It's wildlife protection with an angle. When Missouri Department of Transportation contractors installed a bat-friendly gate at the entrance to Wind Cave off of Route 71 in McDonald County, they were careful to use angled steel bars, tying them into the rock at the cave entrance. Since bats use sonar navigation to find their way around, the angled steel is ideal because sound bounces off it, guiding the bats through the gate and making it easier for them to fly in and out of the cave. The gate was secured with a padlock to keep humans away from the bats' habitat and the habitat of a rare cave-adapted spider found inside. Any cavers who may be disappointed at Wind Cave's closure to humans have lots of other caves to explore, since fewer than 100 of the State's 5,800 caves have gates at their entrances.
"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."