We have taken on two pilot project to illustrate use of the data and tools
available through this project for local decision making. The first project involves hydrologic modeling of the
Miller Creek Watershed. Miller Creek is a relatively high quality trout stream that runs through the
cities of Duluth and Hermantown,
MN. The stream originates in wetlands and undeveloped
shrublands and woodlands northwest of Duluth, flows through a heavily commercialized area around Miller Hill Mall, through residential
areas as it drops rapidly towards Lake Superior, and ends in an industrial area near its mouth.
The Miller Creek watershed contains several new strip malls, and further commercial development is under construction. This has generated a wide
public concern over issues over environmental quality, particularly with respect to degradation of trout habitat resulting from increased stream
temperatures, sediment inputs, and degraded water quality. To inform the decision-making
process, we have assembled detailed land use maps of the Miller Creek watershed, and employed the EPA's PC-SWMM, a well-documented
hydrologic model, to predict flow and pollution loads to the creek.
Our second prototype effort involves compiling spatial data and other resources
to support local units of government in citizen-based land use planning
exercises. The objective of this exercise is to compile data and tools relevant
to local-scale land use planning onto a CD-ROM for use by local units of
government. For this exercise, we are focusing on the four counties in northern
Wisconsin that have lands in the Lake Superior watershed: Douglas, Bayfield,
Ashland, and Iron.
The CD will contain the following
|basic information describing the processes involved in
|spatial data - land use, transportation, rivers and lakes, natural
features, political boundaries, and other data layers relevant to local-scale planning.|
|planning tools - example surveys and ordinances language, zoning policies,
development/preservation strategies, and other instruments that a local government could tailor to its specific needs|
| landscape graphics - air photo or line drawing examples of different
scenarios illustrating housing density and patterns (clustered or dispersed),
riparian buffers, and other land use strategies. This would provide information on what a future landscape might look like under
particular management strategies|
|Example landscape plans developed by cooperating governments|
The planning text materials for the CD
are being developed in cooperation with the Center for Rural Design at the
University of Minnesota, with a scheduled release data of late winter, 2002.
Click here to view the GIS data that will be
included on the CD-ROM.
The CD will be written in standard HTML code to allow access with available
web browsers. Publicly available map viewing tools such as Arc Explorer will also be provide to provide basic querying of map products. The CD will
be designed to stand alone, but will also contain links to web sites to access a
broader range of information.