Western Governors Association (WGA) Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT), 2013

Aug 15, 2014 (Last modified Sep 5, 2014)
Description:
This dataset represents an aggregated measure of crucial habitat for species of interest to the western states’ fish and wildlife management agencies. Crucial habitat describes places that are expected to contain the resources necessary for continued health of fish and wildlife populations or important ecological systems expected to provide high value for a diversity of fish and wildlife. Specifically, the Western Governors' Wildlife Council (WGWC) defined crucial habitat for fish and wildlife to include several data types and layers of information available:- Habitat for Species of Concern (SOC): terrestrial and/or aquatic- Native and Unfragmented Habitat: may include landscape condition; large natural areas; natural veg. communities; ecological systems of concern; landscape corridors; and/or freshwater integrity- Riparian and wetland habitat- Connectivity or linkage areas: wildlife corridors- Quality habitat for species of importance not already accounted for in “Habitat for SOC”States compiled data encompassing all of the above categories and then ranked areas as “crucial habitat” using a relative, six-level prioritization scheme, where 1 represents areas “most crucial,” or those areas that most closely meet the definition of crucial habitat based on the WGWC definitions; and 6 represents “least crucial” areas, or those areas that least closely meet the definition of crucial habitat based on the WGWC definitions. Crucial habitat values are in no way regulatory and do not imply specific avoidance or mitigation measures for a given area. Crucial habitat values should be interpreted as the relative probability, or risk, that a high-priority species or habitat would be encountered in a given area based on the best available scientific information.

The crucial habitat layer available for download does not include all of the state maps that are visible at westgovchat.org. States were given the flexibility to choose whether or not to make their crucial habitat maps available for download. At this time, California and Arizona have elected to make their crucial habitat data downloadable from their own site, but not from westgovchat.org. Oklahoma and Colorado have chosen not to make crucial habitat data downloadable at this time.
For more information on the crucial habitat data in these states, interested parties are encouraged to contact the state CHAT Lead.

Data Provided By:
Western Governors Association and WGA member state fish and wildlife agencies.
Content date:
not specified
Citation:
Dowloaded from:  http://westgovchat.org/data/download
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not specified
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not specified
Use Constraints:
This crucial habitat data is designed as a non-regulatory, coarse-scale, informational tool and should be recognized as such in any analyses. If you are interested in publishing the results of your analysis online or in print, you agree to: (1) credit the WGA; (2) include the date of crucial habitat dataset used in your analysis; (3) clearly document any modifications shown in your analysis that differ from the states’ original crucial habitat map; and (4) do not change the map’s core display features, including the color scheme and the number of crucial habitat rankings.
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Conservation Biology Institute

The Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) provides scientific expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity in its natural state through applied research, education, planning, and community service.