History of NatureMapping
The first NatureMapping program
Washington State in 1993 when the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife (WDFW), in partnership with the Washington Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit Gap Analysis Project at the University of
Washington, initiated a pilot project asking teachers to collect "real"
data for a statewide biological database. Their vision was to create a
national network that links natural resource agencies, academia and land
planners with local communities primarily through schools. Their goal was
to keep common animals common and to maintain the quality of life of those organisms. Their
approach was to train individuals to become aware of their natural
resources by providing the tools to inventory and monitor those
resources. The pilot program grew from 23 teachers to more than 200 in two years! The Oregon
Biodiversity Project used this model to begin a similar program in 1995.