Idaho is certainly blessed with a magnificent blend of diverse natural landscapes—rivers, lakes, mountains, forests, and desert canyons—and rich, fertile agricultural lands. Founded in 1939 by the Idaho Legislature, the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission (ISWCC) is responsible for promoting responsible stewardship of these natural areas by facilitating coordinated, non-regulatory, locally-led conservation efforts by federal, state, and local governments. The Commission prides itself on doing “Conservation the Idaho Way” which means via voluntary stewardship and not regulatory mandates.
The Commission consists of 50 local conservation districts located from Bonners Ferry near the Canadian border down to Montpelier in the southeastern section of the state. Their districts’ efforts are guided by 5-year plans outlining goals, priority projects, and key conservation activities.
Since 1985, the Conservation Commission has maintained a database containing statistical data about the implementation of conservation projects and programs. With over 6,000 entries to date, there is certainly a wealth of data. However, it has been difficult to display and share this data with interested parties. Thereby resulting in underreported activities and accomplishments. To solve this, the Commission has chosen us to develop a web-based Environmental Data Management System using our ProjectFirma open-source platform.
Once completed later this year, their instance of ProjectFirma will be able to efficiently track the implementation of the Commission’s strategic plan, easily share project and program accomplishments among partners and the general public, and accurately report on conservation activities and accomplishments across the state.
Last week, our core team held our project kick-off meeting with Teri Murrison (ISWCC Administrator), Chuck Pentzer, and Eileen Rowan in Boise. We provided them with an overview of what a Sitka Agile software project looks like, refined their program taxonomy to better support their reporting needs, added new performance measures, and entered a couple initial projects.
I am super excited to get to work with this dedicated group of conservationists in Idaho, and I am pleased that Sitka and the ProjectFirma platform are able to support the extensive and varied conservation efforts across the great state of Idaho!