Great Northern LCC staff receives partner award from state agencies

Matt Heller, Data Manager and GIS Administrator with the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) was awarded the 2017 Federal Conservation Partner of the Year Award by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA). WAFWA comprises state wildlife directors from the West. For the past few years, Heller has been leading a team of state data managers working with Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to secure, update, and share wildlife data among agencies.

In 2012, five western states (ID, WA, KS, NV, UT) led by Idaho and Washington in collaboration with GNLCC, was awarded a grant from the LCC Network. The intent of the grant was to: 1) determine how LCMap/Science Base and the Western Governors' Association (WGA) Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) project could be better integrated, 2) facilitate better integration and use of CHAT data into land use decisions by partners using state wildlife data, and 3) facilitate better access to non-state data (such as those collected by federal partners) for use in CHAT updates and use by states as determined by the states.

Now called the State CHAT Data Community (SCDC), participation has grown to include four more states (AK, NM, NV, OR). During this time, WAFWA assumed the lead for the CHAT project from WGA. WAFWA is currently considering advancing the pilot project to the full Westwide CHAT.

Heller said “Myself and the GNLCC partnership are proud to collaborate with the nine states. Working with them is a rewarding experience because of their expertise and dedication.”

Matt Heller and SCDC logo