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Yellowstone area field trip

On 21, Nov 2016 | In Cartography, Greater Yellowstone | By Eric Compas

As part of my research sabbatical this year, I’ve recently returned from the first of two research trips to the Yellowstone region. The goal of this trip was to visit the archives at both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to collect information about ecosystem management and private lands and to acquire more information from the US Forest Service about their acquisition and exchange of private lands. I was able to collect over a 1,000 pages of archive documentation on the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, the parks’ role in ecosystem management and influencing adjacent private lands, and related correspondence. For the GIS analysis, I was successful in acquiring data from the USFS to recreate forest ownership for the last 40-50 years.

Using ArcGIS’s time tools, I was fairly quickly able to visualize these changes:

USFS land ownership changes

Along with verifying the preliminary ownership data with historic forest service maps, my next steps are to add information about conservation easements and compare these two forms of land protection with various land protection priorities, e.g. grizzly bear habitat, within the ecosystem.