The Western Governors’ Association has created an online mapping tool that identifies crucial habitat for wildlife in 16 states in the western United States. The tool is intended to bring “greater certainty and predictability to planning efforts” by helping planners, energy developers, and conservationists incorporate wildlife into land-use decisions.
The Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool ranks areas on a scale of one to six: most crucial to least crucial habitat. Users can overlay other data, including species richness, habitat connectivity, or riparian and wetlands habitat.
Several federal agencies have agreed to use the tool in their planning efforts, including the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Forest Service.
Access the tool at http://westgovchat.org/.
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