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2007 Environmental Excellence Awards

For Excellence in Environmental Streamlining: Arizona

Arizona's Wildlife Linkages Assessment

Working together, these federal, State and non-profit organizations conducted a statewide assessment to ensure a level of consistency and uniformity toward conservation and highway safety goals, while accommodating the growth of Arizona's population, an expanding economy, and associated infrastructure. This assessment identifies large blocks of protected habitat, the potential wildlife movement corridors through and between them, and the factors that could possibly disrupt these linkage zones. Recognizing that habitat connectivity is a landscape issue involving multiple land jurisdictions, the assessment has been distributed statewide. It provides a starting point for detailed consultation between State and federal agencies, county planners, land conservancies, tribes, private landowners and other organizations for a cohesive, comprehensive, landscape-scale approach. By integrating wildlife considerations into the forefront of transportation and regional planning processes, it is possible to achieve the greatest advantage to wildlife and the traveling public while reducing delays and costs in project development. This project has engaged in unprecedented interagency cooperation, facilitated discussions, and formed partnerships to promote a unified approach to wildlife linkage conservation and management.

Picture of Arizona Statewide Map showing wildlife linkagesProject Contributors:

  • Arizona Department of Transportation
    Siobhan Nordhaugen | Bruce Eilerts | Melissa Maiefski
  • Arizona Game and Fish Department
    Ray Schweinsburg | Norris Dodd | Evelyn Erlandsen
  • Bureau of Land Management
    Ted Cordery
  • Federal Highway Administration, Arizona Division
    Steve Thomas
  • Northern Arizona University
    Paul Beier
  • Sky Island Alliance
    Janice Przybyl
  • The Wildlands Project
    Kim Vacariu
  • USDA Forest Service
    Ted Brennan
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
    Stuart Wells

California Department of Transportation

Federal Highway Administration, Califormia Division

Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9

Fox Mediation

Carter Burgess

Karen Bahus Technical Writing & Research

Caltrans Cumulative and Growth-Related Impacts

A strong partnership consisting of Caltrans, FHWA, and EPA, consulting with USACE, worked collaboratively to develop key guidance for conducting cumulative and growth-related indirect impacts analysis for California surface transportation projects. The objectives of this effort were to reduce project and process delays, protect and enhance the environment, and integrate and enhance interagency coordination. This successful partnership resulted in two key guidance documents - Guidance for Preparers of Cumulative Impacts Analysis and Guidance for Preparers of Growth-related, Indirect Impacts Analyses - that provide agencies, local government, and the public with a clear set of expectations about when and how to perform cumulative and growth-related indirect impacts analysis. The guidance documents reflect long-term discussions among the partnering agencies encompassing their various perspectives on vocabulary, definitions, and methodologies, which led to agreement on reasonable analytical approaches. The documents provide decision makers with a systematic approach for analyzing complex environmental issues for transportation projects in a consistent and comprehensive manner and offer a "practical, how-to approach" to cumulative and growth-related impact analysis. The important collaborative effort of developing the guidance documents built trust between the partnering agencies and greatly enhanced the ability of future practitioners to work collaboratively to develop feasible avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures that protect the public trust.

Project Contributors:

  • California Department of Transportation
    Cindy Adams | Marilee Mortenson | Larry Bonner
  • Federal Highway Administration, Califormia Division
    Maiser Khaled | Stephanie Stoermer
  • Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
    Nancy Levin | Nova Blazej | Michael Monroe
  • Carter Burgess
    Mike Davis
  • Karen Bahus Technical Writing & Research
    Karen Bahus
  • Fox Mediation
    Carie Fox
People meeting in a conference room
Updated: 12/03/2012
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