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US states map out wildlife habitats to promote sustainable development

12
Dec
2013

Governors across the western United States this week will unveil a new online mapping tool designed to help balance wildlife preservation with economic development. The project, known as the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT), draws on a database of ecological information from 16 states to create detailed GIS maps showing the location and significance of wetlands, wildlife populations, and natural resources. As the Associated Press reports, CHAT has been in development for five years as part of an initiative from the Western Governors Association (WGA), which will formally announce details of the project today at its annual conference in Las Vegas. The governors intent back in 2008 really was to cater to industries within their states who need data while at the same time conserving the resources the states are blessed with and the governors are charged with preserving, Carly Brown, policy manager for the Western Governors Association, told the AP.

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