idfg-bstuder's blog

Quick clicks for faster roadkill and salvage reporting

In response to some of your suggestions, we're pleased to introduce a new feature for simpler reporting for roadkill or salvaging roadkill. Now, when you browse to, you'll find images of some of the most commonly reported animals killed on Idaho's roads.

roadkill improvements

Simply click on the image of the appropriate animal to save some typing for these commonly entered animals. If you do not see the animal you're reporting, please continue to type in the animal in the textbox at Option 2. You'll find all of Idaho's most common animals available in that drop down will be filtered as you type. Simply use the arrow keys to select the option, or click with your mouse.

drop-down image

We hope that this change helps with the overall usability of the form. If you have further suggestions or comments, please let us know!


An update for Roadkill data


Some of you might wonder what that spike is all about on the "roadkill dashboard."

It's what happens when we execute a batch import of roadkill data from the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). The ITD has implemented a system where they log the carcass pickups that their crews perform. I'd like to take a moment to thank them, and our Idaho Fish and Game employees who also do this deed, as by no means is roadkill cleanup an easy job!

Graph of recent data spike

Back to that data spike. In addition to the continual stream of motivated roadkill entry-folks into our Roadkill or Salvage online reporting system, several times a year we request  data from ITD's carcass inventory system. They provide us an Excel table with the appropriate fields, and we automagically upload it using a batch-import-process.

These partnerships give IDFG the capacity to house all the recorded road-kill data from each vested sector: ITD, IDFG, and various public groups. We at IFWIS also have other data partnerships using the same Observations Core database as Roadkill. While the other information is not nearly as public as a bloated deer on the side-of-the-road, the data are very meaningful for use in conservation and management of Idaho's wildlife diversity.

This data-import mechanism is extremely important because it's the first step we have for importing large datasets from critical special-status species into our Observations Core database. This database houses the Roadkill data as well as other species of special interest. 

Thanks to technology advances, but more importantly, a strong will to work together, our IFWIS team is working with our partners to bridge data gaps. Projects like the Multi-Species Baseline Initiative (MBI) highlight the importance and power behind bringing source observational data to a centralized location.

Back to roadkill. This last spike of roadkill records included some 3,300 records. Not all of those were from this year. Some records were entered from a backlog, as most carcass removals are jotted down on paper before being put into the computer.

You also may notice that not all of the roadkill data have a species defined, either. Sometimes, it's because the smear on the road is undefinable. Other times, it's because an animal isn't available on the "pick list" on their entry form. Items like the latter are being corrected as we find them through a joint effort of ITD and IDFG.

This last update brought the total record count of Idaho roadkill data to 20,392 records. In my opinion, the magnificent thing to mention about this spike, is that it represents a point where data is coming in faster than ever before. Since January 1, 2012, we've imported 5,929 records. Granted, only 1,714 were killed on the highways since that date. Having this information available, at a statewide level, will allow IDFG and ITD staff to make informed decisions about highway safety, for you, and the animals.

You can help us with our quest by signing up and reporting the roadkill (or any animal) you see, as well. Just take a few moments to fill-out the short form for Roadkill or general Wildlife Observations

Your contributions do help!

Bug Patch for ArcGIS FLEXnet Licensing error: -15,570



    The user is intermittently unable to open ArcGIS (local installation) and connect to license server. The following error is presented: 


The License server manager (lmgrd) has not been started yet, the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the port or hostname in the license file has been changed.

Feature: Viewer


FLEXnet Licensing error: -15,570



       The cause seems to be that the default timeout setting for the FLEXLM license manager is 2-seconds. Which is more than ample on a LAN, but less than ideal on slower VPN’s, or DSL connections.



       Solution can be found from this source to on several occasions). However, I would HIGHLY recommend that if this is indeed the patch, that we create a script for our clients to run rather than follow these steps.

  • Right click My Computer and choose properties.
  • On system property dialogue box choose advanced tab.
  • Click on the environment Variables
  • On environment variable dialogue box choose system variables field and hit the new button
  • A new system variable dialogue box with two fields appears; put “FLEXLM_TIMEOUT” in variable name and put 1000000 in variable value field
  • Click OK on all three dialogue boxes to close them


Observations and Roadkill Posters

For anyone interested in helping promote the use of these systems, here are graphics we've started with for Observations and Roadkill online reporting forms.

Observations Roadkill


We'd appreciate it if you are using these as web images, that they would link directly to either Observations ( or Roadkill (


Missing Natural Heritage Content?

Missing some content?

The main website of the Idaho Fish and Game underwent a massive facelift in mid-July, 2011. Amidst the shuffle, we've lost a few data and content links.

In order to keep that data available to you while a few kinks are ironed out, we've copied content here and made some updates of missing files. The way we're sharing this data will be changing, so don't update your bookmarks just yet. 


Looking for Special Status Species lists?

Try here to find Federally listed Endangered, Threatened, Proposed and Candidate species in Idaho, Idaho's special status vascular and nonvascular plants, and Idaho's Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) (vertebrates and invertebrates).


Interested in Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) information?

Specifically, we found the Appendix F section of the website went rogue. You can find the CWCS PDF documents from 2005 here now.


Something else that you can't find from the Idaho Natural Heritage Program (formerly Conservation Data Center) CDC?

Let us know what you're looking for.


Taxonomy Search upgrade for Observations, Roadkill

You may notice the species selection has changed a little for animals in Observations and Roadkill forms. The usage method is still the same, but we've updated the species search to improve speed and add search options. Hopefully it will help you find the wildlife you're searching for, faster and easier.

The new selection looks like this:

**Note, when you select a species, the validation mentioning that "We need to know what you saw. Please search the species' list, then click on the appropriate match from the drop-down box." will disappear. :)


As always, please let us know if you have any questions, problems, or comments.




Citrix ArcMap 10 Setup

First things first, if you're interested in using ArcMap 10, make sure you update your Citrix client, first. You can do so at the login screen. Just click the link above the username/password fields. If there is not a message, you should be up-to-date.


Performing the following steps will improve your ArcMap 10.1 performance in Citrix.

1) Open ArcGis 10 in Citrix  (Formerly known as ArcMap) 

  • Getting Started dialog opens
  • Click ‘Open’


  • Open the Catalog window
    • *Note: Starting at ArcGIS 10, Catalog is now included inside of the "ArcMap" application

  • Click “Connect to folder” 
  • Dismiss the “folder can’t be used” dialog by clicking “OK”
  • Type “O:” or browse to “O” drive, click “OK”
  • You now can connect to “O” drive folders in your session. You might need to do this for other drives, Like the K or Q.



  • We recommend personal geodatabase because of their portability and ease of access. Some users might need a file geodatabase.
  • In the ArcCatalog window, to the location on the O-drive where you’d like your geodatabase to live
  • Right-click the folder, click “new” --> “personal geodatabase”

  • Name the geodatabase (default will work)
  • Right-click on the new geodatabase and click “make default geodatabase”



  • Click “file” --> “map document properties”

  • Verify that the “default geodatabase” is the geodatabase you just created, if not, set it here by clicking the browse icon



  • Next to Pathnames, “Store relative pathnames to data sources” should be checked
  • Click OK
  • Click “File” --> “Save As…”. Name it something like CitrixDefault.mxd

  • Close ArcMap, Reopen
  • The next time you open, select this document so that your settings are saved



In general, you’re changing the default .mxd and geodatabase to open from O: drive to enable write privileges (no access is currently granted to write to the C: drive on the Citrix servers). Just need to do this one time!


GIS Support: Arc doesn't start. Error: Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database OR The lookup for the hostname .. failed


On a local installation of ESRI's ArcGIS desktop, this error appears on startup and ArcMap will not load.


‘Provide your license server administrator with the following information:

Cannot find SERVER hostname in network database

The lookup for the hostname on the SERVER line in the license file failed. This often happens when NIS or DNS or the hosts file is incorrect.  FLEXlm error: -14,7. System Error: 11001 “WinSock: Host not found (HOST_NOT_FOUND)” ‘


We do like to encourage IDFG folks to use Citrix. Consider using Citrix for your ArcGIS useIf you don't see the option to use ArcGIS, send us a support ticket and we'll get you on the user's list.



The problem is that your copy of ArcGIS desktop isn't looking at a valid licensing server. 

To fix it, follow these steps:

  1. Open "ArcGIS Administrator." It's in Start --> Programs --> ArcGIS 

Depending on your version of ArcGIS, the administrator dialog will look different. But what you'll want to do is "change" the server. The basic IDFG ArcGIS License Server for ArcView is "IFWISARC"

  1. "Change" the server to IFWISARC and click OK. You should be off and running.


Thank you, Brian for bringing this to our attention.


Sorry, but we had a weekend outage 6/18/2011-6/20/2011

It just came to my attention that there was an error was introduced in the Observations and Roadkill forms by an update made on Friday, June 18.

I personally apologize if you encountered any frustration because of this error. However, there is a silver lining on the cloud. The error was introduced when we updated our taxonomy database, a change that will give you better access to information about all of our species and it should speed up search performance as well.

The error would occur when selecting a species from the list. You could select a species from the list, but after selecting the species from the drop-down, the error "We need to know what you saw. Please search the species' list, then click on the appropriate match from the drop-down box." would appear. A dialog box might have appeared as well, depending on your browser.

To the best of my knowledge, this error is now corrected. Please let us know if you find otherwise, OR, any other bugs.

Thanks for being patient. I look forward to introducing the taxonomy browser and additional taxonomy features which led to this outage.



P.S. A big thanks to Roy and Angie for bringing this to my attention this morning! We wouldn't be able to get to our programming destination without supporters and users like you!

Fix for PDFs failing to download or downloading sporadically


Problem: PDFs downloaded from your website do not load on most client machines. Specifically happens with larger PDF files and sporadically happens across browser clients.   

Atmosphere: Windows Server 2008 R2 running IIS7.5

Cause: According to this lengthy forum post, Windows Server 2008 changes the byte order for downloaded files that Adobe reader didn't know how to read.

Solution: Apply the Windows hotfix #KB979543. Reboot required.