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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Ferruginous hawk nest is relocated and rebuilt

Ferruginous hawk nestlings

Rust-colored ferruginous hawks - the largest hawks in North America - often reuse their nests from year to year. So when Montana Department of Transportation biologists relocated a ferruginous hawk nest because of its close proximity to a US 89 highway construction project, they reused the sagebrush-stick nest material to make two new nests on artificial nesting platforms. They mounted the platforms on poles, placing them about three quarters of a mile from each other and from the original nest location. Every year since 1997, the hawks have been using one of the new nesting sites, and they've successfully fledged 17 young. Relocating and "recycling" the original nest has also prevented costly construction delays during the nesting season.

Kirk Eakin, (406) 457-2902 ext 6 or kirk_eakin@urscorp.com



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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