Image11.gif (16979 bytes)gic.gif (13960 bytes)


Geographic Information Council (WAGIC)

December 16, 1999

Teleconference originating from

DIS Interactive Technologies, Lacey, WA


Introductions – Larry Sugarbaker, WAGIC Chair - From Lacey, Larry opened the meeting and welcomed council members in the Tri-Cities, Bellingham, Spokane, Seattle, Vancouver, and Wenatchee. Larry asked for a motion to accept the October 21, 1999 meeting minutes as written. The motion was made and passed.

Welcome New Council Member - Steve Desselle, DOR

Steve gave a brief summary of his background and an overview of how the Department of Revenue (DOR) is using GIS information. In the last eighteen months, DOR has been working on a pilot system to use GIS to provide taxing information for a research group and businesses in the community. A DOR Internet application provides taxing information for businesses operating in various locations. Annexations are based on information provided by the counties and there are currently over three hundred taxing locations on line. Ian noted that Spokane County has been working with DOR and stated that this is an area that could be used to integrate county and state GIS functions. Framework activities are essential to move this effort forward.

Larry stated that there was a motion on the floor to accept Department of Revenue's request for membership on the Council and asked for a vote. The motion passed.

Council Vote on Support for IAC Budget Request - Jeff Holm

Jeff reminded council members of the October presentation by Karl Herzog from the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC). The proposal was to enhance the cadastral framework data through a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional project. While the project was proposed as a supplemental budget package request, the approach of the agencies and jurisdictions involved is not necessarily tied to that fact. Jeff asked that the Council focus on the value of approaching data collection in this manner and use to use this proposal as a model in seeking different sources of funding.

Andrew Kinney, Framework Management Group Chair made a motion that the Council provide a formal letter of support for the project's approach to improve the GIS based public lands and growth management information through the cadastral framework program. Larry asked for discussion of the recommendation and called for the vote. The motion passed. Larry noted that the recommendation helps the Council move forward on this Priority Action Item and gives a direction for dealing with some of the cadastral framework issues.

DOH GIS Symposium Update - Glen Patrick

The Department of Health hosted a day long GIS meeting in Ellensburg, the focus of which was to bring public and environmental health representatives from local and county health jurisdictions together to discuss the use of GIS. The meeting included six presentations to over 70 participants. The goal of the meeting was to encourage communication and coordination between counties and local health jurisdictions. The outcome of the meeting was a list of those health representatives and an opportunity for a follow up questionnaire asking what their future use of GIS might be and how can DOH help move that forward and encourage data sharing. Typical applications right now range from identifying public water supply systems, well-head locations, child immunizations, and monitoring of on site septic systems. Glen can be reach at

Salmon Recovery Data Issues - Larry Sugarbaker

Larry briefed the Council on recent activities relative to salmon recovery and the issues currently being raised. Larry reminded the Council that one action item in the Strategic Plan addresses understanding data requirements for natural resources data. A recent effort in the Puget Sound area has been to initiate some activities to open discussion around information sharing and understanding data requirements for salmon recovery. This would hopefully enable organizations to work together to improve the quality and availability of the data. This group has met twice and developed a document that identifies over one hundred data resources which may help address salmon recovery information needs. Additional meetings are planned for the Puget Sound area and those interested can contact Larry at or Gene Thorley at

Gene noted that that a Salmon Atlas CD that contains data of varying resolutions is being used by the USGS in a pilot program. This information is very useful in briefing decision makers and showing how this data can be effectively used in the salmon restoration effort. Members interested in obtaining a copy of this CD can contact Jeff Holm at

Various recent meetings which have included Karen Terwilleger, Staff to the House Democratic Caucus and Steve Leider, who is on the Governor's Salmon Recovery Team have raised questions as to what kind data is being collected, how does it relate to salmon recovery, and how are these activities being coordinated between groups. As salmon recovery affects so many areas, the challenge remains to bring leadership and coordination to the issue.

Andrew Kinney stated that salmon issues are having a greater impact on Thurston county than I-695 is projected to have. While I-695 is impacting many of the social programs, salmon recovery has impacted the roads program, zoning ordinances, the permit process and permit review. Andrew stated that coordination of the WRIA's would be an effective place to start. Joy Denkers offered that requests for data are coming in from agencies and well as outside organizations which points to the need for a better way to get the information out to groups who are just now starting to deal with GIS. Joy suggested the Council sponsor a summit or a workshop to bring together these organizations to address the question of how to do the assessments and what kind of data is available. Gene Hoerauf (WWU) shared that his experience with two different organizations both involved in salmon habitat showed that while both were working at different levels of detail, there was often a duplication of effort.

Shelly Snyder offered information on a recent effort by the Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in using salmon recovery dollars from IAC to spatially enable information collected from the Salmon and Steelhead Habitat Inventory and Assessment Program. Those who would like more information on this program can contact Shelly at

Priority Action Projects Update - Larry Sugarbaker

Larry reviewed the progress of the Priority Action Committee and noted that the action item facts sheets are posted on the WAGIC web page ( for comment and review. An Action Item Watch will be added to the meeting agendas and at each council meeting there will a chance to review reports on activities that may be in direct support of accomplishing these action items. The facilitators will be meeting soon to review the comments and plan the next steps for the Council. Larry encouraged council members to begin planning for sponsorship for the spatial information legislative agendas for the 2001 - 2003 biennium.

GIS Leadership Workgroup – Jeff Holm

Jeff reminded council members that one of the priority action items identified in the Strategic Plan is 'Strengthening GIS Leadership'. Discussions around that issue have included several items such as finding champions for the priority action items. Jeff stated that this may represent an opportunity to revisit the structure of the Council and its leadership and explore a more effective means of operating. As the organization has grown it has become apparent that resources are limited in terms of both staff and funds. As it may be time to formally approach the Legislature for funds, Jeff proposed forming an ad hoc work group to explore the issues surrounding this action item. This group would look at leadership for the individual priority actions, council structure, and any proposed legislative package.

To ensure success, this workgroup would need to be composed of cross-jurisdictional representation and would need to convene by February. Larry clarified that this was not a proposal to change the structure of the Council or a request for a long-term commitment but rather a request for participation in an ad hoc group to explore the options that are available.

Nominating Committee for Chair – Jeff Holm

Jeff reminded the Council that Larry Sugarbaker is in his last term as Chair of the Council which will run through the end of May. Jeff asked the Council to create a nominating committee to identify possible candidates and to also help administer the elections. The nominating committee would look for candidates in the months of February and March with a candidate forum being held at the April meeting. The election for chair will be done by a fax ballot in May with the announcement of the successful candidate at the June meeting. Meetings for the nominating committee will be scheduled after the first of the year.

Clearinghouse Updates--Hanford, Steve Rush -

The requirements phase for the clearinghouse has been completed and the hope is to someday become a node for the Washington State Clearinghouse. Currently, they are working with the facilities and structures framework layer and the geodesic control framework project which is focussing on on-site GPS activity. Improvements in data sharing on the local level is helping establish a framework beyond the Hanford boundaries by involving the local government agencies. Full endorsement from the Department of Energy will bring significant improvements in the project.

Coastal Erosion Study, DOE - Brian Voght

This study is in the fourth year of a five-year study. It is jointly directed by the USGS and the Department of Ecology. They are actively researching the stretch of coast between Point Granville, WA and Tillamook Head, OR. The first effort as part of the study was to develop a geodesic control network of 76 monuments. Once the network was in place the research could begin. While the USGS is taking the lead on the regional geology, DOE's primary roles are monitoring the coastal processes, documenting historical shoreline change, and serving as a link between the local and federal interests. The study has received some grant funding and is in the process of documenting over 150 data layers. Completed data records will be posted on the clearinghouse.

Hydro Clearinghouse - Joy Denkers

One of the ongoing efforts has been defining the data dictionary and model for the hydrography effort. Recently Oregon and Washington have begun to work together developing a data model that should be completed by the end of the year. Funding to build the clearinghouse has been provided by the Inter-organizational Resource Information Coordinating Council (IRICC) who has hired ESRI to build the clearinghouse. Carrie Wolfe has been working with others to develop guidelines, roles, and responsibilities for the organizations as they participate in the clearinghouse. Carrie has spearheaded the development of several documents which define these areas and work out the relationships of the many councils and organizations involved.

Closing Site Roundtable - Larry Sugarbaker

Meeting Adjourned: 12:00 p.m.

Next meeting - February 17th, 1999 at 10:00 a.m.