The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies CHAT allows users to quickly identify crucial habitat in 16 western states, and to connect to more detailed habitat mapping. For state specific information, please visit the state site or email a state contact via the States page. For general information about the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies CHAT, contact the WAFWA Coordinator. Below are some helpful tips for using the site.
Navigating the Map
Zoom to Alaska or the Contiguous Western States to enable more
detailed crucial habitat information and analysis options.
- Pan to a new location by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the cursor across the map.
- Zoom to a specified area by holding down the Shift-key and the left mouse button. You may then draw a rectangular box that will set the new map extent.
- Search and zoom to a named location by using the “Go to…” search box above the map.
- View your current map extent within larger context using the small gazetteer map displayed in the lower-right of the map. This small map displays the boundaries of your current map extent.
Understanding the Map
- Explore the Crucial Habitat map. Darker blue areas where resources considered crucial to fish and wildlife habitat are more likely to be located. Lighter blue indicates areas where resources considered crucial to fish and wildlife habitat are less likely to be located.
- View detailed attributes for a single hexagon by clicking once on the hexagon of interest.
- View additional data input or ancillary are available through the Layers button including data input layers and ancillary data products like watershed boundaries.
- Change your Google basemap using the buttons in the upper-right of the map. You may select a satellite map, a street map, or terrain map.
Turn on additional crucial habitat input or ancillary data layers using the Layers
- Control layer visibility by clicking the colored bar just left of the layer title. s
- View additional details about the data layer by clicking the triangle icon.
Reorder layers by clicking and dragging a layer block up or down. The layer listed
first will display on top of other layers.
- Control layer transparency using the slider bar.
Select multiple feature using the orange Select button.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This tool is only activated once you are zoomed in to an
You may select and report on multiple hexagons using a
polygon select tool, linear select tool or by uploading a shapefile boundary.
- The Shapefile Selection tool will select features that intersect with an uploaded shapefile polygon. The tool requires a zip file containing the necessary shapefile components (.shp, .sbx, .dbf, and .prj). The tool will reproject most shapefiles using common coordinate systems, but if issues arise, use coordinate system EPSG:3857.
Sharing the Map
Share your interactive map using the link button above the map. The URL includes the
map extent, the layer display and transparency level of your map. The print button
generates a printable image of the current map and uses your browsers print
Accessing the Data
Metadata describing crucial habitat is presented in several areas of the site. An overall description of the west-wide crucial habitat layer is available on the Metadata page, and included upon downloading the geospatial data. Information about each state’s crucial habitat prioritization can be explored on the Metadata pages as well. Users with specific metadata interests can use th metadata search tool to filter and refine results. The Resources page presents information about West-wide data sources that many states included in CHAT.
Download the Crucial Habitat data layer to use the shapefile within your GIS desktop software. Please submit contact information which will be used to keep users aware of enhancements and updates to the data. The downloadable file includes metadata and is accessible via the Data Download page.
The web services leveraged by this application's map have been made publicly available, and are free to use by anyone. Our intention is to make it easy for desktop GIS users and developers to find new and interesting applications for the data provided.