When the Neosho River began to cut into the roadbed of State Highway 80 north of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Department of Transportation workers realigned the road, stabilized the riverbank, and installed three riverside perch poles for the region's bald eagles. They placed the poles about 1,000 feet apart - ideal separations for a "loner" species like the bald eagle. To make the perches appealing to the birds and long-lasting, the DOT crews made bundles of Osage Orange branches and clamped them onto the tops of telephone poles. The rot-resistant Osage Orange is known habitat for bald eagles and its bark becomes so hard over time even a nail can't penetrate it. Bald eagles have been using the sturdy new perches ever since they were installed.
"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."