Raptors - birds of prey - have three distinguishing characteristics: a hooked beak, excellent long-range vision, and strong feet with sharp talons. If you visit any of three large wetland mitigation sites owned by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department - the Brushy Lake site in Monroe County, the Middle Ouachita River site in Clark County, and the Rixey Bayou site in Pulaski County - you may notice a red-tailed hawk, a red-shouldered hawk, or other raptor perched on a "platform in the sky." The box-like wooden structures attached to the tops of telephone poles were installed by the Department to enhance wildlife habitat on the sites. They make ideal "stages" for hawks' hunting and feeding when on-site natural raptor perches are not present.
"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."