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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the principal Federal agency that provides information to the public on the extent and status of the Nation's wetlands. The USFWS strategic plan for our vast national wetland data holdings is focused on the development, update, and dissemination of wetlands data and information to USFWS resource managers and the public. The development of the Wetlands Master Geodatabase is in direct response to the need to integrate digital map data with other resource information to produce timely and relevant management and decision support tools. Wetlands provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and a variety of plants. Wetlands are nurseries for many saltwater and freshwater fishes and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance. Wetlands are also important landscape features because they hold and slowly release flood water and snow melt, recharge groundwater, act as filters to cleanse water of impurities, recycle nutrients, and provide recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people.
The goal of the National Wetlands Inventory is to provide the citizens of the United States and its Trust Territories with current geospatially referenced information on the status, extent, characteristics and functions of wetland, riparian, deepwater and related aquatic habitats in priority areas to promote the understanding and conservation of these resources.
With growing interest in riparian habitats in the western U.S., the USFWS undertook early riparian mapping projects for several agencies in Arizona in the early 1990s. Additional projects were conducted for the National Park Service in Nevada, and the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming. Each project included a variety of definitions, classifications, and mapping conventions. The USFWS was regularly asked to map riparian areas in the western US, but lacked a standard definition and conventions to guide the mapping. Though riparian digital map data can stand alone; it is recommended that this data be used in conjunction with the associated Cowardin wetlands data. This will provide a “complete picture” of the ecological systems that have been mapped.
Since riparian data collection is a product of more recent times, a large percentage of the data are available digitally, although some of the early riparian mapping efforts are still hardcopy only.
FWS Wetlands and Riparian
Single Fused Map Cache:
Spatial Reference: 4326
Spatial Reference: 4326
Supported Image Format Types:
- Title: USFWS Wetlands and Riparian Data
- Author: Tom Dahl USFWS
- Comments: Due to the quantity and complexity of the data, wetlands and riparian data only displays at 1:250,000 scale and greater.
- Subject: Wetlands, Riparian and status polygons
- Keywords: Wetlands, Riparian