CHAT Winter Meeting

January 5, 2021 - January 5, 2021

A Virtual Event

Learn about the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT) delivering data-driven solutions as part of WAFWA’s Western Fire Symposium.


A GIS-based decision support system providing quick access to state fish and wildlife agency priorities related to crucial habitats and important migration areas. Learn more about CHAT and how this tool can assist with wildlife early planning, mitigation and recovery efforts. Make plans now to join us online!

Learn more about WAFWA’s Mid-Winter Meeting and the Western Fire Symposium HERE.



All events are in Mountain Standard time. Schedule is subject to change – last updated 12/22/2020.

Download Agenda

Tuesday, January 5, 2021
1:00 pmWelcome & Introductions – Jennifer Psyllakis, CHAT Director Sponsor
1:10 – 1:20 pm
An Introduction to the WAFWA Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT)
Chanda Pettie, CHAT Coordinator presents an overview of CHAT’s history and development, and how this decision support tool is promoting the incorporation of state-based wildlife conservation values into landscape-level land use planning efforts.
1:20 – 1:50 pm
CHAT in Action: Forest Action Plan
Tyre Holfeltz, Wildfire Risk Mitigation Program Manager and Andrew Mock GIS Analysist with the Idaho Department of Lands provides a presentation and discussion on how CHAT, along with other data sources, was used to develop the Idaho Forest Action Plan (July 2020).
2:00 – 2:20 pmCHAT in Action: Arizona’s Conservation Analysis Tool
Joyce Francis Ph.D., Arizona Conservation Strategy Project Manager with the Arizona Game and Fish Department presents on the development of the Arizona Wildlife Conservation Strategy and Conservation Analysis Tool (CAT).
2:20 – 2:50 pm
CHAT Potential: Shared Stewardship – Multi-Agency Project Collaboration
Timmons Group presents their Shared Wildfire Risk Mitigation (SWRM) Tool developed in partnership with DOI (USFWS etc.), USDA agencies and select Western States, that facilitates collaborative spatial planning and accomplishment tracking. Discussion will focus on the potential to leverage CHAT in SWRM to aid partners land management accomplishments.
3:00 – 5:00 pm— TECHNICAL SESSION —
3:00 – 3:15 pmIntroducing the Under-the-Hood (UTH) Tool
Dana Peterson, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and CHAT Technology Team Member introduces CHAT’s newest feature, the Under-the-Hood tool. Developed by the CHAT-Data Community (CHAT-DC) to provide users with quick access to the data used to develop the CHAT rankings.
3:15 – 4:00 pm
(time flexible)
Adding Data to the UTH – A Hands-on Walk Through
Miles Spathelf, GIS Analyst III for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and CHAT Technology Team Member provides a walk-though of how UTH data is entered & managed, and the flexibility it provides to the State’s on what data is entered. CHAT Team Members are encouraged to bring a dataset and participate in the walk-through of loading data. Interactive Session.
4:00 – 4:15 pmFollow-up Discussion
Chanda Pettie, CHAT coordinator leads a discussion on the next steps for incorporating state data layers and planning a date for public release.
4:15 – 5:00 pmOpen Work Session
Join the team in a working session to get hands-on assistance as you walk through loading your data in the test environment. Preparation materials will be provided to team members prior to the meeting. If you would like to receive the packet, please contact

Decision Support for Crucial Habitats Across the West

Delivering conservation through information exchange and working partnerships.