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GIS Tool for BLM Permitting

Project Summary:

CARAT (Computer-Aided Resource Analysis Tool) is a GIS-based decision support system used by BLM field office managers and resource specialists in NEPA environmental assessment and other resource management decisions. CARAT is based on ArcGIS software, customized specifically for field office use. It utilizes over 50 themes of spatial data to help field office staff assess and document recommendations for permit applications, such as construction of well pads, access roads, and pipelines. In addition, CARAT tracks these project-specific analyses and recommendations for cumulative impact analysis. CARAT is currently in use in the Pinedale Field Office Area, Wyoming since 2000 and the White River Field Office, Colorado since 2004.

For more information please download the project pdf.

The purpose of CARAT is three-fold: 

  1. Provide an easy method for viewing GIS data specific to a BLM field office.

  2. Provide shortcuts for selecting and zooming to areas such as specific townships/sections, allotments, quadrangles and other GIS data. The easy access to data and related query shortcuts will assist in mapping, planning, and numerous other applications.

  3. Provide a set of tools for reviewing proposed actions according to NEPA. Adding and reviewing applications in a GIS environment will provide, over time, a comprehensive database for cumulative impact assessment as well as other planning applications such as resource management plans.

CARAT works in ArcGIS 9.x with an ArcView license. When you start CARAT, it opens ArcMap and accesses many databases specific to the BLM. CARAT has all the same functionality of ArcMap, plus the CARAT toolbar, shown below:

CARAT Toolbar for  BLM

Here are descriptions for each of the buttons and menus on the CARAT toolbar:


CARAT tools: a menu with options for adding and reviewing applications; displaying data; creating a quick map; changing options and viewing the log file.

CARAT Applications

Applications: opens a form with a list of all the pending applications available for review. This form also has a button for adding new applications.

CARAT Display Data

Display data: opens a form listing all the data specific to the BLM field office. Check data on to display it and view its description.


Zoom to...: opens a form for selecting and zooming to specific features, such as townships/sections, allotments, quadrangles, or other sources.

CARAT Quick Map

Quick map: opens a form for creating a quick map by prompting for a map title and a page size


EA query tool: click on any action in the display, and the corresponding environmental assessment (EA) document will pop open.

For more information about CARAT, please contact:

Margo Berendsen

Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center

Phone: 307-766-2751

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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