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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

"Doing nothing" creates diverse habitats for wetland wildlife

Route 7 Wetlands Mitigation Area

When planted shrubs, saplings, and grass seed failed to survive wet conditions on a restored freshwater swamp off of Route 7 near Smithfield, Rhode Island, biologists from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation let "nature" solve the problem. After observing that sedges, rushes, steeplebush, wool grass, Joe Pye weed, and other wet-meadow species were emerging from the native soil (soil that had been buried under fill) and beginning to colonize the site, the biologists left the native vegetation undisturbed. The resulting habitats were more diverse than what had been planned, attracting white-tailed deer, small mammals, and birds such as robins, killdeer, yellow warblers, and red-tailed hawks.

Emilie Holland, (401) 222-2023 ext 4051 or eholland@dot.state.ri.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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