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

June 24, 2011

1734 (MT923) P
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2011-053
Expires: 9/30/2012
To:             Montana Dakotas Leadership
                  Attention: Vegetation Management Specialists and
                  Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialists
From:         State Director
Subject:     Montana Dakotas Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Implementation of the BLM National Vegetation Treatment Area Data Standard                                         DD: 07/08/2011
                                                                                                                       DD: 10/20/2011
Program Area: Vegetation Treatment
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to:
  1. Provide the vegetation treatment area data standard (WO IM 2011-115, Attachment 1) for the vegetation treatment area spatial data set, to be stored in the Spatial Data Engine (SDE) database at the Montana State Office; 
  2. Require all field offices to review, edit, and maintain the Montana/Dakotas BLM statewide vegetation treatments spatial data set; 
  3. Require the archiving and deletion of all locally stored vegetation treatment area spatial data sets/geodatabases with the exception of the Montana/Dakotas BLM statewide vegetation treatment area spatial data set; and 
  4. Require the review and update of the Montana/Dakotas BLM vegetation data stewards list (Attachment 2). 
The Montana/Dakotas statewide vegetation treatment area spatial data set in no way replaces the existing BLM data systems for Rangeland Improvement Project System (RIPS), National Invasive Species Information Management System (NISIMS), Forest Vegetation Information System (FORVIS), Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation System (ESRS), Timber Sale Information System (TSIS), and National Fire Plan Operations and Reporting System (NFPORS). All offices shall continue to maintain and utilize these applications.
Policy/Action: Each office will provide a geospatial copy of the vegetation treatment areas for projects that are implemented in the 2011 field season. All updating, editing, maintenance, and analysis of the vegetation treatment areas will now occur only on this centralized data set in the SDE. The updating, editing, and maintenance will be completed by the field office data editors/data stewards.  The field offices will not maintain separate versions of the data set. The due date for the vegetation treatments area data set is October 20, 2011.
Field offices currently maintaining vegetation treatment areas spatial databases shall archive those data sets and remove them from use. Please contact the Montana/Dakotas Help Desk at (406) 896‑5270 if assistance is needed. Those offices with on-going resource management plans (RMP) shall cease updating their vegetation treatment areas data sets and only update the data set now residing in SDE. The RMP data sets may be used for on-going analysis, but shall not be used for the final RMP. Offices shall archive their entire RMP data sets at the proper intervals in accordance with current guidance. Offices shall replace their vegetation treatment areas data sets with the newly compiled data set prior to completing the RMP.
The field offices will review the vegetation data stewards and editors list in Attachment 2 and confirm and/or update the names as required. This updated list shall be sent via email to Kevin Brooks (MT932). The due date for the vegetation steward list update is July 8, 2011.
Timeframe: Effective Immediately.
Budget Impact: There is no anticipated budget impact. There is a recognized workload for the field and state office GIS specialists and the vegetation data stewards during the editing and maintenance of the data. The centralized data set in the SDE will provide improved efficiencies, increase data quality and reduce risk to the BLM.
Background: The implementation of data standards and centralized statewide data is the BLM’s method of enhancing data management across organizational boundaries. Well documented, easily accessible data sources save time when performing data research or analysis and during map preparation. Standardized data is more accurate and can be legally and scientifically defensible, which may aid the agency in reducing litigations and appeals.  Data standards refer to the name, definition, presentation, and business rules governing data sets.  They are based on known data requirements and are set by the stakeholders.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated with the Branch of Planning and Biological Resources(MT923) and the Branch of Information Resource Management (MT932). The field offices have previously had several opportunities to comment on the data standard.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact John Simons, Vegetation Management Specialist, at (406) 896‑5043; Kevin Brooks, Data Administrator, at (406) 896‑5270; or Shelley Johnson, Acting State GIS Coordinator, at (406) 896-5140.
Signed by:                                                                               Authenticated by:
Katherine P. Kitchell                                                                 Melissa R. Dykes
for State Director                                                                     Staff Assistant (MT923)
2 Attachments
    1-WO IM 2011-115 (67 pp in its entirety)
    2-Vegetation Data Stewards (1 pp)

Last updated: 06-28-2012