State Reports - New Mexico
The New Mexico Gap Analysis Project (NM-GAP) was completed at the end of 1996, about 54 months after it started. Distribution copies of the final report and all data on tape were sent to National GAP in January 1997. NM-GAP lived through a major evolution in gap analysis during our more than 4-year tenure. We were not able to meet every current expectation but did many things beyond what was anticipated back at our start in 1992. While it was difficult at times, the NM gappers are pleased to have played a role in developing some of the protocol and prototype along the way.
Finishing the basic project requirements gives a feeling of relief, but all does not stop there. In April 1997, the New Mexico Resource Geographic Information System in Albuquerque, under agreement with NM-GAP, completed a prototype of all NM-GAP data and the report on a 2-CD set for distribution to those requesting the data. Sets of those CDs were provided to the 14 major agency and university cooperators that had participated throughout NM-GAP. National GAP is currently working to put NM-GAP data on the GAP home page and on CD-ROM in a format consistent with national desires for broad dissemination for public use. In intervening days, there have been numerous requests to clarify data sets and to explore ways to apply GAP data. There is excitement in that but also difficulty in responding to something for which there is no longer an active project.
In summer 1997, we initiated a small new GAP-related project to assist surrounding projects with exchanging and interpreting edge-match data, perform some more detailed analyses on existing coverages and databases, and to aid extension of NM-GAP data to conservation planners statewide. Some activities already in planning stages or under way are to use NM-GAP data for biotic mapping comparisons in northern NM mountain ranges, information coverages for county open space evaluation, and incorporation as criteria in land parcel evaluation by NM Department of Game and Fish for conservation planning and acquisition. NM-GAP looks to the future phase of data application. Exciting times.