SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Land Management-Utah (BLM) and American Conservation Experience (ACE) have partnered to develop an electronic citizen science monitoring program for Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in Utah. The new iOS application, called WildSNAP, is now available for download through Apple’s App Store. The BLM and ACE invite the public to help monitor WSAs and enjoy this new opportunity to participate in the care of public lands.
“The WildSNAP app packages the traditional approach of using a stack of paper, pen, camera, resource guides, compass and maps into a single, cleanly packaged and user-friendly interface. This new app technology will make field data collection more useful and efficient. WildSNAP is a one stop shop for WSA monitoring,” said ACE Director of Technology, Tim England.
The app will be available to members of the public who complete the required online training. The app is compatible with iOS devices only. The initial public launch will be limited to iPads; however, the app will be supported on iPhones in the near future. The app allows users to collect information about natural and cultural resources within nine WSAs throughout the state.
“BLM-Utah is incredibly excited about the potential for the WildSNAP app to engage a new generation citizens in the stewardship of public lands. WildSNAP brings the past and the present together. Wilderness Study Areas protect some of America’s most pristine and primitive landscapes, while this new mobile monitoring app brings monitoring into the 21st century,” stated Aaron Curtis, Branch Chief for Outdoor and Heritage Resources.
The monitoring data will assist BLM in managing WSAs to maintain their suitability for preservation as Wilderness and prevent impairment to wilderness characteristics. Members of the public that collect data through the app are considered “citizen scientists” and greatly enhance the BLM’s monitoring efforts on public lands. Data collected through the app is sent to the local BLM office, and once verified by BLM staff, it becomes part of the official file. The BLM will review the information to determine whether any responses are appropriate when issues are discovered.
BLM-Utah has developed site specific guides for nine WSAs: Crack Canyon, Mexican Mountain, San Rafael Reef, Sids Mountain, Deep Creek Mountains, North Stansbury Mountains, Spring Creek Canyon, Wah Wah Mountains, and White Rock Range. In total, BLM manages 86 WSAs in Utah. Additional monitoring guides will be released on a rolling basis.
ACE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America’s public lands.
For more information, see www.wildSNAP.org or contact Peter Woodruff, American Conservation Experience Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or Allison Ginn, BLM-Utah National Conservation Lands Program Lead at email@example.com.