The initial goal of this site was to support a relatively small grant with a very limited scope of final products (10-15 map images to update the Swan Valley Commmunity Profile report). Geodata staff anticipate the scope will grow with ongoing community support, and we encourage participants not to be limited to the mini-grant constraints in their comments and ideas. That said, we are committed to helping all participants working together to get the initial project done, keeping the initial goal in scope and on-time, and making the process constructive. Links are provided via the link site below (or in the navigation bars to the right) for further project information and background.
The process to complete the mini-grant will include the following:
- Initial review of GIS data galleries and existing project map and GIS resources, and open comment period from all participants
- Open survey on map titles and content for 10-15 map layers to complete for the mini-grant
- Review and analysis of comments and survey results by SVCC and Missoula County RI
- Final decision by Missoula County RI on mini-grant maps
- Acquisition and development of final data
- Publish final data on Esri ArcGIS Online for public review
- Hold an open house with paper and digital maps available for review, and discussion with GIS analysts from SVCC, RI and Geodata
- Prepare final maps and complete mini-grant
- Update the SVCC Map Gallery
Plan next steps for SVCC community mapping and collaborative
Ground Rules for the Project
Based on both meetings and discussions with interested parties to this project, this is a summary of the major desires and ground rules that are desired in the process:
- All parties are interested in improving the GIS data and maps for the Swan Valley. All parties want to improve their ability to work together to achieve common goals.
- All parties view the mini-grant as the first step in an ongoing effort to enhance the GIS and maps in the Swan. There is a desire to maintain a list of additional data and maps that may not be able to be processed for the mini-grant, but would be further developed in the future. It is expected that the GIS data to be used will come initially from authoritative layers already developed and available from the SVCC and agency partners, the PLACE data maintained by RI, and data maintained by state and federal agency sources.
- All parties desire to have the GIS data and maps for the Swan Valley include the entire watershed, including those portions in Lake County. Everyone realizes that practical budget limitations for the mini-grant may result in some layers initially covering only the Missoula County portion, but that should be avoided if possible.
- Everyone has agreed to provide assistance to acquiring and processing the best and most authoritative GIS data to contribute to the mini-grant, given the limited budget available.
- All parties agree that the process should be open, public and transparent, and have agreed to do their best to make the general public in the Swan Valley aware of the mapping effort and encourage them to participate.
- All parties would like the maps to be dynamic and web based to supplement the static PDF map product deliverables.
P4PW MDFWP Mini-Grant Application
Challenge Statement Community Name: UPPER SWAN VALLEY GROWTH POLICY COMMITTEE
1. Please briefly describe an upcoming or current planning effort or initiative that your community is undertaking — or is interested in undertaking—what it is, what it will accomplish and the timeline for its completion. Include your perception of community support and potential challenges affecting the success of this effort.
The Upper Swan Valley is nestled between the Mission Mountain Wilderness and the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Western Montana. American Wildlands’ 2009 Priority Linkage Assessment Crown of the Continent identified the Swan Valley with the highest rating in the Crown of the Continent area in terms of habitat quality, value and importance as a linkage zone. Our community has deep roots in our homesteading origins, and remains a valley with people living as an integral part of this greater community of plants and wildlife. This co-existence is central to what makes this place so unique. The continued presence of vital wildlife populations of the grizzly bear, black bear, wolf, mountain lion, elk, whitetail and thriving wildlife species large and small are testimony to our ability as a community to successfully live with nature in this larger ecosystem.
The wild lands and wildlife of the Upper Swan Valley offer tremendous economic potential for the community through attracting and maintaining tourism and recreation revenues, promoting economic prosperity, and maintaining a high quality of life for residents. We are committed to maintaining the wild grandeur, natural beauty and fully functional ecosystems found here, while at the same time we recognize the need for fostering economic vitality. This is a huge challenge in these changing times. For this co-existence to continue, and for the human community to thrive, a plan of action based on community values and ideas is crucial. The Planning 4 People and Wildlife Workshop could not have come at a more opportune time for us to learn new skills and network with others.
The Upper Swan Valley Growth Policy Committee was established in 2008 at the direction of the Upper Swan Valley Community Council. The committee draws from a broad cross section of the community along with county, state, and federal agencies and organizations. Over 30 individuals have contributed more than 2000 hours in volunteer efforts since its inception.
In February 2011, the Committee produced the Swan Valley and Condon Community Profile: a compilation of facts, figures, and trends documenting historical, cultural natural and community resources. But this is only the first step in the process. We are now embarking on the most meaningful part of the effort: bringing the community together to create a plan that will determine our future. To date the Community Profile has been presented to 16 different groups, and reviewed by the community at large.
We are now starting both group and open workshops to define issues, goals and objectives for the plan in step two, which will be completed by the end of 2011. Once these values are captured, the Growth Policy Committee will begin step 3 and through a series of workshops facilitate the development of alternatives and implementation strategies. This will be completed in 2012.
An overview of our project and supporting information is included in
The Swan Valley and Condon Community Profile, which can be found at this website: http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/rural/communitycouncils/SwanValley.htm A direct link to the document is: http://www.co.missoula.mt.us/rural/pdfs/SVCCProfiledraft-11_15_10.pdf
2. If you are applying for the FWP P4PW mini-grant, please respond to the mini-grant award criteria described on page 5.
Data about wildlife habitat, vegetation, wetlands, and human land use and activities is very important to our planning process. Because wildlife is habitat dependant and integral interrelationships between the land, wildlife, and human activity are spatial, those relationships and values can best be displayed, perceived and understood through maps. Maps convey spatial information far more effectively than words and are a critical component of the Swan Valley and Condon Community Profile. Currently we have 21 maps in the profile. The maps come from a variety of sources, such as the USFS, USFWS, USGS, MT DNRC, MT FWP, Missoula County, Swan Ecosystem Center, Northwest Connections, American Wildlands, The Nature Conservancy, and Trust for Public Lands to name a few.
While our diversity of sources is inclusive and provides a more rounded picture of the valley it also presents unique challenges. Missoula Rural Initiatives’ comments for improving the draft profile highlight how the diversity of maps detracts from the presentation of the data. Some of the maps are static, scanned or copied from resource reports or agency documents. Some are dated. Some are current, dynamic, and derived from GIS layers and data exported in digital form as jpeg’s or pdf’s. The maps come in variety of formats and scales, with differing legends and citations. Rural Initiatives suggests that map formats, legends, references and citations need to be consistent, and map scales need to be appropriate to their purpose. We need these maps as we move forward in defining the critical planning issues for the Upper Swan Valley. This will become even more important as we begin to develop site-specific planning goals and objectives.
While we have had and appreciate map/gis support from several different agencies and groups, the support does not cross agency boundaries. We do have a committee member with expertise in this area, (Joan McGuire), but she has been limited by lack of access to software and equipment. The bulk of the costs of this project has been supported through in kind donations of labor and material from the committee and various agencies, as well as limited financial support from the Swan Valley Community Council with their funds from Missoula County. We are asking for $4,000 of mini grant funds, with $3,000.00 to retain professional GIS assistance to provide our team with access to software and equipment, help us consolidate and reduce the numbers of maps and organize the map data in a consistent format. We are asking for $1,000 to defray printing costs. We have approached Ken Wall of Geodata systems for help in this endeavor.
This funds in addition to our in kind support will allow us to create a consolidated set of color digital maps that can be printed at any scale for use in the revised profile. In addition, a set of presentation maps, displaying consolidated data about watersheds and wetlands, wildlife, vegetation and fire, land use and private parcels will be produced and printed in color. These maps will be used to help define planning goals and objectives for the Upper Swan Valley. These maps will be completed by November 30, 2011.
3. Please describe how your team’s participation in the workshop will support the success of the community effort described above.
Our team will benefit from the tools presented at the workshop – no question about that, and learning about these tools will in turn help us educate the community on what resources are available. This workshop seems tailor made for us. As we begin the second phase of our project, the identification of planning issues and the development of goals and objectives are the primary task. We hope that the workshop will provide us with some perspective on how different communities have approached this. But the most important value may be the collaboration opportunities the workshop will provide: meeting and talking with others, learning about the challenges they are facing, and sharing resources and ideas.
4. Is your community currently working with the Sonoran Institute or FWP on any community planning efforts?
X Yes ___No if yes, describe briefly.
We have involved and drawn from a wide variety of local resource and government agencies including DNRC, FWP, USFS, USFWS, Missoula County, TPL, SEC, and NWC in our efforts to develop the Swan Valley and Condon Community Profile. We expect this involvement will continue as we move the planning process forward.
5. Is this challenge statement also an application for an FWP P4PW mini-grant?
X Yes _ No