Conservation groups have developed a new mobile application that lets users to document and report damage they might witness on public lands.
Dubbed TerraTRUTH, the app’s release comes as these lands are seen by some as being at risk, in light of President Donald Trump’s agenda of prioritizing extractive industries and motorized access.
Developers are unveiling it just ahead of recent executive orders taking effect Feb. 2 to trim vast acreages from national monument protections at Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante area.
A crowd-sourced database resulting from use of the app will help track the condition of Bureau of Land Management areas in the National Landscape Conservation System, according to Brian Sybert, executive director of the Conservation Lands Foundation.
“It’s a great way to get people out and enjoy areas that are not technically not in the monuments,” Sybert said. “They can have the app ready to use so they can be an active participant in protection of our public lands,”
The app uses Esri as its base platform, considered the gold standard in mapping technology, according to Sybert. It is now available for free download on both iOS (App Store) and Android (Google Play) phones.
App users can photograph or video damage — say, a vandalized rock art panel or ATV tracks through a protected wash — then upload it to the app, along with a description. The data is then sent to a database along with location and date.
Conservation Lands Foundation will sort the data, and deploy it to guide land management planning or support lawsuits.