If you want to save certain trees and shrubs for wildlife habitat, and that habitat is not protected by any law or regulation, one simple solution is to do what the Colorado Department of Transportation does whenever the vegetation in a project area provides wildlife habitat. For these projects, the Department includes standard specifications on "the protection of existing vegetation" in bid plans to the contractor. Among the specifications are requirements that vegetation areas designated for protection be fenced, as shown in the plans, and that trees or shrubs damaged during construction be replaced. The specifications - and the resulting precautions taken by the contractor - have saved wildlife habitat in places like Middle Bijou Creek in Arapahoe County, home to mourning doves, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, and other migratory birds.
"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."