Who is this website intended for?
This website is intended for people who have a need to run the DDCT before pursuing the necessary permit to develop.
Who is allowed to use this website?
This website requires people to register before all of the features of the website can be used. Registration is not restricted, but does require a valid email address.
How do I register to use this site?
Using any web browser go to the DDCT online application page and do the following:
  • Enter a User ID, Email Address, Password, Security Question, Security Answer, and Time Zone
  • Click the Create Account button
An email will be sent to the email address provided in the registration with information on how to confirm the email address. Once the email address has been confirmed, the user can begin using the site as a proponent.
What hardware is required to run the DDCT?
The DDCT application is designed to perform largely independent of hardware. A computer with internet access is all that is required.
What software is required to run the DDCT?
A web browser and Adobe Flash Player is all that is required. Both are available as freeware. The website has been tested on Internet Explorer 8 and higher, Firefox and Google Chrome. The DDCT application runs on Adobe Flash Player version 10 and above. During the review process, maps are sent using a PDF format, so Adobe Reader is recommended.
Note to Internet Explorer Users
Internet Explorer does not always work correctly with the DDCT application. To minimize the chance of errors it is recommended to change the cache settings by going to the Internet Options under the Tools menu. On the General Tab there is a Browsing history area. Click on the Settings button to open the Temporary Internet Files and History Settings dialog window. Choose the Every time I visit the webpage radio button under the Check for a newer version of stored pages: questions.
What additional Software is helpful when running the DDCT?
The web application is designed to use data created with desktop GIS. Features can be uploaded from an esri© Shapefile. All uploads need to have a spatial reference for the web application to correctly convert them. Uploading AutoCAD dwg files is planned in a future release of the web application.

PDF maps produced during the review process have spatial information recorded within the map. TerraGo Technologies makes a free add-on to Adobe Reader, called TerraGo Toolbar that can read and display the spatial information contained in the map.

User Roles and Project Security

Is my login secure?
WyGISC web servers have traffic routed to them via the University of Wyoming, Information Technologies (UWIT)’s F5 BIGIP security appliance. The F5 provides secure and monitored HTTP, HTTPS (SSL) and secure FTP traffic for both external web and campus network traffic. External web traffic also has to pass through the UW perimeter firewall.
Who can see the data entered into the website?
Users can only see their own data. Data that is passed to the web application is filter based on the User ID of the person who entered the data. The User ID filtering allows only the user that entered the data to see the data, keeping confidential plans safe.
Are there users other than proponents?
Technical Reviewers can see project data only after the project has been submitted for technical or policy review. Technical reviews are performed by the DDCT Application and Data Steward. Policy Reviewers can see project data only after the project has been submitted for policy review. Policy reviews are performed by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Habitat Protection Program or permitting agency personnel.

Data Security and Backup

How is the data secured?
The data is stored in an ArcGIS Server Spatial Database Engine (SDE) environment, which is running on a Microsoft SQL database. The SQL database is username and password protected.
Who can see the data entered into the website?
Users can only see their own data. Data that is passed to the web application is filter based on the User ID of the person who entered the data. The User ID filtering allows only the user that entered the data to see the data, keeping confidential plans safe.
Is the data backed up?
Full SQL database backups are taken nightly via Microsoft SQL Server Maintenance plans and SQL Server Agent. Backups are written via Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) to an enterprise backup system at UWIT and to a remote backup nightly.

All data, with the exception of the “proposed surface disturbance and/or project boundary”, is already integrated into the application. Downloading data is not necessary to complete the DDCT process.

Proposed surface disturbance and/or project boundary:
This is the area that is being proposed for disturbance. This file must be a polygon file or a complete line file that can be converted into a polygon. The project proponent must provide this.
Most recent occupied leks/perimeter:
Created and maintained by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department, this file is a hybrid of occupied lek perimeters and occupied lek points, buffered by 5 feet. This was done to make sure that all occupied leks were represented by polygons.
Sage-Grouse Core Areas Version 3 and Connectivity Areas:
Created by the Sage-Grouse Implementation Team (SGIT) and are available for download on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website – Sage-Grouse page.
NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) imagery:
Created by the US Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency as part of National Agriculture Imagery Program, this is statewide aerial imagery with a ground resolution of one meter. Used for detecting additional disturbances. True Color images are available in seamless statewide coverage in an ArcGIS Server format from the Aerial Photography Field Office server. (http://gis.apfo.usda.gov/arcgis/services)
Statewide surface disturbance file:
Statewide surface disturbance file contains a collection of disturbances from various sources and previous projects. The file contains information on whether the feature is considered a disruption, a disturbance, or if it is exempt from calculations. Any disruption is also considered to be a disturbance. Features that are disruptions are used in the density and disturbance calculation; features that are disturbances, but not disruptions are only used in the disturbance calculation. The file also contains information on the type of disturbance. The disturbance types are organized into categories. For additional information on categories and types, see the Surface Disturbance Types Tab.

What is the DDCT and why is it needed

What is the DDCT?
The Density and Disturbance Calculation Tool, or DDCT, is a spatially based tool that calculates both the number of disruptive activities averaged per square mile (640 acres) and total surface disturbance within the DDCT assessment area. The assessment area is created based on buffers around proposed projects in protected sage-grouse core areas, and subsequent buffers around any occupied, core area leks within the first buffer. Limits for disruptive activities and disturbances, along with buffer distances are laid out in the Governor’s Executive Order 2011-5.

For additional information please refer to the following documents:

Executive Order 2011-5 - Greater Sage-Grouse Core Area Protection

Sage-Grouse Habitat Management Policy on Public Lands

Sage Grouse Executive Order Check Off List

Why is the DDCT needed?
With the signing of the Governor’s Executive Order 2011-5 it became necessary for state of federally permitted development within a Sage-Grouse Core Areas to comply with the SGEO requirements. The DDCT provides information on the density and disturbance thresholds related to the SGEO requirements.

Surface Disturbances

What is a surface disturbance?
Any anthropogenic or wildfire surface disturbance that results in loss of sage-grouse habitat is considered disturbed in the DDCT calculation. Surface disturbance includes, but is not limited to, roads, well pads, mining operations, cropland, buildings, some vegetation treatments, wind turbines, and pipelines. Some linear features are considered exempt from DDCT calculations; please see the “Disturbance Calculation Process for Linear Features” for additional information.
How are surface disturbances mapped?
Some surface disturbances come from other spatial datasets; however, these spatial datasets are not complete for all disturbances in the state. For mapping disturbances in the DDCT assessment area, a method called head’s up digitizing needs to be used to ensure all disturbances are mapped. When performing head’s up digitizing make sure to use a minimum 1:5000 scale and the 2009 NAIP aerial photography images and be sure to digitize around the outside perimeter of the disturbance. Visual examples of disturbances are provided below:

Ranch, road, and building
Road and cropland
Road and pipeline/utility corridor scar
Well pad and road
Landing Strip
Ranch and assorted disturbance
Pipeline and watering hole
Pipeline, road, and electrical infrastructure
What information about surface disturbances is needed
Information needed for surface disturbances to be handled correctly within the web application includes defining whether it is a disruption, a disturbance only, or exempt. Disturbance and Disruption are the two fields used to determine how the web application counts the disturbances. Below is a table with example of valid combinations:

Disturbance Disruption Model Use Use
Yes Yes Disruption (1/640 count and contribute to percent disturbed) Oil and Gas infrastructure with human presence excluding access road, pipelines, and power lines, or active mining operations.
Yes No Disturbance (only used in percent disturbed) All other anthropogenic disturbance
No No Exempt Areas determined to be “de minimus” or disturbed but meeting the suitable habitat definition or pre-1994 conditions in Northeast Wyoming

Other useful information recorded with the disturbance is the type of disturbance it is. Values for the disturbance types can be found in the “Where can I find the values to put in the “Type” and “Category” Fields?” question below. The surface disturbance types are grouped into categories, which is the first number of the disturbance type number

How are surface disturbances uploaded?
Uploading surface disturbances, either proposed or existing, is possible in the web application if the features are contained in esri© Shapefile format.
What information is needed in the esri© Shapefile?
The esri© Shapefile must contains polygons of disturbances and a valid spatial reference. Other information contained in the esri© Shapefile can be used in the application if the data are available. Below is an example of how to code the disturbances and disruptions during the upload process

Name Description Type Values
Disturbance Disturbance Indicator Integer 1 is yes, 0 is no
Disruption Disruption Indicator Integer 1 is yes, 0 is no
Category Disturbance Category Integer First number of the type code
Type Code for type of disturbance Text Values can be found below
Comments Comments Text Open

Can I download a blank disturbance shapefile?
A blank disturbance shapefile is available by downloading this file
Where can I find the values to put in the “Type” and “Category” Fields?
The “Category” and “Type” are derived from the same table. The type is the whole two digit number, while the category is the first digit of the number. For example, a well pad would have a type of 48 and a category of 4. Below is the complete table:

ID

Description

ID

Description

0 - Unknown 4 - Oil and Gas
00 Unknown Type of Disturbance 40 General Oil/Gas Disturbance (type unknown or varied)
1 - Road / Transportation 41 Abandoned Well Pad (oil/gas)
10 Other Improved Road 42 Interim Reclamation
11 Highway/Street (paved) 44 Test Well (oil/gas)
12 Dirt Road (BLM, County) 45 Blowout Mud Pit (oil/gas)
13 Railroad 46 Oil/Gas Structure
14 Residential Driveway 47 Evaporation Pit
15 Oil/Gas Access Road 48 Well Pad (general)
16 Mining Access Road 5 - Mining
17 Landing Strip 50 General Mining Disturbance (type unknown or varied)
18 Right of Ways 51 Exploratory Scours
19 Highway Construction 52 Blowout Mud Pit (mining)
2 - Structure / Development 53 Drill Hole
20 General Structure (type unknown or varied) 54 Test Well
21 Private House/Structure 55 Abandoned Pad
23 Mining structure (type unknown or varied) 56 Mining Pit
24 Snow fence 57 Mining Reclamation (Large Scale)
25 General fence (type unknown) 58 Gravel Pit/Gravel Storage
26 Private Residential Development (general) 6 - Utilities
27 Agricultural Development 60 General Electrical Disturbance (type unknown)
28 Residential Area / City Boundaries 61 Power supply center
29 Exclosure Fence 62 Power line/pole
3 - Range Land 63 Windmill
30 General Range Disturbance (type unknown or varied) 64 Landfill
31 Water Source General (type unknown) 65 Telecommunication
32 Cattle Waterhole 67 Pipeline
33 Water Trough/Tank 7 - General Linear Disturbance
34 Dam/Reservoir 70 General Linear Disturbance (type unknown)
35 Cattle salt-lick 8 - Fire and Vegetation Treatments
37 Man Made Wetland 80 Unknown Vegetation Treatment
81 Wildfire
82 Prescribed Burn
83 Mechanical Treatment
84 Chemical Treatment
85 Habitat Improvement

Disturbance Calculation Process for Linear Features

The impacts of linear disturbances are varied. The following are suggestions for dealing with linear features:

Roads
Roads will contribute towards disturbance calculations, with the exception of two-track road less than 10 feet wide for a majority of the length. The actual footprint should be digitized.
Transmission LinesSGIT
Overhead transmission corridors established in Executive Order 2011-5 (1/2 mile either side of existing 115kV or larger lines and the east-west corridors mapped in Attachment D will not count toward disturbance calculations for any new projects located outside the corridors. In essence, Executive Order 2011-5-established corridors are considered unsuitable habitat for the purpose of DDCT calculations and will not be counted in the numerator (disturbance) or denominator (total DDCT acreage).

The goal of Executive Order 2011-5 is to avoid further fragmenting areas with distribution and transmission lines of all sizes.

Distribution and transmission lines are permitted inside SGEO designated corridors (Pages 4, 15, & 16). The same distribution and transmission lines are not permitted outside of corridors unless there is demonstration of no declines in sage-grouse populations (Pages 4 & 17).

Currently, it is unknown what type of lines impact sage-grouse populations, and to what extent. There will be new distribution and transmission lines that will need to be built to service existing approved projects.

If the need for future distribution and transmission lines is likely, new projects that require a DDCT for approval should include distribution and transmission lines in their DDCT as part of the proposed disturbance. If it is absolutely necessary to site new distribution and transmission lines through a core area outside of an existing corridor and lines cannot be buried, lines should be sited to minimize any potential impact on sage grouse or their habitats, and preferentially consider siting along or adjacent to existing long-term linear disturbance features whenever possible (i.e., along existing occupied above ground utilities, roads).

Lines permitted but not located in an Executive Order 2011-5 transmission corridor (described above) will be counted towards the 5% disturbance calculation. Line disturbance is equal to right-of-way (ROW) Width x Length and includes all access roads, staging areas, and other surface disturbance associated with construction outside of the ROW.

All new transmission and distribution towers/structures should be designed to include raptor proofing/perch deterrent

Pipelines
Any new pipelines constructed in utility corridors established by and as defined in BLM Resource Management Plans (RMP) including those portions of the corridors located on non-Federal lands in core population areas, that have been disturbed by a previous utility installation, are exempt from conducting a DDCT analysis and will not be included in disturbance calculations for any new projects located outside these corridors. In essence BLM RMP established corridors occupied by utility infrastructure are considered unsuitable habitat for the purpose of DDCT calculations and will not be counted in the numerator or denominator. New pipelines outside BLM RMP corridors, but in core population areas, would contribute towards the 5% surface disturbance calculation until the area is reclaimed to suitable sage grouse habitat.
Units located within a new project DDCT
When dealing with situations where the DDCT encounters a Federal Unit established prior to 8.1.2008, the BLM field manager will need to work collaboratively with both the unit holders and the project proponents to determine if the existing unit boundary accurately reflects the actual disturbance likely to occur within the unit under a full development scenario. It is imperative that each of these situations is addressed with flexibility and on the ground knowledge of the landscape and habitat within the DDCT Assessment Area:
  • New Development inside Units: The key to planning development in units within core areas is to create the least amount of disturbance to suitable habitat. A unit is not automatically considered an approved activity; however, there is an expectation that development of the unit will occur. Each situation will need to be handled case-by-case and information such as development plans and reservoir characteristics will play into the BLM’s decision on how to manage density and disturbance. In many cases this will best be accomplished by concentrating activity within existing (prior to 8.1.2008) unit boundaries. Disturbance and density calculations may exceed the thresholds for a DDCT because development is being concentrated in a pre 8.1.2008 unit.
  • New Development outside Units: Within existing, (pre- 8.1.2008) recognized federal oil and gas units and other recognized developments (per Executive Order 2011-5 page 2), coordination will be a key element for the BLM, the existing unit holder, and any new project proponent inside or outside the unit. A unit will be considered 100% disturbed based on the current unit boundary and will be counted as 1 disruption unless a plan of development showing long-term development is available for consideration. A unit will often have an approved plan of development that contemplates a shorter time than the life of the project, so available information may only show a portion of the entire development. In the event that a unit within the DDCT assessment area, but outside the project area, causes the project to exceed the disturbance/disruption thresholds when the unit is considered 100% disturbed and 1 disruption per 640 acres, the BLM Field Manager must work with the unit operator to determine actual development plans or the proposed project will violate the Executive Order.

Features that do not contribute to the disturbance and disruption thresholds

Exempt (“de minimus”) Activities
Existing Land Uses and Landowner Activities in Greater Sage-Grouse Core Population Areas That Do Not Require State Agency Review for Consistency With Executive Order No. 2011-02
  1. Existing animal husbandry practices (including branding, docking, herding, trailing, etc).
  2. Existing fanning practices (excluding conversion of sagebrush/grassland to agricultural lands).
  3. Existing grazing operations that utilize recognized rangeland management practices (allotment management plans, NRCS grazing plans, prescribed grazing plans, etc).
  4. Construction of agricultural reservoirs and aquatic habitat improvements less than 10 surface acres and drilling of agriculture and residential water wells (including installation of tanks, water windmills and solar water pumps) more than 0.6 miles from the perimeter of the lek. Within 0.6 miles from leks no review is required if construction does not occur March 15 to June 30 and construction does not occur on the lek. All water tanks shall have escape ramps. Any terrestrial habitat improvements <10 acres will require compliance with the SGEOSGIT
  5. Agricultural and residential electrical distribution lines more than 0.6 miles from leks. Within 0.6 miles from leks no review is required if construction does not occur March 1 5 to June 30 and construction does not occur on the lek. Raptor perching deterrents shall be installed on all poles within 0.6 miles from leks.
  6. Pole fences. Wire fences if fitted with visibility markers where high potential for collisions has been documentedSGIT
  7. Irrigation (excluding the conversion of sagebrush/grassland to new irrigated lands).
  8. Spring development if the spring is protected with fencing and enough water remains at the site to provide mesic (wet) vegetation.
  9. Herbicide use within existing road, pipeline and power line rights-of-way. Herbicides application using spot treatment. Grasshopper/Mormon cricket control following Reduced Agent-Area Treatments (RAATS) protocol.
  10. Existing county road maintenance.
  11. Cultural resource pedestrian surveys.
  12. Emergency response.
Approved by the SGIT on July 10th, 2012
Approved by the SGIT on March 22nd, 2012
Approved by the SGIT on October 11th, 2012

This is a list of spatial data sources that can be useful in finding disturbances, and some tips on digitizing disturbances. This list should not be considered complete and ultimately any anthropogenic or wildfire disturbance visible in the 2012 NAIP imagery needs to be mapped. Disturbances that have occurred since the 2012 NAIP was completed, which would not be represented on the 2012 imagery, also need to be included.

Roads and Transportation Networks
Capture any road greater than or equal to 10ft wide that does not have a noticeable strip of vegetation down the middle. Roads less than 10ft wide that are clearly discernible as improved should also be captured. When possible digitize the road disturbance from ditch to ditch across the road. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has a good road file for maintained roads. This file will help to identify where some of the roads are located in the DDCT. Smaller or new roads may still have to be digitized. The WYDOT file can be used to buffer state highways by 34ft, county roads by 28ft, and interstates by 38ft each direction. The most accurate way to capture the footprint of the road disturbance is to digitize it. BLM offices are also a good source of road data.
Oil and Gas Wells
The current well file can be obtained from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) website. Once on the WOGCC webpage click Down Load. Scroll to the bottom of the list, select the Well Header file and click the bucking bronco icon to the left to start downloading. The “WH” file is comprised of active wells and the “PA” file is comprised of plugged and abandoned wells. The WOGCC spatial data is available in an ArcGIS Server format from the WOGCC IMS serve (http://wogccms.state.wy.us)
Oil and Gas Unit Boundaries
The current oil and gas unit file can be viewed from the WOGCC website. This web address can also be used in ArcMap to add an ArcIMS Server site. This file is updated quarterly. Please see the Additional Information section for more information on units.
Mining
Use the mining plan permit boundaries to digitize actual mining disturbance off the NAIP imagery. Mining files can be downloaded from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) website. Scroll down the page to the CHIA - Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessments heading. These files are updated annually, usually in February. For questions or concerns please contact Chad Kopplin with DEQ at (307) 777-6470.
Cropland
Digitize all cropland. If the cropland is determined to be sage-grouse habitat it can be changed to exempt in the disturbance dataset.
Buildings
This also includes ranches and developed subdivisions. If there is disturbance around dwellings that would prohibit all sage-grouse use then digitize the entire disturbance. If the building is only used intermittently digitize the actual building footprint.
Vegetation Treatments
Contact WGFD or the land management agency to determine if vegetation treatment data are available for defined transitional habitat (EO Appendix I).
Pipelines
Digitize the disturbance of the pipeline corridor scar. Pipelines regardless of width/distance are not to be considered toward the density calculations. Pipelines will contribute towards the disturbance calculation until the area is successfully reclaimed (EO). The Wyoming Pipeline Authority has spatial pipeline data, please contact them directly for access to the data.

Any new pipelines constructed in utility corridors established by and as defined in BLM Resource Management Plans (RMP) including those portions of the corridors located on non-Federal lands in core population areas, that have been disturbed by a previous utility installation, are exempt from conducting a DDCT analysis and will not be included in disturbance calculations for any new projects located outside these corridors. In essence BLM RMP established corridors occupied by utility infrastructure are considered unsuitable habitat for the purpose of DDCT calculations and will not be counted in the numerator or denominator. New pipelines outside BLM RMP corridors, but in core population areas, would contribute towards the 5% surface disturbance calculation until the area is reclaimed to suitable sage-grouse habitat. All other pipelines will be considered disturbed until habitat is returned to a suitable condition.