Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) Data for Illinois

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Frequently-anticipated questions:


What does this data set describe?

Title: Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) Data for Illinois
Abstract:
This data set depicts the locations of Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) sites in Illinois. These sites contain one or more of the following: high quality natural communities, specific suitable habitat for state-listed species, state dedicated Nature Preserves, outstanding geological features, species reintroductions and translocations, unusual concentrations of flora or fauna, and/or high quality streams.
Supplemental_Information:
In 1978 the INAI identified 1,085 significant natural areas; 513 sites have since been added, 311 sites have been deleted and 83 sites have been combined. We presently (1/01/02) have a total of 1,199 INAI sites throughout Illinois. Inventory methodologies are being revised to reflect the needs of today's landscape. Standards and guidelines have been developed by Natural Areas Protection Program staff to document the Inventory process. Leading scientific experts throughout the State and the Department had the opportunity to provide input into this process. Definitions for significant feature categories, eligibility criteria, community types, community grading and methods are among the important aspects being updated to reflect the knowledge gained by the Department during its past 23 years of work with the INAI. Based on these standards, the INAI is updated quarterly with sites being added, deleted or modified in some way (change in boundary, category, etc.) under the recommendation of the Department and decision making abilities of the Natural Areas Evaluation Committee. The Natural Areas Evaluation Committee is an in-house Committee made up of three staff of the Division of Natural Heritage, one staff of the Nature Preserves Commission and one staff of the Endangered Species Protection Board. The Natural Areas Protection Program Manager chairs these meetings. Sites nominated for the INAI must meet eligibility criteria and have the appropriate documentation submitted. Once a site is approved for the INAI, it is re-surveyed a minimum of once every three years. If significant changes are observed, a re-evaluation of the site is performed by the Department. The appropriate action is then taken by the Committee at its next quarterly meeting. Data recorded for INAI sites are collected using standard design and methods to ensure comparability with past and future data. Community quality rating (grading) is based on standards that approximate pre-settlement conditions.
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Tara Kieninger (ed.), Illinois Natural Heritage Database Progr, 20051117, Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) Data for Illinois: Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield, IL.

    Online Links:

    Other_Citation_Details:
    This is part of the following larger work.

    .

    Online Links:

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -90.2621
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -89.6243
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 38.2668
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 38.0879

  3. What does it look like?

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Ending_Date: Present
    Currentness_Reference:
    Data is current as of the date it is exported from the Illinois Natural Heritage Database

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Map

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • GT-polygon composed of chains (12)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      The map projection used is Lambert Conformal Conic.

      Projection parameters:
      Standard_Parallel: 33.000000
      Standard_Parallel: 45.000000
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -89.500000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 33.000000
      False_Easting: 3000000.003620
      False_Northing: 0.000000
      Standard_Parallel: 33.000000
      Standard_Parallel: 45.000000
      Longitude_of_Central_Meridian: -89.500000
      Latitude_of_Projection_Origin: 33.000000
      False_Easting: 3000000.003620
      False_Northing: 0.000000

      Planar coordinates are encoded using Coordinate pair
      Planar coordinates are specified in Feet

      The horizontal datum used is North American Datum of 1927.
      The ellipsoid used is Clarke 1866.
      The semi-major axis of the ellipsoid used is 20925832.1618739.
      The flattening of the ellipsoid used is 1/294.98.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    inai_tara.dbf
    Shapefile Attribute Table (Source: None)

    Shape_id
    A unique, sequential number assigned to the shape of an occurrence.

    Numeric Field

    Site_name
    Name of the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site.

    Character Field

    Nai_number
    A unique number assigned to the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory site for tracking purposes.

    Numeric Field


Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program, Illinois
    c/o Tara Kieninger
    Database Program Manager
    Office of Resource Conservation, One Natural Resources Way
    Springfield, IL 62702
    USA

    (217)782-2685 (voice)
    (217)785-2438 (FAX)
    tkieninger@dnrmail.state.il.us

    Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm, Central Time Zone


Why was the data set created?

The Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) was originally developed as a tool for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) to identify significant natural resources that qualified for formal protection. In order for the IDNR and INPC staff to initiate protection of these resources, they needed a list of sites detailing their location, special aspects and condition. Hence, the INAI, a compiled list of all the significant natural resources or features remaining in Illinois was conceptualized and begun in 1975. The original list took three years to compile and is now updated quarterly. From the original field exercise, the INAI has evolved into an ongoing, "quasi-regulatory" program for the State. The Endangered Species Consultation Program depends on the INAI to initiate their review process and the Illinois Interagency Wetland Policy Act uses it to determine replacement values for impacted wetlands. The INAI is the primary tool used for land protection within the Department and many conservation agencies and groups throughout Illinois. It is also used to guide acquisition, management, stewardship, restoration, and monitoring efforts.


How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

    (source 1 of 1)
    .

    Online Links:

    Other_Citation_Details:
    This is part of the following larger work.

    .

    Online Links:

    Type_of_Source_Media:
    Source_Scale_Denominator:
    Source_Contribution:

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    (process 1 of 1)
    A) Data are collected in the field by IDNR biologists and other experts. B) Data are digitized and transcribed in Biotics by INHD data managers using ArcView 3.x and a custom mapping interface known as Biotics 4 (see Mapping with Biotics below). C) Prior to export, data integrity scripts are run to ensure spatial and narrative information are synchronized. D) Oracle attributes are joined to the element occurrence shapefile. E) Tabular and spatial data is exported using the Biotics Exchanger and Export - Project tools. Mapping with Biotics: The software essentially walks the user through the process of developing EO reps according to the revised EO Methodology. For a compehensive desciption of this methodology, see: htt://whiteoak.natureserve.org/eodraft/index.htm. In addition, Biotics automatically creates and maintains separate themes for different feature types, along with associated attributes. In order to map a new EO using Biotics, the following process is used: 1) Digitize and Evaluate Source Feature(s) a) Digitize the appropriate source feature (point, line, or polygon) based on the size of the observed area (compared with the minimum mapping unit for the scale map being used) and the amount and direction of uncertainty associated with that location. b) Assign attributes to source feature by entering fields in source feature window. c) If the source feature has areal estimatd locational uncertainty, buffer with a graphic using the specified uncertainty distance class as the radius. d) Repeat the preceding three steps for each additional observed area for the Element. e) Evaluate separation distances (obtained from the EO specifications) between source feature(s) and other EO reps and independent source features of the same Element. Indicate which feature(s) are to comprise an EO 2) Develop EO Reps a) Based on the grouping of source features and their associated attributes, Biotics will automatically create EO reps, adding any uncertainty or procedural buffers as appropriate. b) Biotics will automatically assign a unique identifier and calculate spatial attributes, storing them with the appropriate themes. Derivation of EO polygons directly from field observations: Under current methodology and technology, all EOs are represented as polygon features. These features are derived from field observations that are digitized directly into GIS and buffered by locational uncertainty. Locational uncertainty can be measured/ delimited directly from the field, estimated, or negligible (usually <6.25m in all directions as with corrected GPS coordinates). Observations that are below a minimum mapping unit (12.5m) distance in either two dimensions (points) or one dimension (lines) and that contain negligible locational uncertainty are buffered using a procedural buffer (6.25m) to create polygons. Derivation of EO polygons from EO point conversion: Under old methodology and technology, embodied by the Biological and Conservation Database (BCD), EOs were originally mapped as points on paper maps and then later digitized into GIS as point features. These features were assigned a precision value that indicated the accuracy of the locality of the EO. During conversion of these EOs from points to polygons, this precision value is used to determine the buffer distance used to create the EO polygon. Point EOs with a precision value of seconds (3-second radius) are buffered 100 m during polygon conversion. Point EOs with a precision value of minutes (1-minute radius) are buffered 2,000 m during polygon conversion. Derivation of compound EO polygons: Discrete or non-contiguous EO polygons of the same species/element can be aggregated into one compound EO depending upon the distance that separate non-contiguous EOs. This distance, separation distance, is the amount of intervening area that determines whether source features of an element should be grouped as part of the same (complex) element occurrence, or should be considered as discrete element occurrences. When available, separation distances are specific to species/elements. When unavailable, a default separation distance of 1 km is used.

    Person who carried out this activity:

    Tara Kieninger
    Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program, Illinois
    Database Program Manager
    Office of Resource Conservation, One Natural Resources Way
    Springfield, IL 62702
    USA

    (217)782-2685 (voice)
    (217)785-2438 (FAX)
    tkieninger@dnrmail.state.il.us

    Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm, Central Time Zone
    Data sources used in this process:

    Data sources produced in this process:

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?


How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    Attribute information is based on upon 1) information provided to the Natural Heritage Database Program, 2) values automatically assigned by, and 3) values selected by database program staff. Endangered and threatened species locations are mapped by one staff member and then quality controlled by another staff member. Some attributes are also compared periodically against a master set of attribute values. Attribute accuracy is obtained by comparing manual hard copy and electronic plots of information as submitted to the database to the resulting digital shape. Occasionally, digital data is based on the submission of GPS coordinates. In all cases, the digital shape is expanded, either while digitizing or through the use of a buffer, to account for poor incoming data, vague descriptions, or error associated with GPS to create a shape large enough to ensure that the reported element is contained. An assessment of the accuracy of attributes captured in the field by the observer has not been completed.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    Unknown

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

    Unknown

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    These data are dependent on the research and observations of many scientists and institutions and reflect our current state of knowledge. Data are acquired from various sources, with varying levels of accuracy, and are continually updated and revised. Many areas have never been surveyed and the absence of data in any particular geographic area does not necessarily mean that species, communities, or other resources of concern are not present. This data set includes information regarding threatened and endangered (T&E) species, significant natural communities, and other natural resources in Illinois both received and entered into Biotics 4 by the Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program at the time of publication. T&E bird data is only included in the database when there is reasonable evidence of breeding, except in the case of wintering bald eagles and a few other roosting occurrences. Natural communities are only included in the database if they meet a minimum set of criteria as defined by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI). Criteria include size, quality, and relative rarity of the community in a particular natural division of the state. The database only tracks species listed as threatened or endangered by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. INHD also has a "backlog" of data, essentially hard copy and digital field forms that have not been processed and added to the digital data set. These data should not be regarded as a substitute for on-site surveys required for environmental assessments. If you notice significant data gaps for a certain species or geographic area, please submit data or send us a reference.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    All element occurrence records are mapped as accurately as reported. Element occurrence (EO) locations are all mapped in GIS using the Biotics Mapper tool (see process steps for information about mapping in this system). Spatial data is updated and reviewed on an ongoing basis.


How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Access_Constraints:
Heritage data is only for the intended use of the Heritage data is only for the intended use of the individual or organization who requested it. This database and accompanying files may not be distributed in any way without the consent of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Illinois Natural Heritage Database (INHD) Program. Use of the data is subject to the terms of a Data License Agreement (DLA) or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) developed between the Natural Heritage Database Program and the information requestor. Hence, the enclosed data are CONFIDENTIAL AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH. Data provided will be limited to the minimal geographic scale needed, may only be used for the project specified in the DLA or MOU, and is time limited. The user must comply with any additional criteria specified in the DLA or MOU. If other individuals or agencies are interested in these data, contact INHD's Program Manager directly at (217)782-2685.
Use_Constraints:
These data are strictly "on loan" and should be considered "works in progress". Publication, reproduction, or redistribution of the data set or products derived therefrom to parties not covered in the DLA or MOU is expressly forbidden without the consent of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' (IDNR) Natural Heritage Database (INHD)Program. In any publication that is approved, licensee agrees to cite the source of the data as such: Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program. 2005. Element Occurrence Data for Endangered Species and Rare Resources in Illinois. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System (Biotics). Department of Natural Resources, State of Illinois. Data exported 05/05/2005. The element occurrence data is a product and property of the Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program, Illinois Department of Natural Resources. INHD data are supplemental and care should be taken in interpreting these data. INHD data include spatial, tabular, and narrative components. While element locations are defined by spatial components, the tabular and narrative components define quality and usability of the EO record. To ensure accurate application of the INHD data, tabular and narrative components must be evaluated in conjunction with spatial components. The user may also need to consult with the INHD program for clarification. Failure to do so constitutes misuse of the data. Data users must ensure that all data products present the data in a way that will not compromise any species populations; therefore the data users shall: (1) not display specific locational data for any endangered or threatened species, but shall at most indicate that there is a sensitive species at a specific area, or (2) randomize within a USGS Quadrangle the precise location of an endangered or threatened species, or (3) for an endangered or threatened species occurrence with a precise location, the data users should display the area at a scale at which the user cannot tell where the species is located on the ground. Users should obtain permission from the INHD Program before displaying endangered and threatened species data in such a way that individual species locations can be pinpointed. Upon expiration of the DLA or MOU, the user will deleted the dataset from their active computer system(s) and shall not generate new maps, risk assessments, data analyses, or other products after that date. If all parties agree, the user has the option to extend use of the dataset by extending the term of or renewing the DLA or MOU and receiving an updated version of the dataset from the INHD Program. Receipt of this data does not negate IDNR's Endangered Species Consulation process. These data should not be regarded as substitute for on-site surveys required or environmental assessments. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence. Absence of any data does not mean the other resources of special concern do not occur, but rather INHD has not received and/or entered this information in order to document its presence. The data contained herein are provided on an as-is, as-available basis without warranties of any kind, expressed or implied. INHD and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources expressly disclaim any warranty that the data are error-free or current as of the date supplied. Receipt of data does not negate IDNR's endangered species consultation process, where applicable. User should be aware that the electronic portion of the data is only a representation of the more extensive information available in manual files. IDNR cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data set, rather than can only summarize the information known to the INHD Program at the time of the agreement or understanding.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program, Illinois
    c/o Tara Kieninger
    Database Program Manager
    Office of Resource Conservation, One Natural Resources Way
    Springfield, IL 62702
    USA

    (217)782-2685 (voice)
    (217)785-2438 (FAX)
    tkieninger@dnrmail.state.il.us

    Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm, Central Time Zone
  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Illinois Natural Areas Inventory sites

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    Users must assume responsibility to determine the appropriate use of the data. This data set is not meant to be a definitive statement of presence or absence of a species or element in a particular area. This data is not a substitute for field surveys or investigations. The data is dynamic and continually changing. It is the responsibility of the user to request regular updates to the information on a regular basis, determined by the type of project in which it is being used. Use of this data does not negate IDNR's endangered species consultation process.

  4. How can I download or order the data?


Who wrote the metadata?

Dates:
Last modified: 17-Nov-2005
Metadata author:
Illinois Natural Heritage Database Program, Illinois
c/o Tara Kieninger
Database Program Manager
Office of Resource Conservation, One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
USA

(217)782-2685 (voice)
(217)785-2438 (FAX)
tkieninger@dnrmail.state.il.us

Hours_of_Service: Monday-Friday, 8am - 4:30pm, Central Time Zone
Metadata standard:
FGDC CSDGM (FGDC-STD-001-1998)


Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse

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