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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Using proven planting methods for longer-lived hardwoods

Bottomland hardwood forest

Deer, turkey, possum, and other wildlife feed on the nuts and berries of hardwood trees, so it's standard practice to plant bottomland hardwoods on wetland mitigation sites. By observing thousands of tree plantings on these sites over a span of 10-15 years, Georgia Department of Transportation biologists have increased their expertise in planting hardwoods that grow well and survive a long time. They've identified the hardiest stock as stock not less than 3/8 inch in diameter and 32 inches in height and with a robust root system of 4 to 6 primary lateral roots. They've also learned the value of root-pruning so stock can be planted into a shovel hole without bending the roots and without having to excavate large holes. On wetland mitigation sites throughout the state, stock with these characteristics have outperformed very young plants, large-container plants, and burlap-wrapped plants, which are easily overwhelmed by shock.

Lisa Westberry, (404) 699-4433 or

Picture of various animals

Doing the right thing - simply

"Keeping it simple" is more than a concept. It's a commitment.

It means using simple solutions when simple solutions will work.

It involves going beyond "compliance" to identify easy ways of helping wildlife and fish.

It means doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do and because one has an opportunity to do it.

"We can build bat roosts in pre-fab bridge concrete or extend the right-of-way fence to create elkproof fencing," says April Marchese, Director of FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment. "Simple measures like these link habitats, reduce roadkill, and save taxpayer dollars."

This website highlights more than 100 simple, successful projects from all 50 states and beyond. Each is "easy." Most are low- or no-cost. All benefit wildlife, fish, or their habitats.

Many projects were completed only once - to protect specific species in specific environmental conditions. Others have been repeated numerous times and have become "routine."

Some projects are undertaken regularly because research has proven them effective. Others are new innovations, "best practices," or state-of-the-art strategies.

Some projects - for example, modifying mowing cycles and installing oversized culverts in streams - are common to a large number of states. Others represent a simple solution to a site-specific environmental challenge.

We invite you to explore them all. We encourage you to find out for yourselves, through this website, how transportation professionals are working with others to do the right thing for wildlife and--wherever possible--to do it "simply."

Updated: 12/12/2012
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