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21 Accompanying mitigation such as fencing and escape that have been placed in North America. As engineers and ecol- ramps are needed if exclusion fences are installed. ogists plan for the future, they can learn from both the Protecting both sides of the passages for long-term conser- successes and failures and can build on the current level of vation is cost effective. awareness among the professions and the public to create a Passages need to be seen by wildlife as they approach. continent-wide system of passages. It is a vision that will take Passage placement in a straight line of sight works better time and requires the collective efforts of all stakeholders. than those placements below or above the approach levels. Local biologists need to be involved in all phases of the project. 2.3 Priorities in Research Adaptive management works: monitor and improve future and Practice designs based on monitoring results. Introduction Providing several different types of crossings or adapting crossing for suites of species by providing cover, shelves, The field of transportation (road) ecology is developing small tubes, or a culvert within a culvert improves perme- swiftly and is practiced throughout North America and inter- ability. nationally without a parent organization or society to help Maintenance of passages and accompanying mitigation, guide research and practice. As a result, attempts to mitigate especially the bottom of passages in riparian areas and transportation effects on wildlife can appear to be scattered and holes in fencing, improve effectiveness of crossings. duplicative. National and continental efforts are under way to Monitoring of passage use for at least 3 years after con- document existing knowledge, accomplishments, and future struction will be beneficial because wildlife often take at actions, and in particular how to mitigate the negative effects least 2 years to adapt, especially if they use the area only for of transportation corridors for wildlife.80,210,62,181 To determine seasonal migration. future activities, a North American consensus regarding top priorities for research and practice would prove most helpful. Wildlife crossings and road ecology have evolved dramati- The research reported in this section is an effort to create a pri- cally in the 37 years since the first crossings were installed in oritized list of actions in safety and ecological research and Colorado and New York. Consideration of wildlife and roads practices to help mitigate the negative impact of roads on will continue to require the attention of road engineers, trans- wildlife in the United States and Canada. The objective was to portation planners, and the public. In fact, a recent survey of determine where additional research, field evaluations, and over 1,000 registered voters in the United States found that policy actions were needed in order to help maintain and re- 89% of those surveyed felt that roads and highways were a store landscape connectivity and permeability for wildlife threat to wildlife.242 It is in the resource's and the public's best across transportation corridors, while also minimizing WVCs. interest that road ecologists and engineers work to maintain high professional standards that promote functioning and effective wildlife passages across North America. This work Research Approach: Methods and Data includes developing the knowledge necessary for installing Setting Priorities mitigation measures that create a more permeable landscape where many different species of a range of mobility and sizes The creation of the list of gaps and priorities in trans- can cross over and beneath transportation corridors in their portation research and practice with respect to wildlife began daily and seasonal movements. The goal of greater permeabil- with a review of the pertinent literature. Approximately 120 ity will take dedicated work on the part of engineers and priorities were generated by the research team and then ini- ecologists to include consideration of wildlife passages in the tially ranked and combined to create 25 priorities. The initial earliest of stages of long-range transportation programs. Con- priorities were sent to 31 professionals in federal and state sideration at the project level, and post-project for passage agencies and academic institutions across North America for maintenance during routine maintenance operations will con- review and editing. Thirteen reviews of the document were tinue to be important, as will sound ecological research to received and information and edits from these reviews were document if passages meet stated goals and objectives. Com- incorporated into the priorities, along with comments from munication among those interested in passages, as well as those the NCHRP Project 25-27 panel. not typically involved in ecosystem concerns, such as planners, engineers, and administrators, will be effective if it is proactive Creating the Survey Instrument and collaborative. It takes the efforts of a community to open lines of communication. Citizens can be proud of the approx- During the development of an effective questionnaire, the imately 677 terrestrial and more than 10,000 aquatic passages priorities were ranked and annotated by 27 attendees of the

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22 Wildlife Crossings Workshop in Payson, Arizona, that was knowledge of mitigation measures for wildlife and fish pop- sponsored by the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project, the ulations near roads, WVC data management and research, Arizona DOT, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. natural resource agency coordination, and transportation These suggestions were incorporated into the survey instru- ecology planning. Participants were research scientists, en- ment, and the survey was re-organized into a more concise gineers, environmental and transportation planners, natu- and easily understood document. For a second iteration, the ral resource managers, data managers, and administrators updated survey was presented to the attendees of the Deer- working for DOTs and MoTs, the FHWA, state wildlife Vehicle Crash Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin. Eighteen agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. De- participants submitted surveys with further suggestions for partment of the Interior Bureau of Land Management and priorities and improving the survey instrument. Their com- National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Parks Canada, ments were incorporated into a final version that was pre- and consulting companies. The pool also included aca- sented as an Internet survey. The survey instrument was demic and federal research personnel involved in road ecol- based on Dillman's70 methods for email surveys, and advice ogy and road safety analyses. The pool of telephone survey from R. Krannick (personal communication, Sociology De- participants came from an original list of names taken from partment, Utah State University, 2005). Participants were projects listed on the FHWA's website "Keeping It Sim- asked to rank the priorities (with an option for "Not Enough ple,"85 the list of participants in the proceedings of the In- Information") on a scale of 0 (no priority) to 10 (top prior- ternational Conference on Ecology and Transportation ity) based on three criteria: in 2001 and 2003,127,128 and recommendations from key FHWA personnel involved in wildlife mitigation across the Cost-effectiveness: Are the returns on the investment of country. Canadian contacts were compiled by research money for research and development worth the cost? team members and from lists of attendees of the TAC meet- Urgency: Does this priority need the most immediate ac- ings. The goal of drawing from those resources was to make tion based on development pressures, safety issues, species' contact with practitioners and researchers involved in road survival, transportation projects, and political climate? ecology as well as individuals from state DOTs and provin- Overall effects: If this priority were accomplished, would it cial MoTs who work with transportation and wildlife proj- have far-reaching results across geographic, political, dis- ects. Those initial contacts led to many other contacts ciplinary, and ecological boundaries? across North America who potentially could contribute to the telephone survey on wildlife and roads.66 The members Although priorities were presented in two categories-- and friends of the Transportation Research Board's Task practice (11 priorities listed) and science (14 priorities listed), Force on Ecology and Transportation were also invited to participants were instructed to consider all priorities together participate in the survey. The initial 497 invited participants when ranking. The priorities were placed into two categories were encouraged to pass the survey on to peers in their to help direct management actions separately from research agencies and professions who had knowledge that would as- actions. Each priority was ranked from 0 to 10, allowing for sist them in ranking these priorities. This encouragement multiple identical values among a participant's priorities. led to a snowball sample of a much larger population of un- Five optional questions at the end of the survey pertained to known size. the participant's job title, area of expertise related to trans- portation ecology, the state or province of employment, type Delivering the Survey of employer, and email address. Participants submitted the survey by clicking on a "Submit Survey" button at the bottom The potential survey participants were notified of the forth- of the page. They were given the option to print the survey coming survey during the last 3 days in March 2006. A second and to send it to others by e-mail. email was sent a week later with a request to take the survey online or to print the survey and send a hard copy to the re- search team. Potential participants were given 17 days to take Selection of Participants the survey before it was closed. Four days prior to the closing The participants for the survey were selected using a non- of the survey, all participants who had not taken the survey, or random decision rule intended to select people with knowl- who had taken the survey but did not give their email ad- edge about transportation and wildlife issues in North dresses, were sent a final reminder. During the last 2 days of America. The largest set of potential survey respondents the survey, an additional 17 potential Canadian participants was taken from the pool of participants in the telephone were included in the survey mailings, and survey availability survey (Section 2.2) conducted as part of this NCHRP was extended for 1 week. The survey was officially closed research project. Participants were targeted for their 28 days after it was opened.