilities, and general habitat management, population monitoring, and wildlife data browsing (see Florida Department of Environmental conservation planning and management. This web-based Protection's GIS for more details). tool was developed to help the collaborative process priori- tize wildlife conservation. It is the starting point for users The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to begin the process of planning for wildlife. The tool is an uses a statewide grid for wildlife that has been incorporated electronic manual and does not require an Internet connec- into FDOT's EST, which is an integrated grid of resources in tion, but it does have hyperlinks to online resources. This one GIS layer rather than 10 separate layers of data. IWHRS tool uses a systems approach, which incorporates a holistic is a GIS-based, rapid assessment tool that allows landscape- approach to the study of ecosystems. This method embraces scale identification of ecologically significant lands in Florida the complexity of ecosystems by focusing on the interactions and assessment of potential impacts of proposed develop- between biotic and abiotic functions and human influences. ment projects. The IWHRS assists with reviews of FDOT projects, including new highway construction or expansions This technique is similar to the needs several survey and dredge-and-fill activities associated with bridge con- respondents expressed, which were related to more large- struction. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Com- scale approaches to ecological systems, and a one-stop place mission uses the IWHRS to evaluate and compare multiple to collect information. This manual-tool provides regional alignments, and to assess direct, indirect, and cumulative information such as GIS maps, databases, and literature