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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

"Lampshades" on bridge lights protect young salmon

Close-up of fully shielded light fixture

Lighting on a section of the Cedar River Trail - the pedestrian crossing under the I-405 Bridge over Cedar River - used to cause problems for migrating salmon fry. The lights shone down on the river, slowing the passage of the young salmon and making them more visible to predators. To meet this challenge, Washington State Department of Transportation technicians mounted custom-made black rubber shields onto the bridge trail lights. Now the young salmon can swim quickly and with much less risk of predation.

John Cornelius, (206) 442-2113 or corneje@wsdot.wa.gov



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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