GIS Data Analysis

The DRWLE CWMA uses GIS to manage multiple data sets and track treatments over time

Eastern Michigan University has established the base-line distribution of Phragmites on most member lands but on-going treatments result in the data becoming out-dated quickly. Nevertheless, this baseline is critical to evaluating whether long-term objectives are being met. Current coverage and changes in plant communities can be evaluated periodically, and within specific areas of interest. Treatment data from all partners are maintained in a GIS database, which includes information on land ownership, and detailed treatment information including who conducted treatments; what treatment occurred and when; and herbicides used and rates. These data are entered annually and capacity is provided by USFWS and EMU.

The Michigan Invasive Species Grant has enabled the CWMA to input quantitative data, on the distribution and patch characteristics of Phragmites, and other priority invasives in GIS and the Michigan Invasive Species Information Network.  This method of compilation allows partners to quantify success to funders and track the effectiveness of different management regimes over time.

Because all of the data is stored in one database, this improves the ability of managers to see all treatments within the CWMA landscape and track effectiveness over time. However, compiling that data can be a challenge because it is often in different formats and it can be a challenger to get all the partners to report their activities.