In less than a day and with just a steel-tired tractor and a push blade, the Nebraska Department of Roads created undulated surfaces on 50 acres of the Tarnov Wetland Bank Site near Platte City, Nebraska. The small rises and declines - from six inches above to six inches below the design elevation - helped set up the specific moisture conditions needed for diverse vegetation that would appeal to a wide variety of aquatic insects and wildlife species. In just two growing seasons, the site changed from bare ground to a canopy of sedges, cattails, duckweed, spikerush and other wetland plants. The wetland attracts such wildlife species as deer, snow geese, white egrets, great blue herons, and mallard and blue-wing teal ducks.
"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."