Prob with selections reverting to not being selections when 'Buffer' applied to them

Discussion created by chrisgis45 on Dec 1, 2011
I am working on a county map that involves National Wetland Inventory (NWI) data and certain individual wetlands getting processed with the 'buffer' function.  I have it all in a geodatabase and I don't understand geodatabases well so that might me part of the problem I don't know- here is more detail.

Originally i took an NWI shapefile for my state and clipped it for one county, making a layer I'll call 'Thurston clip'. From this I did a select by attributes (three different times) to select 3 wetland types and made a layer out of each (by right clicking-selection- 'create layer from selected features). These 3 layers are in the table of contents. I then used the curser-controlled 'Select command' in the control bar to select one individual wetland and make it a layer. I changed the name of the layer and gave it unique symbology. I want to digitize the land cover around this wetland so I then initiated the buffer function and made a 2km buffer around the wetland.  I procssed all the roads within the buffer by clipping them to the buffer, making them one polygon and giving them buffers.  Then at some point, I didn't notice when, the symbology of the wetland applied itself to ALL WETLANDS across the county or the 'Thurston Clip'.  I have tried this other times , not getting as far, and the same problem occurs.

Maybe there is something about selecting I don't understnand or something related to file management.    I have this entire map in a geodatabase.  all of the layers show up in the table of contents but when I look in Arc Catalogue, 4 layers that I derived from 'Thurston Clip' don't show up.-- Maybe this is the problem. As I said I don't know much about working with geodatabases.

Thanks for any help.