The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has multiple programs and projects to aid them in their mission to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. One such project is the Automated Lands Project (ALP), which monitors US Forest Services (USFS) land statuses. It also utilizes land survey networks, USFS applications, geographic information systems (GIS), and interagency data sharing.
The ALP is the latest development in a long history of agency efforts to keep records of the National Forest Service’s (NFS) legal land interests. ALP has also established a centralized work group located within the Data Development & Cartography (DDC) Program at the Geospatial Technology and Application Center (GTAC) to assist the Regions in updating and maintaining the Land Status Record System (LSRS) database. The centralized work group also provides GIS support to update the Special Use Database (SUD). Xentity provided data solution design and development for the ALP project and its many cases and programs as tech staff.
Clearing Backlog as Tech Staff
The primary need of the ALP program that Xentity addressed was to provide technical staff to conduct ALP work (Supporting the LSRS and SUD programs). Also, clearing the backlog of ALP cases. Land Status Records (From LSRS) are used by BLM Western State Offices to document the ongoing state of a township’s Federal and private land regarding title, lease, rights, and usage. These documents include Master Title Plats, which are a composite of all Federal surveys for a township.
The USFS must have accurate knowledge of the legal status of their lands. By law, specific areas or categories must be managed for specific purposes or may have certain management restrictions. In addition, there are many private property rights, both on NFS land and on intermingled or adjacent private land, that may be affected by or may affect Forest Service management. Being a backlog of cases that require supporting the LSRS and SUD, it was crucial to help clear their backlog and help update both organizations.
So, Here’s What We Did
Xentity provided Digital Cartographic Services to support GTAC. The USDA, and the USFS. The DDC Program area within GTAC is responsible for producing, acquiring, integrating and maintaining geospatial data within the USFS. DDC produces and maintains the Forest Service base map products FSTopo, Forest Visitor Maps and other small scale map products, and provides data stewardship for national databases used for base map products. These products cover all National Forest System lands, such as the LSRS, SUD, and the USGS National Hydrography Data (NHD).
Xentity helped update LSRS with Right of Way (ROW) separated rights cases. They also vertically integrated with the Cadastral National Spatial Data Infrastructure (Cad-NSDI) according to LSRS Quality Control standards. A ROW grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of public land for a specific project, such as electric transmission lines, communication sites, roads, trails, fiber optic lines, canals, flumes, pipelines, and reservoirs. The USFS SUD was accurately updated with special use permits. A special use permit allows the use of a parcel of land or property in a manner deviating from normally accepted activities in that area. The authorization is granted for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time.
Cleared Backlog Cases to Help Agencies Move Forward
Xentity provided quality GIS support services that updated two crucial agencies to help clear a backlog of cases. We helped the LSRS through several ROW cases. Meanwhile, SUD updated its special use permits. This benefit of this project is in what these permits do. ROW’s and special use permits allow use of land for specific projects. Also, matters that deviate from normally accepted activities. Without ROW’s, however, we would not see the development of specific projects such as roads, electric transmission lines, etc.
At Xentity, we are big on data. Take a stroll on the website, and you can see as much. If we get the opportunity to help clear out a backlog of cases involving data we jump at the chance. And we provide many other kinds of support services. So if you found this interesting, check out more of our website. You might find a service that meshes with what you are looking for.
Starting in May, 2022, Xentity continues to work to clear a backlog of cases. This includes updating the USFS primary base map based upon the BLM’s base map information of property boundaries.