In a uniformly gradated rock-mulch entry to culverts, baby desert tortoises can easily fall into the spaces between the rocks, especially in an area with high water flow. To keep the little tortoises from slipping between the riprap, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has come up with a simple solution: concrete "ramps." At the tortoise-popular Gonzales Pass segment of U.S. 60 outside Superior, Arizona, ADOT crews attached concrete ramps-miniature "boat ramps"--to the entrance of each new culvert. A ramp was also added to an existing culvert which had no riprap and which could only be reached by a steep incline. The tortoise ramp here guarantees the animals a pathway up to and into the culvert.
"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."