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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

 August 7, 2009

1283 (MT9320.KB) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2009-061
Expires: 9/30/2010
To:                   All Montana/Dakotas Employees
                        Attention: State Office Data Stewards; Field Office Data Stewards; GIS Specialist;
                        All resource program staff (including Recreation, Fire, Cultural Resources, Fisheries/
                        Wildlife, and Vegetation)
From:               State Director
Subject:            Montana/Dakotas Spatial Data Standards                     DD: 8/14/09, 9/4/09, 9/18/09
Program Area: All program areas.
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum is to identify and display the status of the corporate spatial data themes established by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Additionally, the development of statewide data standards will be initiated.
Policy/Action: The manner in which we manage data reflects on the Bureau’s image as a professional land management agency. Better data management will allow us to utilize geospatial data for land use planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) actions, respond to legal challenges, as well as external inquiries such as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  In addition, stable data allows analysis of trends and change over time.
 State Office Program Leads and data stewards will review Attachment 1, establishing bureauwide Corporate Spatial Data Themes, for the current disposition of the spatial data standards within their discipline. Stewards whose discipline is not actively working towards a Bureau data standard, those marked with an asterisk (*), will be contacted by the Data Administrator to schedule an initial planning and organizational meeting to address data standardization. These meetings will occur by August 14, 2009. The Data Administrator will explain the standardization process, review data sets in use in the Montana/Dakotas and outline the process required to develop a data standard.
Attachment 2, Data Standardization Process Project Plan, lists the one statewide data theme currently in progress and the six data themes on which we will begin development and adoption of statewide corporate data standards this fiscal year. These 6 corporate data themes are:
(1) Recreation; SO Data Steward: Chris Miller
(2) Fire; SO Data Steward:  Phil Gill
(3) Cultural Resources; SO Data Steward: Gary Smith
(4) Fisheries; SO Data Steward: Gayle Sitter
(5) Wildlife; SO Data Steward: Gayle Sitter
(6) Vegetation; SO Data Steward: John Simons
A Project Plan outline is provided for developing the data standard. The data steward and the data administrator will schedule an organizational meeting by August 14, 2009, to review the process and to develop a project plan. The Data Administrator will assist the State Data Steward in drafting a project plan, including a schedule, to develop a statewide data standard for their theme(s), which will be developed and submitted to the Deputy State Directors for concurrence by September 4, 2009. The Data Steward will name the Field Office Data Stewards and other individuals they wish to convene as Subject Matter Experts on the data standard team and schedule a "kick-off" meeting/conference call with the team. The “kick-off” meeting or call is to occur by September 18, 2009. The Data Administrator will assist these teams by providing an overview to the data standards process, examples of other data standards, and facilitate the process of developing, reviewing and implementing these 6 corporate datasets. The Data Administrator will track this process using the matrix found on Attachment 3.
We will use the accepted Bureau process to develop our data standards. This process outlines the steps and expected timeframes of the standardization process and will be incorporated into our project plans for developing our standards.
Our vision is to deliver data and information to program specialists and decision makers which are accurate, reliable, timely and cost effective in order to meet their needs. As the standardization of these themes is completed, additional themes will be initiated. Concurrent with this process, we will continue to work closely with national data standards efforts.
Timeframe: The initial planning meeting between the Data Administrator and State Data Stewards will occur by August 14, 2009. Project plans with schedules should be submitted shortly thereafter, but no later than September 4, 2009. Kick-off meetings for the 6 identified themes are to be held by
September 18, 2009. Data standards will be established and finalized in accordance with approved project schedules. 
Budget Impact: It is expected that there will be an impact on the workload of the Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists, data stewards and program specialists and some travel costs may be incurred during data standards development. The BLM expects a favorable return on investment by implementing this program, and improving our data reliability, accuracy, and utility.
Background: Data standards refer to the name, definition, presentation, and business rules governing data sets. A data standard is a documented agreement on a set of rules or terms for a data entity (or set of entities) that applies to the collection and use of that data. Data standards are based on known requirements and are set by the stakeholders who use the data, and can cross organizational boundaries. Data standards may be published inter-agency or adopted.
Bureau standards will be developed in-house for statewide deployment. Data Stewards are responsible for the transition of legacy data to these standards and to insure that the data is collected and maintained according to the definitions in the data standard.
We have become increasingly dependent on our data and automated systems to enable us to carry out the Bureau’s mission on a daily basis. The BLM needs to ensure that the data it collects, uses, and disseminates relates to its mission requirements, is applied and used objectively, has appropriate controls to protect privacy, propriety, and confidential information. Proper data management, including developing and adhering to data standards, allows us to know that the data exists, where it resides, the quality and currency of the data, its usefulness to what we are trying to do, who is permitted to use it, and that the decisions made on it are legally and scientifically defensible. 
The establishment of statewide data standards is in accordance with the Montana/Dakotas Geospatial Strategy: http://www.mt.blm.gov/gis/internalwebsite/steering.htm
Further information can be found on the internal Data Management web page at http://web.mt.blm.gov/datasteward/index.html or the Data Management web page at the National Operations Center at http://web.blm.gov/data_mgt/index.htm . You may also refer to the Bureau Handbook H 1283 1 - Data Administration and Management.
Manual Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with the Branch of Information Resource Management (LLMT932), the Division of Resources (LLMT920), the Division of Support Services (LLMT930), and the GIS Steering Committee.
Contact: Please address any questions to Kevin Brooks, Data Administrator, at 406-896-5270,
Shelley Johnson, GIS Specialist, at 406-896-5140, or Kathie Jewell, GIS Specialist, at
Signed by:                                                                                Authenticated by:
Howard A. Lemm (for)                                                                        Laura Schmier (MT9320)
State Director                                                                           Staff Assistant
3 Attachments:

Last updated: 02-28-2013