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United States Department of the Interior 
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
July 16, 2010






1610 (MT9230.KB) P                                                                                                
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2010-061
Expires: 9/30/2011
To:                   Leadership Advisory Team
                        Attention: Planning and Environmental Coordinators and GIS Specialists
From:               Acting State Director
Subject:          Implementation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern Data Standard
                                                                                                                                    DD: 7/30/10
Program Area: Planning
Purpose:  The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to notify the field offices that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Montana/Dakotas (MT/DAKs) will adopt and implement the Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Boundary National Data Standard. This data standard is in final form and will be implemented by all offices in the MT/DAKs.
Policy/Action: The BLM MT/DAKs has an existing dataset of ACECs that have been designated through the land use planning process. This dataset does not have all the required fields for the new national standard. As a result, the State Data Steward and Data Administrator compiled the required data and prepared the data to populate a new dataset. The State Office GIS Specialist loaded the data and created the new dataset in a spatially-enabled geodatabase. This database will be located in the State Office and will be accessible through the Citrix environment. Once the dataset is populated, it will be replicated to the National Operations Center (NOC) to be integrated with data from other states to implement a publicly available bureau-wide dataset. The ACECs identified as “restricted,” due to the type of environmental concern, are flagged as such in the dataset and will be removed from general viewing.

As of July 30, 2010, field offices are directed to archive any copies of ACEC datasets in use and delete those copies from shared work areas and home directories. The ACEC datasets used in Resource Management Plan (RMP) analysis shall be archived with other data from the planning process as part of the administrative record. Field offices are directed to use the state dataset for all future analysis and display of ACEC information. There shall be no other copies of ACEC data in use for any purpose. The maintenance of this dataset shall be completed by Randy Schardt, GIS Specialist, Division of Resources, Branch of Planning and Biological Resources. Field offices are to contact Randy with updates or corrections to the dataset.

The new dataset has fields available for including pre-designation information for nominated ACECs. All field offices shall use this dataset to display and analyze nominated ACECs during the RMP process. If the analysis of the ACEC results in its’ designation, the status shall be updated in the dataset. This will ensure spatial accuracy and minimize data entry efforts. 

Timeframe: Field offices shall archive and remove existing ACEC datasets no later than July 30, 2010. The use of this dataset and data standard is mandatory and effective immediately.
Budget Impact: There is no anticipated budget impact. There is a recognized workload for the GIS specialists and the ACEC data stewards in each field office during the migration and update process. Once implemented, this data standard and the resulting dataset will result in improved efficiency and reduced risk to the BLM.
Background: The implementation of data standards is a tactic the BLM is using to enhance data management across organizational boundaries. Well documented and easily accessible data sources save time when performing data research or analysis and during map preparation. Standardized data can be more accurate, and can be legally and scientifically defensible. This may aid the agency by reducing litigations and appeals. Data standards refer to the name, definition, presentation, and business rules governing datasets. They are based on the known data requirements and are set by the stakeholders who need the data. 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with the Branch of Planning and Biological Resourcesand the Branch of Information Resource Management. The field offices previously had several opportunities to comment on the national data standard.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Jim Beaver, Land Use Specialist and ACEC Data Steward, at (406) 896-5023, Randy Schardt, GIS Specialist, at (406) 896-5141, Kevin Brooks, Data Administrator at (406) 896-5270 or Kathie Jewell, GIS Coordinator at (406)-896-5144.
Signed by:                                                                                            Authenticated by:
Diane M. Friez (for)                                                                               Lynnell Cellmer
Acting State Director                                                                            Staff Assistant (MT9320)
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Last updated: 03-18-2013