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Washington, D. C. 20240
April 14, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
8400, 1600 (250, 210) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-134
Expires: 09/30/2007
To:                   All State Directors
Attn:                State GIS Managers, State VRM Coordinators and State Recreation Leads
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:           National Spatial Data Layer for Visual Resource Management (VRM) DD: 05/15/2006
Program Area:Recreation, Planning, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Purpose:  This instruction memorandum (IM) provides direction to State Offices to submit, in collaboration with their Field Offices, the digital data necessary to produce a national spatial data layer for visual resources. This request will satisfy the need of several program activities.
Each State Office is also required to complete an individual Data Response Form, reporting to the Washington Office on the nature and status of existing visual resource data. The acquisition of these data and the answers to this response form will also aid development of subsequent national VRM data standards.
Policy/Action:Each State Visual Resource Coordinator or Lead should collaborate closely with the respective State GIS Manager and Recreation State Lead to provide the Washington Office with the current GIS data for VRM for their respective state. This includes forwarding all of GIS layers stored separately at field offices together with the aggregated state layer if already generated or possible to compile.
These data should distinguish visual resource inventory data from visual resource management class data. Where inventory data currently exist, submissions should include separate data layers for:
1)      Sensitivity level
2)      Distance zones, and
3)      Scenic quality
Please disclose any other applicable VRM-related GIS data and/or applicable meta-data that have already been developed or known; including:
1)      Whether the information is only available in hard-copy
2)      How and when the data were developed
3)      The date the data were last updated, and
4)      Identifying who updated the data.
Please provide all available digital data files and use the Data Response Form format in Attachment 1 to provide information regarding the state of the data. Please note and explain where and why data are either incomplete or do not exist.
Attachment 2 is the most current list of State and Field Office VRM Coordinators who can provide assistance in completing this request.
Timeframe: This instruction Memorandum (IM) becomes effective immediately. All requested information should be submitted to Bob Bewley, Senior Geographer, WO-210 by the May 15, 2006 deadline.
Budget Impact: No budget impact is anticipated. Staff time involved in providing data as part of this request is already accounted for within staff responsibilities for visual resources as outlined within Manual 8400.
Background:The BLM Visual Resource Management Policy requires that the Bureau continually maintain an up-to-date inventory of visual resources for all BLM managed lands and waters (Manual 8400 .06 A-1). This policy also requires that every acre of BLM land be assigned to a Visual Resource Management Class. Subsequent implementation activities including oil and gas exploration and development must be designed to meet the criteria developed for the VRM classification of the affected lands.
Currently, many Field Offices have incomplete VRM inventories, lack VRM Classes identified within a Record of Decision (ROD), and/or have not assigned VRM Classes for all acres under their jurisdiction. In addition, much of the existing data require updating because conditions or public sensitivity levels have changed from when the data were acquired. Finally some of the data are only available in hard-copy form and need conversion to a digital geo-spatial layer.  
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:None.

:The Washington Office Planning, Assessment and Community Support Division and the Washington Office Recreation and Visitor Service Division jointly prepared this IB.  The principal authors are the Washington Office GIS Lead and Washington Office Visual Resource Management Lead, who worked in consultation with Field and State Office specialists.
Contact: Any questions should be directed to Bob Ratcliffe, Recreation and Visitor Services Division Chief (202) 452-5040 and/or Bob Bewley, Senior Geographer (202) 452-5111.
Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
Carl Rountree                                                              
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Deputy Assistant Director                                
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
2 Attachments

Last updated: 10-21-2009