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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Randomly placed rocks and fallen trees draw wildlife to new wetland areas

Fallen tree provides habitat structure

If you were to visit new wetlands along Vermont's Route 2, Route 7, and Barney Road (near Bennington), you might see a turtle sunning itself on one rock and a wood duck watching for predators from another rock. You might catch a glimpse of a hawk on a dead-tree "perch" or a rabbit or chickadee underneath a blown-down tree. A wide variety of animals are attracted to the wetlands because the Vermont Department of Transportation has made them look natural by randomly placing boulders, standing dead trees, and fallen trees in the area. The fallen trees are at least 16 inches wide and 16 feet long (grouse wont mate under smaller trees). Many of these trees were laid end to end and left with their root mass and crown attached, offering added habitat "structure" for animals seeking cover.

John Lepore, (802) 828-3963 or john.lepore@state.vt.us



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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