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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Hands, buckets, and a safe new spot for endangered mussels

Pearlshell mussel

In Grant Parish, Louisiana, when engineers prepared to replace an existing bridge on State Highway 122 over Swafford Creek, they noticed the only place for driving the piles of the proposed new bridge was in a bed of federally endangered pearlshell mussels. Biologists from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana University, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries picked up the mussels, put them in buckets, and relocated them in good habitat upstream of the proposed construction. The mussels survived the relocation process and adapted well to their new environment.

Lei Jin, (225) 242-4510 or ljin@dotd.louisiana.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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