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The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF) is a nonprofit organization based in Colorado, USA. CLF is the official umbrella organization for the Friends Grassroots Network, a group of more than 60 community-based “Friends” organizations who work to protect their local public lands. The mission of CLF is “to protect, restore and expand the National Conservation Lands through education, advocacy and partnerships.”

CLF requested two volunteers from GISCorps to support the Friends groups in science-based data collection, spatial analytics, maintenance and improvement of their Terra TRUTH mobile application, as well as the creation of online and static maps. The volunteers were asked to help two CLF Friends groups immediately, the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners and Friends of the Inyo.  They may also help other friends groups in the future, including Friends of Gold Butte, Colorado Canyons Association, Friends of the Agua Fria National Monument, and the Western Slope Conservation Center. Volunteers Alexis Handelman and Chris Packer were paired with CLF in September 2018 and work was soon underway.

In February 2019, Alexis Handelman reported back on the work she performed to help CLF Friend organizations make data-driven decisions:

Trail Maintenance Survey123 form

First, I created a few sample surveys using Survey123. Survey123 is an easy way to create user-friendly, public, form-based surveys that are backed with the power of GIS. These sample surveys are intended to be used by CLF to showcase to their Friends groups how Survey123 can engage the public to facilitate data collection. The sample surveys include a survey for locations of trail maintenance, a survey to indicate if water features are wet or dry in Agua Fria National Monument, and a survey that can be used by the Junior Ranger program.

In order to help CLF visualize the current political climate and make decisions from a political, data-driven perspective, I built a national level story map of BLM land with political boundaries. This story map has a tab to view national conservation lands as well as political boundaries and party affiliations, and locations of military installations throughout the United States.

Story Map depicting BLM lands, political boundaries, party affiliations, and military installations.

Lastly, to help showcase the work the CLF has done and highlight how far-reaching their influence is, I created a CLF Grants story map. This story map shows where CLF funding has been put to use in each state over the last decade. Each tab summarizes a different year and shows how much funding each state received that year. The story map really highlights CLF’s growth over the last decade.

Story Map summarizing state-level CLF grant funding by year.
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