"FLAIR Act" Introduced in U.S. House

MAPPS Will Advocate Bill to Improve Federal Land Stewardship Utilizing Geospatial Technologies During its Federal Programs Conference

Reston, VA, March 6, 2008 – A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning praise from MAPPS (www.mapps.org), the national association of private geospatial firms.

The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform ("FLAIR") Act, H.R. 5532, introduced March 5 by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Chris Cannon (R-UT), will be among the issues members of MAPPS will discuss with members of Congress during the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, to be held March 10-12 in Washington, DC.

The FLAIR Act authorizes the Department of the Interior to not only compile an inventory of Federal land ownership, as called for by the Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Sciences, but also provides for conducting an inventory of current inventories to eliminate duplication and save tax dollars.

MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello expressed deep appreciation for the leadership of Representative Kind and Cannon. "Mr. Kind and Mr. Cannon have been working in a bipartisan manner to introduce this important Federal legislation. MAPPS commends Congressmen Kind and Cannon and looks forward to working with them to enact the FLAIR Act," Palatiello said.

The MAPPS Federal Programs Conference is the premier event in the geospatial community bringing together the Federal Government and the private sector for discussions on programs, budgets and procurement opportunities.

On Monday, March 10, several Federal agencies will present information on their programs, their FY08 budget and FY09 request and the requirements for acquisition of geospatial products and services from the private sector that are on the horizon. For more than 20 years MAPPS has held these sessions and has included participation by NGA, USGS, NOAA, USDA, BLM, NPS, DHS, FEMA, FHwA, USFS, Census, USACE, USAF, NAVFAC, DOJ, EPA, FWS, and many other agencies.

MAPPS has formal liaison committees with USDA, USGS, NOAA, NGA, FAA/TSA, Defense and Homeland Security (DoD, USACE, USAF, NAVFAC and DHS).  Those federal agency liaison committees will meet on Tuesday, March 11.  During the afternoon, there will be plenary sessions with presentations on policy issues, including E-911 mapping and state legislation.

On Wednesday, March 12, MAPPS and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) will jointly host a Congressional breakfast with other stakeholders from the geospatial community.  Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) will be the featured speaker.  During that day, MAPPS and NSGIC members will be on Capitol Hill visiting their Congressional delegations, discussing legislation affecting the geospatial community, including the FLAIR Act, and advocating a number of Federal agency programs. At the end of the day, MAPPS will host the 3rd Annual Geospatial Technology Exhibition, to be held from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, with NSGIC as a participant.

Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. Current MAPPS memberships span the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Active Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. MAPPS, which just concluded celebrating the 25th anniversary of the association, provides its members opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement. For more information on MAPPS, please visit www.MAPPS.org.