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Better environmental and highway outcomes through integrated planning.

Implementing Eco-Logical (C06)

Challenge

Transportation agencies recognize the ecological and economic benefits of integrating environmental considerations into highway planning. A team of eight Federal agencies developed the report Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects, which demonstrates how integrating environmental priorities at the planning level can accelerate development of projects and permitting while avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts that require future mitigation. However, ecology-based approaches must be easier to implement, more practical, and a priority for managers if the benefits outlined in Eco-Logical are to be more widely realized by the transportation community.

Solution

SHRP2 has developed an Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF), a nine-step, science-based process that helps practitioners identify ecological priorities within a region and make timely decisions about highway enhancements, enabling mutually-beneficial solutions for transportation and the environment. The solution includes tools for conducting ecological assessments and developing ecosystem services crediting. It also provides guidelines and model agreements to support integrating conservation, planning, and environmental permitting into an agency's ecosystem approach.

Benefits

In addition to improved environmental outcomes, organizations that apply the IEF will minimize the time and costs associated with planning and regulatory decision making. Utilizing the IEF well in advance of large maintenance projects or new construction can expedite planning and permitting processes so construction can begin more quickly. In addition, using the IEF supports better collaboration and information-sharing among highway and resources agencies, resulting in roadways that are wildlife-friendly and can better withstand potential weather damage.

In the Field

State Project Description Activity Contact
California Implementation Assistance Program - Caltrans beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
California Implementation Assistance Program - Association of Monterrey Bay Area Governments beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
California Implementation Assistance Program - Southern California Association of Governments beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Colorado Implementation Assistance Program - Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Georgia Implementation Assistance Program - Atlanta Regional Commission implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Idaho Implementation Assistance Program - DOT implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Idaho Implementation Assistance Program - DOT beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Maine Implementation Assistance Program - DOT implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Michigan Implementation Assistance Program - DOT implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Missouri Implementation Assistance Program - DOT beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
New Hampshire Implementation Assistance Program - DOT beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Ohio Implementation Assistance Program - Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Kentucky Implementation Assistance Program - Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Indiana Implementation Assistance Program - Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments beginning adoption of Eco-Logical planning approach User Incentive Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Texas Implementation Assistance Program - North Central Texas Council of Governments implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
Virginia Implementation Assistance Program - Charlotte-Albemarle MPO implementing Eco-Logical planning approach Lead Adopter Shari Schaftlein (FHWA) shari.schaftlein@dot.gov
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