Metadata for Montana Plant Observations Metadata for Montana Plant Observations
Identification Information:
Citation:
Originator: Montana Natural Heritage Program
Title: Montana Plant Observations
Publication place: Helena, MT
Publisher: Montana Natural Heritage Program
Online linkage: http://nris.mt.gov/reqapp/userMain.asp
Online linkage: http://mtnhp.org/
Online linkage: http://mtnhp.org/mapviewer/
Online linkage: http://fieldguide.mt.gov/

Abstract:
The Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) maintains point observation data for plant and animal species in Montana. These databases include information on the location, status, characteristics, and dates of observation. All data are reviewed by Montana Natural Heritage biologists. The observation data form the basis for Species Occurences of Species of Concern.
Purpose:
Observation data are collected and maintained by MTNHP using a standardized methodology to provide accurate and current biodiversity and conservation information to public and private agencies and individuals. Uses of the data can include: natural resource management, conservation planning, environmental review, biological and ecological research, land acquisition, and economic development.

Supplemental information:
Observations are updated on a continual basis as new data are received and reviewed.

Time period of content:
Currentness reference: Data are continuously updated.
Status:
Progress: In work
Maintenance and update frequency: Continually
Access constraints:
The information provided to you by MTNHP is intended for distribution or use only within your department, agency, or business. Subcontractors may have access to the data during the course of any given project, but should not be given a copy for their use on subsequent, unrelated work. MTNHP data are made freely available. Duplication of hard-copy or digital products with the intent to sell is prohibited without written consent by MTNHP. Should you be asked by individuals outside your organization for the type of data that we provide, please refer them to MTNHP.
Use constraints:
Species observation and Species Occurrence data obtained from the Montana Natural Heritage Program are intended for use only by the individual or organization who requested it. Because MTNHP constantly updates and revises its databases with new data and information, products may become less accurate over time. Interested parties are encouraged to obtain the most current information possible from MTNHP, rather than using older products. We add, delete, and change records on a daily basis; consequently, we strongly advise that you update your MTNHP data sets every three (3) months for most applications of our information.Additionally, MTNHPdata do not represent comprehensive inventories of all species in all locations. These products are not intended to subsitute for field-collected data, nor are they intended to be the sole basis for natural resource management decisions. In order to document MTNHP's intent regarding how digital data should be used and to educate users regarding the extent and limitations of the data, MTNHP requires a signed acknowledgement that specifies appropriate and inappropriate uses of the data. A copy of this acknowledgement can be made available upon request.
Point of contact:
Karen Coleman
Biological Data Systems Coordinator
Montana Natural Heritage Program
1515 East 6th Ave
Helena, MT 59620


Telephone: 406-444-3321
E-Mail: kvwcoleman@mt.gov


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Data Quality Information:
Attribute accuracy report:
The database is dependent on the research and observations of many scientists and individuals. In most cases this information is not the result of comprehensive site-specific field surveys, and is not confirmed by Heritage staff. Many areas have never been thoroughly surveyed, and new observations are still being discovered. Database information should never be regarded as final statements or substituted for on-site surveys required for environmental assessments.

Logical consistency report:
Plotted latitudes/longitudes are checked against standard digital themes such as counties, watershed, and USGS quadrangle and topographic maps. Species locations are also checked against known ranges for that species.
Completeness report:
General:
All data are provided as is. The Montana Natural Heritage Program makes no warranty as to the currency, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. Since the data in the Montana Natural Heritage Program databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data received on a quarterly basis for ongoing use. The data provided are for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. The data should not be considered a definitive statement on the presence, absence, or condition of biological elements at any given location. The lack of data for any geographic area cannot be construed to mean that no significant features are present. Observation information is derived from site visits; published or unpublished literature, museum specimens, and personal communications. Not all information is known or made available to the Natural Heritage Program. Many areas have not been adequately explored and new locations of species are continuously being discovered. Heritage information provides the best warning that an area may be rich in rare elements, but cannot be used to assess the opposite. Therefore, biological experts for certain species or land areas should be contacted to reconfirm species location and status.

Taxonomic Completeness:
Data are tracked for all vertebrate and invertebrate species and all vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens found in Montana when data are available.

Geographic Completeness:
In general, data are state-wide. However, there are some areas of the state where data are sparse. There are several large parcels of tribal lands scattered across the state, and data are often not available from these areas. Also, some areas have high concentrations of private lands where access to land for data collection is restricted.


Horizontal Positional Accuracy Report:
Observation locations are typically gathered via GPS unit or plotted against standard digital themes such as DRG topographical maps or digital photographs. Locational Uncertainty is estimated where the precise location is unknown or to represent the spatial extent of of the observation.

Lineage:

Process step:
Location information is stored and maintained as coordinate pairs. This data set is very dynamic with continual updates and additions. Shapefiles or feature classes are recreated using an event theme each time the data are requested.
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Spatial Data Organization Information:
Point and vector object information:
SDTS object type: Entity point
SDTS object count: 61237
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Entity and Attribute Information:

Attribute label: Observation_ID
Attribute definition: Unique identifier for each Observation record.
Attribute domain:
Sequential unique whole numbers that are automatically generated.

Attribute label: Feature_ID
Attribute definition:
ID of the SO that the Observation is associated with, if any.

Attribute label: ELCODE
Attribute definition:
Unique code for each species, roughly taxonomically sortable.

Attribute label: Species_Group
Attribute definition: Broad taxonomic group of the species.

Attribute label: S_Com_Name
Attribute definition: Common name for the species.

Attribute label: S_Sci_Name
Attribute definition: Scientific name for the species.

Attribute label: Family_Sci_Name
Attribute definition: Scientific name for the family of the species.

Attribute label: Order_Sci_Name
Attribute definition: Scientific name for the order of the species.

Attribute label: Class_Sci_Name
Attribute definition: Scientific name for the class of the species.

Attribute label: G_Rank
Attribute definition: Global rank.
Attribute domain: See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#msrc

Attribute label: S_Rank
Attribute definition: State rank.
Attribute domain: See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#msrc

Attribute label: S_Rank_Reasons
Attribute definition:
Reasons that the S_RANK was assigned, including key ranking variables and other considerations used

Attribute label: MT_Status
Attribute definition: Montana Species of Concern or other status.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
SOC Species of Concern
PSOC Potential Species of Concern
Review Status Under Review
SSS Special Status Species
IAH Important Animal Habitat
Noxious Noxious Weeds
Regulated Regulated Plants
Attribute domain:
See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#soc for more information.

Attribute label: USFS
Attribute definition: Status of species as designated by the U.S. Forest Service.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
Endangered Listed as Endangered (LE) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act
Threatened Listed as Threatened (LT) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act
Sensitive Listed as a Sensitive Species by USFS Northern Region (R1)
Attribute domain:
See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#usfs for more information.

Attribute label: BLM
Attribute definition:
Status of species as designated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
Sensitive Denotes species listed as sensitive on BLM lands.
Special Status Denotes species that are listed as Endangered or Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Attribute domain:
See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#blm for more information.

Attribute label: USESA
Attribute definition:
Status of species as designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act and other legislation.


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
LE Listed endangered
LT Listed threatened
C Candidate
DM Recovered, delisted, and being monitored
NL Not listed
XE Experimental - Essential population
XN Experimental - Nonessential population
CH Critical Habitat
PS:value Partial status: status in only a portion of the species range
BGEPA Protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
MBTA Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
BCC Birds of Conservation Concern
Attribute domain:
See http://fieldguide.mt.gov/statusCodes.aspx#usfws for more information.

Attribute label: USESA_Com
Attribute definition: Comments regarding the USESA status of the species.

Attribute label: Latitude
Attribute definition: Latitude in decimal degrees.

Attribute label: Longitude
Attribute definition: Longitude in decimal degrees.

Attribute label: SPX
Attribute definition: Montana State Plane (meters) X coordinate.

Attribute label: SPY
Attribute definition: Montana State Plane (meters) Y coordinate.

Attribute label: Loc_Uncert_M
Attribute definition: Locational uncertainty distance in meters.

Attribute label: Location
Attribute definition: Text field for description of location.

Attribute label: County
Attribute definition: County where observation is located.

Attribute label: Observer
Attribute definition: Person who made the observation.

Attribute label: Observers_Additional
Attribute definition:
Additional person or people who were in attendance when the observation was made.

Attribute label: Obs_Date_Start
Attribute definition: Earliest possible date of the observation.

Attribute label: Obs_Date_End
Attribute definition: Latest possible date of the observation.

Attribute label: Obs_Date_Text
Attribute definition: Text field for clarification or description of dates.

Attribute label: Species_Obs_Data
Attribute definition: Text field for species-related observation comments.

Attribute label: Habitat_Obs_Data
Attribute definition: Text field for habitat-related observation comments.

Attribute label: Pending
Attribute definition: Flag for "Pending Final Review".


Attribute
Value
Definition of
Attribute Value
0 Not pending. Data have been reviewed by an MTNHP Botanist for appropriateness of distribution and general habitat of the observation.
-1 or 1 Pending Final Review. Data have NOT been reviewed by an MTNHP Botanist for appropriateness of distribution and general habitat of the observation. Please use caution when using these records.

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Distribution Information:
Distributor:
Martin Miller
Data Assistant
Montana Natural Heritage Program
Helena, MT


Telephone: 406-444-3290
E-Mail: martinm@mt.gov


Resource description: offline data


Distribution liability:
The Observation database is a statewide inventory of known locations and conditions of plant and animal species. Users must recognize that parts of the state remain uninventoried or under-inventoried. Thus, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", nor does the documented presence of one species imply that other species were surveyed for but not found.

The Montana Natural Heritage Program (MTNHP) products and services are based on biological data and the objective interpretation of those data by professional scientists. MTNHP does not advocate any particular philosophy of natural resource protection, management, development, or public policy. MTNHP has no natural resource management or regulatory authority. Products, statements, and services from MTNHP are intended to inform parties as to the state of scientific knowledge about certain natural resources, and to further develop that knowledge. They are not intended at natural resource management guidelines or prescriptions.

Species range maps, habitat models, occurrence polygons, and other predictions of the spatial distribution of biological resources produced by MTNHP are objective extrapolations of credible data. They are intended to inform parties of the known occurrence or the likelihood of the presence of those resources, guide future surveys for those resources, and to test hypotheses regarding habitat quality and abundance. They are not intended to substitute for field-collected data, nor are they intended to be the sole basis for natural resource management decisions. We do not portray our databases as exhaustive or comprehensive inventories of rare species or of significant natural features. Field verification of the absence or presence of sensitive species will always be an important obligation of users of our data.

MTNHP assumes no liability for the use or misuse of this data.

Standard order process:
Fees: None
Ordering instructions:
Please make a request at http://nris.mt.gov/reqapp/userMain.asp or contact the Montana Natural Heritage Program.
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Metadata Reference Information:
Metadata date: 08/04/2016
Metadata contact:
Karen Coleman
Biological Data Systems Coordinator
Montana Natural Heritage Program
1515 East 6th Ave.
Helena, MT 59620


Telephone: 406-444-3321
E-Mail: kvwcoleman@mt.gov


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