Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem Approach

Ecosystem approaches to environmental conservation are now widely accepted and increasingly practiced by federal, state, and local resource agencies. From a highway perspective, the Federal Highway Administration document Eco-Logical: an Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects provides conceptual groundwork for integrated conservation plans and mitigation activities that transcend individual agency jurisdictional boundaries and encourages an outcome-based ecosystem approach to conservation. However, Eco-Logical stops short of providing the tools to implement the principles. SHRP 2 projects C06A (Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Environmental Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem Approach) and C06B (Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Through development of an Outcome-based Ecosystem-scale Approach and Corresponding Credit System) are intended to provide the tools needed to implement the ecological approach. The objective of this project was to create an ecological framework for making decisions about transportation capacity enhancements and the surface environment across key decision points and geographic scales of the collaborative transportation decision making process. This included solving the problem of assurances (for example, how can agencies that invest in ecological-level action to minimize or mitigate impacts or restore resources to the ecosystem be assured that they get credit for their actions with regulatory agencies and the public?) and developing a business model for the ecological approach to environmental stewardship. This research project developed an integrated ecological framework for ecological decision making and conservation planning to address ecological concerns during highway capacity enhancement projects. The framework identifies easily applicable, adaptable steps in a process to secure the key assurances that transportation and regulatory agencies need to proceed with early environmental decision making and conservation investments or other off-site ecological enhancements, early in the transportation planning process. The results of this project and project C06B (Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Through development of an Outcome-based Ecosystem-scale Approach and Corresponding Credit System) will be pilot tested in projects C21A-D (Pilot Test the C06A&B Approaches to Environmental Protection).

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $700000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project C06(A)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Strategic Highway Research Program 2

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Andrle, Stephen

  • Performing Organizations:

    URS Corporation

    3950 Sparks Drive SE
    Grand Rapids, MI  United States  49546
  • Principal Investigators:

    Denbow, Tom

    Venner, Marie

  • Start Date: 20080903
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110731
  • Source Data: RiP Project 17123

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464551
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project C06(A)
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:44PM