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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

"Mound-planting" wetland oak seedlings for better survival

On seasonally inundated wetlands, planted oak seedlings are often washed away by back-water flooding before they can establish a root system. To prevent this from happening on the Spring Creek Wetland Mitigation Site in Carroll County, Tennessee, biologists from the Tennessee Department of Transportation test-planted seedlings by planting the young trees in mounds 2 feet across by 6 inches high. After letting the water in the mound drain, they used a hand-held "dibble bar" to make a hole for the seedling. In some cases, when water didn't drain from the mound, they made the mound higher by adding dry soil. Most of the seedlings survived, and in a few years the site's deer, turkey, squirrels, possums, mallards, and other animals will have plenty of acorns from the planted oaks.

Bill Brode, (615) 741-6834 or

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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