"FLAIR Act" Introduced in U.S. Senate

MAPPS Advocates Bill to Improve Federal Land Stewardship Utilizing Geospatial Technologies

Reston, VA, May 21, 2008 – A bill to develop a current, accurate Federal cadastre to inventory all Federal real property has been introduced in the U.S. Senate, earning praise from MAPPS (www.mapps.org), the national association of private geospatial firms.

The Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform ("FLAIR") Act, S. 3043, introduced May 21 by U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), was among the issues members of MAPPS discussed with members of Congress during the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, held March 10-12, 2008 in Washington, DC.

The FLAIR Act authorizes the Department of the Interior to compile a current, accurate inventory of Federal land ownership, as called for by the Government Accountability Office and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as 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 Senators McCaskill and Hatch, saying they "have been working in a bipartisan manner to introduce this important Federal legislation. MAPPS commends Senators McCaskill and Hatch and looks forward to working with them to enact the FLAIR Act," Palatiello said.

On Wednesday, March 12, during the annual MAPPS Federal Programs Conference, MAPPS members and the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) jointly hosted a Congressional breakfast with other stakeholders from the geospatial community. During that day, MAPPS and NSGIC members were 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.

These Congressional visits generated exposure and interest among members of Congress and their staff, resulting in MAPPS and NSGIC successfully gaining cosponsors to the House version of the FLAIR Act, H.R. 5532. To date, there are 14 bipartisan cosponsors.

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 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.