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50 geospatial coordination, production, and service activities. interagency and interstate science and management of data The program engages partners to develop standards and to help introduce wildlife concerns into the early stages of produce consistent and accurate data through its Geospatial transportation planning, land use, energy development, oil Liaison Network (see "U.S. Geological Survey Geospatial and gas activities, and global warming issues. This repre- Liaison Network"). sents the first time governors have taken action to identify wildlife corridors within and among states. Within the report NatureServe and its network of Natural Heritage pro- are many recommendations on needed science, data collec- grams in every state use a standardized GIS. This network tion, data storage, and data-sharing abilities to use the GIS is the main source of information on rare, endangered, and information across agency and state boundaries. threatened species and ecosystems. More recently, Nature- Serve has been developing information products, data man- This effort was conducted through the work of approxi- agement tools, and conservation services to help meet local, mately 150 advisors across the U.S. West who served on national, and global conservation needs. Two such products six Wildlife Linkages working groups and committees: the are Vista and Landscope. Science Committee, and the Energy, Land Use, Oil and Gas, Climate Change, and Transportation working groups. NatureServe Vista is a Decision Support System soft- Using the knowledge and energy of leaders in these areas, ware for conservation planning that integrates conservation the WGA was able to develop working policy recom- information with land-use patterns and policies. It provides mendations on how to collect standardized data, make it planners, resource managers, and communities with tools available to all levels of government, encourage or man- to manage their natural resources. This conservation plan- date state agencies to work together in early planning, and ning software enables users to create, evaluate, implement, discuss many other specific actions that are intended to and monitor land-use and resource management plans that identify and avoid or mitigate for crucial wildlife habitats operate within the existing economic, social, and political and corridors. context to achieve conservation goals. This case study is an outstanding example of how state NatureServe's Landscope is a new technology designed leaders can proactively come together to create and then to promote conservation by changing how users view natural mandate standards for data collection, storage, and retrieval, places locally and across the nation. Released in late 2008, and to encourage working relations among agencies. A this interactive website brings together maps, data from many recurrent theme in this survey was the need to identify eco- sources, and stories about natural places and presents them logical resources before they are gone, and before develop- in dynamic and accessible formats. The map viewer allows ers, including transportation agencies, make plans to build in users to zoom from a national to state and local perspectives. areas of high ecological value. If this Wildlife Corridors Ini- Users can switch among different views of the landscape, tiative is successful, it will provide a blueprint for the nation including available aerial photography and detailed satel- for connectivity analyses for wildlife, and for the use of GIS lite imagery. Through the viewer's interface, one can access information at all levels of government. critical data on the character and condition of the places one is exploring, highlight a state's natural areas, and examine the threats they face [refer to NatureServe Vista and Nature- Case Study 5. Use Of Global Positioning System Devices Serve Landscope for more details]. A common need across the nation was the collection of Case Study 4. Regional Effort By Governors field data in a device that was accurately georeferenced, To Identify Wildlife Corridors And To Standardize Data Collection meaning locations with quantitative values that can be brought into a GIS program for mapping. This need called for surveys related to wildlife-vehicle collisions, rare and On June 29, 2008, the Western Governors' Association invasive plant locations in the road right-of-way, bird and (which represents the 19 governors of the western states bat locations near bridges, the extent of changes in veg- and territories of the United States) adopted the Wildlife etation and landcover, areas where maintenance work- Corridors Initiative (see "Western Governors' Association, ers should not spray or cut vegetation, and many other Wildlife Corridors Initiative"). This policy established the location-specific pieces of information. Examples of how Western Wildlife Habitat Council. The mission of the coun- GPS units are being used with other equipment to iden- cil is to identify key wildlife corridors and crucial wildlife tify specific locations of ecological concern include GPS habitats in the U.S. West and coordinate implementation of units available in handheld portable devices, and GPS units needed policy options and tools for preserving those land- mounted on equipment, which convey a vehicle's location scapes. Using the policies in the Wildlife Corridors Initia- by means of the Internet to a central location in real time tive Report, the governors will take actions to coordinate and into databases.