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17 Results--Needs And New Approaches Species Distribution includes the following: This section is divided into four subsections according to the · Predicting Wildlife and Plant Distribution through transportation planning, development, and operations pro- Maps cess. This organization allows users involved in transpor- · Predicting Species Distribution through Models tation planning to quickly reference the appropriate phase · Predicting Species Distribution and Biotic and Abiotic of planning in which they need specific ecological survey Interactions information. These subsections are as follows: · Transportation Act 2005 Legislation and Early Planning. 1. Systems Long-Range Planning Broad-Level Ecosystems and Landscapes Surveys and 2. Project Development Analyses include the following: 3. Construction · Ecosystems Overall Effects · Ecosystems Long-Term and Cumulative Impacts 4. Maintenance and Operations. · Ecosystems Expanding Temporal and Spatial Scales · Ecosystems Climate Change Causes and Effects Within each of these transportation phases, an ecological · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages hierarchy was used. This was organized according to sur- Overview vey needs and new approaches for species, and ecosystems · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages and landscapes. Each was addressed in a standard manner GIS Analyses for each phase of transportation planning. This organization · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages allows readers to be able to locate similar ecological levels in Maps and Connectivity Plans all levels of transportation planning. · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages Overall Local and Regional Planning. Systems Long-Range Planning Species Distribution The ecological survey approaches during systems long- range planning address broad-scale planning in space Long-range planning needs for species surveys often require (landscape to climate change scale) and time (20 years prior the availability of maps, potential distribution models, and to projects). Planning professionals have a need to under- overall planning documents to assist with general wildlife stand the patterns of plant and animal distributions in the and plant distributions. This level of planning requires an general planning areas, what the natural vegetative com- understanding of the distribution of species of concern so that munities may be, and whether wetlands and other sensitive routing decisions can avoid or minimize conflicts with such ecosystems are present. They also need to look at overall species and their habitats. Wildlife species of concern can ecosystem level effects of the proposed transportation plans, include plants and animals legally protected under federal or such as fragmentation of habitat, potential pollutants, and state statutes (e.g., threatened or endangered). Additionally, climate change. Often the local-level scale of species dis- rare or declining species that are not formally protected by tribution points can be too fine, and a broader, more predic- law often receive particular attention by resource manage- tive approach over larger areas is most appropriate. Because ment agencies. For example, species regarded by Nature- long-term planning is conducted years in advance of proj- Serve and its state Natural Heritage program partners as ects, the understanding is that these environmental surveys imperiled or vulnerable at a range wide (G1G3) or state are conducted to gain a general understanding of the species (S1S3) level frequently are taken into account in both long- and ecosystems in an area, and that over time the dynamic range and project planning. Other wildlife species that may nature of ecosystems may change those components. This be of concern in long-range planning efforts include locally is especially true when predicting ecological changes and or regionally valued game species, and species with specific transportation adaptations to climate change. Ecological management issues related to specific places, such as wading surveys for long-range planning are typically those of pre- birds or deer herds with specific wintering areas of habitat. dictive models, potential habitat analyses, maps of species distribution and landscape linkages, and analyses of poten- Species survey needs often include maps of documented tial long-term cumulative impacts to ecosystems. This is the occurrences (especially for rare species), occupied or poten- stage at which state-level GIS often are used. In this sec- tial habitats, or general distributions for the species of inter- tion, these needs and new approaches for environmental est. Although many respondents detailed needs for species surveys at the long-range planning stages are presented in location information in the context of project-level planning, two subsections. the long-range planning-level timing of surveys also was
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18 identified as an issue. Specifically, respondents indicated a vides a summary of which species at risk are known from need to better distinguish between areas that potentially may each state, county, or watershed (NatureServe). support a species of concern and areas that actually are occu- pied by the species. Survey work to distinguish this often All 50 states have Wildlife Action Plans that identify must be planned and carried out well in advance of actual species of greatest conservation need. Many of these plans project design work. Nine respondents mentioned the need present some form of maps for these species, their priority to better plan surveys with respect to time. The two major habitats, or important conservation areas. Some also pro- themes of these responses were as follows: vide information on invasive species that could be useful in long-term transportation planning. State Wildlife Action 1. Guidelines need to be established to prompt timing Plans outline the steps that are needed to conserve wildlife of surveys to plan years ahead of the actual survey so and habitat before they become rarer and more costly to pro- these surveys can be conducted in a timely manner and tect. Taken as a whole, these plans present a national action the information can get back to planners with enough agenda for preventing wildlife from becoming endangered. time to plan a project long enough in advance to pos- For listings of every state wildlife action plan, see "State sibly avoid or minimize transportation impacts. Wildlife Action Plans" in the References. 2. Planning should occur at longer time scales ahead of Predicting Species Distribution through Models One projects to better plan for surveys so that they can be area of technological advance in recent years has been the conducted for species at the correct time of year. development of the use of computer models to predict areas where suitable habitat for particular species may occur. One dilemma associated with the early timing of sur- Because long-range planning usually requires more gener- veys is the expiration of survey data. If the ecological sur- alized regional information on the distribution of sensitive vey is conducted too many years in advance of a project, the resources, such predictive models can distinguish among resource agencies may require up-to-date surveys. Another places with potential conflicts and those with no known con- quandary is the project funding for surveys may not materi- flicts. These models can better target more efficient and cost- alize with enough leeway to conduct timely surveys. These effective field survey work for at-risk species and provide an needs are partially addressed in the next section on new early warning of areas where ecological conflicts may exist approaches under timing of surveys. for potential transportation projects. New approaches to help determine wildlife and plant A number of predictive species distribution models, which locations for systems long-term transportation planning combine known occurrences of species with underlying involve the use of existing maps, aerial photographs, soft- environmental data layers, are now in use within the scien- ware and models to analyze these data, and reports and tific community. NatureServe, for instance, has developed a tools developed by natural resource agencies and orga- GIS-based Predictive Distribution Modeling (PDM) method nizations to assist in early development planning. The to produce probability maps of areas where elements such as previously cited needs focused on how to approximate species and ecological community types are likely (or not) species locations through distribution maps and models, to occur. Advantages of this method include that predictive and appropriate timing of calls for surveys to better docu- maps make field inventories more efficient and effective; ment species presence or absence. These new approaches they also show where to commit limited inventory resources involve the following: for the highest likelihood of documenting the specific spe- cies or ecosystem component that is the target of the survey. · Predicting wildlife and plant distribution through These maps predict multiple ecological elements, including maps wildlife, plants, natural communities, and water resources, · Predicting species distribution through models allowing for a more comprehensive holistic approach to eco- · Predicting species distribution and biotic and abiotic logical surveys. Several state Natural Heritage programs are interactions using variants on this PDM method to guide inventory work · Following Transportation Act 2005 legislation and and identify new populations of rare species and natural ensuring early planning. communities. They include Oregon's Natural Heritage Infor- mation Center, New York's Natural Heritage program, and Predicting Wildlife and Plant Distribution through Wyoming's Natural Diversity Database (NatureServe Pre- Maps Current sources of species survey data that involve dictive Distribution Modeling). In New York, for instance, maps for use in long-range planning include the following: the Department of Environmental Conservation's Natural Heritage program is using a local version of these predictive All states have a Natural Heritage program, which main- modeling tools to provide New York State DOT with state- tains databases of documented locations for sensitive plant wide predictive distribution maps for priority species for use and animal species. The NatureServe Explorer website pro- in its transportation planning and review.
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19 The Northwest Habitat Institute developed a habitat effects or for potential mitigation banks. This approach assessment method that quantifies habitat value in a consis- embraces greater interagency cooperation to facilitate these tent format. A habitat (HAB) value is calculated for each considerations and actions. site based on species, habitat types, and functions for each polygon. This method is used by Oregon, Washington State, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and British Columbia (Northwest Habitat Institute). recently developed the Wildlife Conservation Planning Tool, an innovation to help the collaborative process in Florida to Although aerial photography and satellite imagery are not prioritize wildlife conservation. Planning strategies for suc- new technologies, considerable advances have been made in cessful large-scale wildlife protection and habitat manage- the level of spatial and thematic resolution of these imagery ment can require coordinating information and resources sources. These advancements are improving the ability of these from many sources. Tracking down the most appropriate technologies to determine the location and extent of vegetation materials can become time-consuming, even overwhelming. communities and wildlife habitats. In addition, the emergence To expedite this process, the Wildlife Conservation Planning of web-based mechanisms to access imagery (e.g., Google Tool provides an interactive, computer-based manual that Earth, MicroSoft Virtual Earth) is transforming the way in includes links to hundreds of conservation resources. These which planners are able to interact with this information. resources guide project planning from evaluating existing natural resource conditions from a regional perspective to In North Dakota, the DOT intends to begin examining developing habitat management plans for specific properties the use of infrared aerial photography to identify plant com- or projects. Links guide users to a broad range of informa- munities with little ground-truthing required. tion--including literature and database hyperlinks, guide- lines for multispecies habitat management and initial site Booth et al. (2006a) describe software packages that take assessments, survey protocols for protected wildlife species, digital aerial images over large scales (Very Large Scale conservation opportunities for private landowners, and con- Aerial Imagery--VLSA) and accurately (90% accuracy) servation design options for transportation and development predict specific objects such as streams, animals, logs, plant projects. The manual assists those requesting or reviewing a canopies, riparian habitat, and vegetative communities from permit application for a development project for which wild- large-scale images down to images as fine as 1 millimeter life may be adversely affected, or for those planning to con- per pixel. The authors recommend these software packages serve an area with wildlife conservation as a priority. The to expand the utility of aerial image data. Wildlife Conservation Planning Tool became available in 2009 (Rousso and Hoehn 2009). Other methods are developing of using satellite and aer- ial imagery to determine species and community locations. The Northwest Habitat Institute (NWHI) created the Local offices of the Nature Conservancy and Natural Heri- Interactive Biodiversity Information System (IBIS). It is tage programs are some of the best resources for learning an informational resource to promote current conservation about the methods being developed in their region. efforts in the U.S. Northwest. IBIS contains the typical infor- mation about fish, wildlife, and habitats, and also analyzes Predicting Species Distribution and Biotic and Abiotic Inter- relationships among these species and their habitat. The data actions Approaches that use multiple layers of data and have been developed for 5 years, and NWHI may use this present them to users to better understand ecological inter- information as a base for adoption for other areas as well. actions across the landscape are presented in this section. These approaches typically are developed by natural resource Delaware DOT uses a system to rank the value of habitats; agencies and organizations that have a deep understanding this ranking is based primarily on the location of known state of biotic and abiotic conditions and interactions as well as an and federal threatened and endangered species. The ranking understanding of how these interactions result in the species system may be developed to include other ecological values distributions on the landscape. This more in-depth ecologi- of a given site, such as size and diversity of habitat, connec- cal approach to species distribution is a development that is tivity to other resources, and indirect costs of fragmentation typical of how resources will be assessed in the future. Both (including increased road mortality, noise pollution, etc.). the transportation community's Context Sensitive Solutions and the more recent Eco-Logical planning approach embody Transportation Act 2005 Legislation and Early Plan- this larger context view. This view includes expanding the ning Respondents reported the need for better long-term temporal scale of considering ecological resources in long- timing to include consideration of environmental variables term planning undertaken 20 or more years before potential in the long-range planning process. This longer time period projects and over longer time scales of considering effects approach allows for more thorough ecological consideration and mitigation, measured in decades. It also means that the of potential projects before plans are drawn, and it gives spatial scale of ecological considerations extends far beyond greater opportunity than project-level consideration does the road right-of-way to areas not normally considered for to avoid, minimize, and then mitigate for the transportation
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20 development. In a 2006 survey, Cramer and Bissonette (2007) scientific manners that allow for greater representation of a reported that 28 of 50 state DOTs surveyed reported begin- larger area, and allow for GIS-based modeling approaches ning ecological considerations at the project level, and only to predict potential occurrences as well as impacts. These 14 states reported any consideration of these resources at the approaches highlight a change in the approach from survey- long-range planning (20 years) level. The remaining states' ing a specific area before potential development to looking at respondents reported that they began ecological consider- the greater landscape over longer time scales in advance of a ation at the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) potential project. This even includes looking for transporta- level. Developments in the 2005 transportation bill require tion causes of climate change and managing for potential early planning for environmental resources. The passage of changes from this global phenomenon. For survey needs and the 2005 Transportation Act (known as SAFETEA-LU, the new approaches at this long-range planning phase, the large- acronym for the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Trans- scale approach is sectioned into (1) ecosystem concerns, and portation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users) Section 6001 man- (2) landcover and linkage mapping and analyses in the fol- dates that long-range plans be created with the consultation lowing manner: of natural resource agency personnel through the review of resource maps and inventories to identify potential environ- · Ecosystems Overall Effects mental conflicts and mitigation activities. It requires states · Ecosystems Long-Term and Cumulative Impacts to develop long-range transportation plans with a minimum · Ecosystems Expanding Temporal and Spatial Scales 20-year outlook and a reasonable opportunity for public · Ecosystems Climate Change Causes and Effects comment. Section 6001 of the act requires 20-year plans to · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages include the following: Overview · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages · Consultations with resource agencies, such as those GIS Analyses responsible for land-use management, natural · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages resources, environmental protection, conservation, and Maps and Connectivity Plans historic preservation, which shall involve, as appropri- · Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages ate, comparisons of resource maps and inventories Overall Local and Regional Planning. · Discussion of potential environmental mitigation activities and potential areas to carry out these activi- Ecosystem Overall Effects Ecosystems need to be sur- ties, including activities that may have the greatest veyed for large-scale impacts over time, such as cumulative potential to restore and maintain the environmental impacts, and over larger areas, such as fragmentation effects. functions affected by the plan At the same time, predictions need to be made regarding base · Participation plans that identify a process for stake- conditions and how potential transportation activities would holder involvement. affect them. Ecosystems sustain a multitude of effects from transportation corridors that traditionally have not been Section 6002 of SAFETEA-LU establishes a new envi- assessed at the regulatory level, such as cumulative impacts ronmental review process for highways, transit, and mul- and fragmentation. Today, a greater regulatory emphasis is timodal projects. This new process, mandatory for all placed on assessing these impacts than in the past and there environmental impact statements (EIS), requires a new pub- is more interest in these findings. A minimum of 13 respon- lic comment process on the purpose and need of the project. dents identified the need to survey the impacts of roads on The range of alternatives encourages greater participation ecosystems and their processes. These include effects not from more agencies and organizations, as well as the public regulated in the past but that are now part of regulatory con- (SAFETEA-LU). sideration, such as current, future, secondary, and cumula- tive impacts. Fragmentation effects on terrestrial and aquatic Broad-Level Ecosystems and Landscapes Surveys and ecosystems are also an ecological survey need, according Analyses to six survey responses. Respondents also noted a need to survey baseline natural conditions to assess and understand An overall theme among responses was the need for under- what the desirable conditions would be, and where core areas standing what ecological attributes are present at the ecosys- and corridors are needed to sustain different species, such as tem and landscape scale before project-level planning begins. neotropical migrant birds, carnivores, and large ungulates, At least six respondents explained that without knowledge to better prevent fragmentation. of the species, landscape linkages, and sensitive ecosystems presence in an area before transportation development, we The current environmental regulations call for a review risk losing these ecological attributes without even knowing of the ecosystem effects resulting from transportation pre- they are gone. Surveying at these larger scales is difficult and dominantly for construction phases. Some states look at relies heavily on mapping analyses that seek to extract data long-term maintenance impacts as part of biological assess- from satellite and aerial data, surveying and monitoring in ments undertaken during the environmental review phases in
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21 accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Ecosystems Long-Term and Cumulative Impacts There are regulations. Other states are also looking to reduce mainte- regulatory reasons for assessing long-term impacts, includ- nance and operations impacts to ecosystems and species by ing the Endangered Species Act. To help meet these require- assigning environmentally trained professionals to main- ments and go beyond the scope of the law, there are new tenance units, as done by the California DOT (Caltrans). approaches to examining the effects and potential effects of The current systems of studying and estimating ecological transportation on ecosystems and processes. Some of these impacts typically address short-term effects from transpor- approaches are presented under GIS tools in the landscape- tation activities and traditionally have not addressed the level sections later in this report. Those approaches that long-term and cumulative effects resulting from increases directly address ecosystem-level needs and that were discov- in traffic volume maintenance activities such as herbicide ered in the course of this survey include those that address spraying, the urbanization that occurs with the development cumulative impacts or the ecological effects of potential of roads, and other changes to the water, air, land, and over- projects. Following are a variety of examples. all connectivity of the landscape. The traditional approach could be improved and enhanced by looking at broader spa- The Colorado DOT recently (2008) released a cumulative tial and temporal effects. impacts analysis document, "Area Wide Coordinated Cumu- lative Effects Analysis." The project evaluated whether and Several respondents thought that modeling could be used how a spatial accounting approach can be used to identify to assess ecosystem-level impacts. One respondent men- the cumulative impacts on the environment that result from tioned that better models could be developed to identify eco- the incremental impacts of multiple transportation and other logically significant areas or to predict impacts and minimize projects, and related urbanization at a regional scale. Spatial or mitigate for losses. Others throughout the survey men- accounting methods were employed to inventory improve- tioned the need for predictive modeling. Predictive modeling ment or decline in the quality of key resources over multiple used to identify features that are important in avoidance and time periods, jurisdictions, and projects. The tools of spatial mitigation is becoming widespread, and respondents voiced accounting include the following: (1) data typically housed a need for its increased use. A southeastern respondent noted in a GIS; (2) models for the evaluation of environmental a need to develop more efficient methodologies to locate effects resulting from transportation projects and programs; potential wildlife crossings by comparing existing models of and (3) metrics such as indicators or thresholds, which can landscape permeability and connectivity, to create a reserve be used to assess the importance of change in resource quali- network design, and to identify sightings of wildlife cross- ties. This type of analysis is close to what the survey respon- ing. Several respondents mentioned the need to calculate dents voiced was a necessary approach (Muller et al. 2008). the value of ecosystems to determine the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures. Such assessments were mentioned The EPA sponsored a study at Colorado State University eight times in survey responses. Ecosystem assessment was on approaches to cumulative impacts: Hydrogeomorphic mentioned in the context of evaluating ecosystems for pol- Wetland Profiling: An Approach to Landscape and Cumu- lutants, including gravel, sand, and salt runoff into aquatic lative Impacts Analysis (Environmental Protection Agency systems. A northeast response included the need for a rapid 2005). The study developed a synthetic, hierarchical, and assessment technique to be developed on a watershed or eco- scalable approach to landscape characterization and a cumu- system scale to better factor ecological resources into the lative impacts analysis of wetlands. planning and design of projects. Based on the results of the ecological survey, many needs for ecosystem-level impacts The EPA also prepared an online report, Cumulative were identified. The needs expressed in this survey include Impact Assessment: Synoptic Approach to Cumulative the following: Impact Assessment: A Proposed Methodology (Environmen- tal Protection Agency 1992). The report provides resource · Conduct a survey for long-term, cumulative impacts managers and technical staff with an approach to evaluate to ecosystems the cumulative environmental effects of individual human · Conduct a survey for indirect impacts, such as ancil- impacts on the environment, particularly with respect to lary urbanization of road areas wetlands. · Conduct a survey for fragmentation effects of road on environmentally important areas and predictive mod- The Integrated Wildlife Habitat Ranking System eling to minimize potential impacts (IWHRS) is a GIS-based habitat model developed by the · Expand the scope of environmental surveys of ecosys- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission com- tems to include long-term and large spatial areas that posed of 10 statewide data layers that represent impor- could be affected tant ecological aspects for wildlife species in Florida. The · Evaluate the potential effects that climate change will IWHRS is used to conduct environmental reviews of devel- have on transportation systems, and how those systems opment and transportation projects and to perform impact contribute to this change. assessments, including direct, indirect, and cumulative
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22 impacts to important habitat systems and wildlife resources Some states such as California are already mandated in the state. The IWHRS is especially useful in performing by their legislatures to plan for climate change in projects larger, landscape-level assessments of linear projects, such and daily operations. Others have greenhouse gas reduction as highways, and has been incorporated into Florida's Effi- goals (see the Florida example discussed later). Legislated cient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) web-based initiatives, as well as studies and technologies, can help with tool. For a detailed discussion of these tools, see chapter these and other goals of dealing with climate change. The three, Case Study 1. following new approaches are presented as initiatives, stud- ies, and technologies to address climate change at the eco- The University of MassachusettsAmherst is developing logical surveys level. a system of GIS analyses for ecosystems called Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System (CAPS). The model Florida is proactive in considering the reduction of will assess connectivity to natural areas, evaluate mitigation greenhouse gases as one of the ways in which the govern- efforts, and inform the design of new roads. This is one of ment should be involved. The governor of Florida issued an the few models that attempt to address the fragmentation executive order that establishes greenhouse gas emission impacts from proposed transportation projects (Massachu- reduction targets from 2017 to 2050. Additional direction is setts Conservation Assessment and Prioritization System). provided to develop rules to achieve the following: (1) reduce For more information, see Massachusetts CAPS below, the maximum allowable emissions level of greenhouse under Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages gases for electric utilities; (2) adopt California motor vehicle Maps and Connectivity. emission standards; and (3) adopt a statewide diesel engine idle-reduction standard. Transportation models have been Ecosystems Expanding Temporal and Spatial Scales The developed to measure the particulates that are considered to issue of expanding the scope of transportation ecological degrade the quality of the atmosphere. Although this is not a surveys beyond the road right-of-way and over longer time specific survey method, these standards will lead to quantifi- scales to better assess transportation effects on ecosystems able methods to evaluate changes from climate change and is being addressed in several national-level initiatives that may lead to new ecological survey standards. are being adopted in different areas of the United States. For a detailed discussion of these methods and places they have Another recent initiative calls for the potential inclusion been and are being used, see chapter three, Case Study 6. of global warming impacts in environmental analyses docu- DOTs are expanding the environmental scope within their ments. In February 2008, the International Center for Tech- agencies. The environmental considerations are becoming nology Assessment, the Natural Resources Defense Council, important enough to agencies that some, such as Caltrans and the Sierra Club petitioned the chairman of the Council and New York State DOT (NYSDOT), have brought envi- on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and the executive office ronmentally trained professionals into their maintenance of the president, requesting that the CEQ amend its regula- and operations divisions. In this respect, the scope of envi- tions to clarify that climate change analyses be included in ronmental concerns has begun to expand across the trans- environmental review documents (see Climate change CEQ portation planning, development, and operations process. for more information). Ecosystems Climate Change Causes and Effects Climate Several respondents from across the United States men- change causes and effects are so broad in space and time tioned a study funded by the U.S.DOT and U.S. Geological scales that traditional regulatory framework and transporta- Survey (USGS): "Impacts of Climate Change and Variability tion phases have not addressed them. Increasingly, though, on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure: Gulf Coast states are taking the lead in finding ways to address these Study, Phase I" (U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. issues within the transportation planning, development, and Geological Survey 2007). This study has dozens of authors. operations process. Transportation choices, such as improv- The ultimate goal of this joint U.S.DOTUSGS research is to ing road lane capacity rather than investing in transit, or provide the knowledge and tools that will enable transporta- affecting intact ecosystems that buffer against carbon diox- tion planners and managers to better understand the risks, ide buildup, directly contribute to climate change. On the adaptation strategies, and trade-offs involved in planning, other side, climate change effects of longer droughts and investment, design, and operational decisions in the face of more intense storms, sea-level rise, and greater spring run- climate change. off pulses affect transportation systems. Twelve participants described survey needs related to climate change. Respon- A recently released book by the National Research Coun- dents were concerned about the effects of climate change cil, Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transpor- on existing species distributions and terrestrial and aquatic tation (National Research Council Committee on Climate connectivity, the flow of water, loss of habitat and its degra- Change 2008), was written by committee. This book con- dation, and the timing of biological functions. sists of papers by 12 professionals from state DOTs, universi-
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23 ties, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages GIS (NOAA), and consulting companies. Titles of chapters Analyses GIS data are tremendously important to long- include Understanding Climate Change, Impacts of Climate term planning and all other stages of the transportation Change on Transportation, Challenges to Response, Meet- planning process. The GIS ecological survey needs and new ing the Challenges, and a Summary. approaches are a major part of this synthesis. It is instructive for readers to understand just how GIS data, also known as Goddard Space Flight Center's Global Change Mas- geospatial data, are important to transportation planning. In ter Directory (GCMD) website enables users to locate and December 2007, the U.S. Forest Service, FHWA, and TRB obtain access to Earth science data sets and services relevant sponsored the "Improving National Transportation Geospa- to global change and Earth science research. The GCMD tial Information Workshop, New Applications: Environment database holds more than 25,000 descriptions of Earth sci- and Planning." This workshop examined potential benefits ence data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and and costs of initiatives to improve the national geospatial environmental sciences. Users can search using the search information infrastructure for transportation. Organizers box or can select from the available keywords to search for Burns, Yanchick, and Perkins penned a white paper that data and services (see Goddard Space Flight Center). provides an overview of the results (2007). The following paragraph (from that document) crystallizes the need for In Wisconsin, models are being used to predict the geospatial data in transportation planning: change in stream locations of various fish species associated Geospatial data can assist transportation specialists in with increasing water temperatures. The question being understanding the ecological implications of an individual addressed is: "Will warm water fish extend their range and transportation project. They can also be used by planners cold water fish lose habitat?" The availability of these basic to understand the broader, more cumulative impacts of a models, and the technology to run them, has provided some larger regional or statewide transportation system on the natural and human environment. Increased understanding interesting scenarios in which to answer that question. Con- of ecological relationships and the implication of those tact the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory Program for ecological relationships can improve transportation more information. designs that minimize impacts to the environment, reduce mitigation costs and project delivery delays. As individual environmental elements are influenced ultimately by A growing literature base is dealing with GIS-dependent ecological processes that are regional or even global in ecological niche modeling. The potential may exist in this nature, data that provide a larger regional or national area to improve or develop biological surveys, impacts context may make it easier to understand how different transportation projects or systems can influence those forecasting, and mitigation in landscapes that are changing ecological relationships and pathways that may pass because of normal fluctuations, development, and climate through the project planning area. A better understanding change (Dominguez-Dominguez et al. 2006). of the relationships may make it easier to design projects that minimize or avoid disruptions to these pathways and ultimately minimize environmental impacts. And, since Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology could individual transportation projects are often part of a larger have many applications to assist with measuring environ- system, with implications beyond regional, state, and even mental considerations dealing with climate change. LIDAR national boundaries, this database [of geospatial data] can is a remote-sensing system used to collect topographic data. assist in providing the appropriate context to design more safe and efficient transportation systems appropriate to the This technology is being used by NOAA and National Aero- needs of transportation users. Beyond increased safety and nautics and Space Administration scientists to document efficiency, these improved systems can also enhance the topographic changes along shorelines making it a possible human and natural environment (Burns et al. 2007). predictor and measuring device for climate change. It can measure distance, speed, rotation, and chemical composi- Survey respondents indicated that the following GIS data tion and concentration. It is still being worked on to refine needs were important relative to long-range planning: the methods. For instance, Schwartz (2006) reports the LIDAR technology has sometimes read treetops as ground · Coordination and cooperation among agencies level, skewing the results of the survey data. · Uniform, nationwide survey methods for gathering and storing remote-sensed data Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages Over- · Data-sharing methods that enhance accessibility to view Landcover maps and wildlife linkage maps and data with relative ease of use analyses can assist greatly with long-range transportation · Data that are stored in one central location planning. They provide information on areas where ecosys- · Data that are current and maintained tems and species potentially and do occur, data on where · A one-stop place on the Internet for permitting landscape and aquatic linkages occur or need to be restored processes. across a state, and information about what lands and water- ways are important for conservation to local and regional The use of GIS is now mainstream among transporta- citizen and agency efforts. tion agencies and other land-use planners. Novel uses and
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24 applications of GIS continue to appear, and many of these new In New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environ- approaches focus on improving the access, integration, and mental Protection (NJDEP) GIS information and Landscape visualization of various types of spatial data of relevance to biol- Project data are used as preliminary screening tools. The GIS ogists and transportation planners. Dozens of GIS approaches layers encompass many different areas of interest, including and websites could be considered as new approaches to the GIS threatened and endangered species habitat, wetlands, streams, needs required at the long-term planning scale. These systems water quality classifications, and so on. If it is warranted for a typically show promise for more than one of the ecological project, the NJ DOT uses NJDEP wetlands mapping and the survey needs addressed previously. For instance, the Florida Landscape Project data in preliminary screening to conduct example addresses the need for coordination and cooperation, a formal wetland delineation (New Jersey GIS). while at the same time demonstrates the benefits of having a standardized system in one central place. A general classifica- In Tennessee, the Tennessee DOT is developing the tion of the GIS approaches in this report is somewhat arbitrary, Statewide Early Management System, which will encom- but it is provided to enable readers to better organize how these pass the Early Environmental Screening (EES) tool. The approaches can assist in terms of ecological surveys. Each one EES uses existing GIS data to make better planning deci- of these approaches addresses several of the previously cited sions early in a project's life. Experts in various disciplines needs for GIS ecological survey data. Readers are encouraged (e.g., ecology, history, and geology) were brought together to explore these programs and websites to determine which to examine available data in their respective disciplines and solution best represents their specific ecological survey needs. to decide how those data should be used and displayed to The three types of GIS approaches presented are as follows: best aid those decision makers. Based on these data, a scor- (1) coordination and cooperation among agency partners in ing system has been developed that alerts stakeholders of specific states, (2) general GIS sites with environmental data potential roadblocks the project may face along the way. and methods of data integrations, and (3) standardized and This enables stakeholders to avoid those roadblocks or to uniform data collection. build extra time into the schedule to deal with the prob- lems. Planners now have data that are accessible and easy Coordination and cooperation among agency partners to use but that still contain enough information to make dealing with GIS-based data occur at multiple levels of gov- effective decisions. ernment in every state. GIS systems are now used by every state DOT as well as other agencies. Although the more Florida is known for its ETDM web-based tool for han- advanced state GIS systems are better known from their dling GIS data and long-range and project-level planning. coverage in reports, conference presentations, and FHWA The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and awards (see discussion of Florida's ETDM Process in chap- the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ter three, Case Study 1), other advances are being made by have major data development programs and partnerships to states that are progressing along the continuum of GIS tech- enhance accessibility to environmental and ecological GIS nologies. The following seven examples illustrate some of data (such as threatened and endangered species, habitat the different ways that states are bringing GIS data together mapping, land-use and landcover classifications, watersheds, for planning purposes. Although some readers may not view wetlands, imagery), improve data-sharing capabilities, and these examples as "cutting edge," they nonetheless provide promote interactive and effective interagency coordination an idea of what different states are doing with GIS to assist (Florida Environmental Resource Analysis Tool). For more with environmental surveys in long-range planning. information, see chapter three, Case Study 1. In Maryland, the State Highway Administration (SHA) Michigan DNR is developing a lake and stream classi- is continually building a working partnership with the state fication system with local-scale and catchment-scale char- resource agencies, which has helped in the sharing of eco- acteristics. This system will assist transportation planning logical survey databases. Their working GIS database is the because it can identify areas with a large number of unsam- Green Infrastructure, developed by Maryland's Department pled locations. of Natural Resources (DNR) (see Maryland Green Infra- structure Development discussed in chapter three, Case In Wisconsin, the DNR has a web-mapping function, Study 2, and References). The Surface Water Data Viewer. This tool gives special coverage to a variety of water resources. This tool collects Michigan Department of Information Technology's Cen- information and makes it available for both developers and ter for Geographic Information manages the Michigan Geo- highway builders. Its mapping application provides water graphic Data Library. It is the state's repository for GIS and resources, monitoring, and water quality assessment data. includes more than 60 unique statewide data sets, including Users can view and analyze watershed-related data for lakes the Michigan base map (Michigan Geographic Framework), and streams, monitoring stations, impaired waters, and Out- aerial imagery, geology, hydrology, land ownership, topogra- standing/Exceptional Resource Waters (see Wisconsin Sur- phy, and other maps (Michigan Geographic Data Library). face Water Data Viewer).
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25 Also in Wisconsin is the Aquatic and Terrestrial adopted by the Federal Geographic Data Committee as an Resources Inventory (ATRI), which provides a central loca- interagency standard for use in classifying and mapping veg- tion from which general data can be retrieved. This informa- etation communities. NatureServe has developed a midscale tion is available for planning agencies and also includes a ecological systems classification that is serving as the basis strong citizen-monitoring program of a variety of resources for national-scale landcover mapping efforts of the USGS (see Wisconsin ATRI). Gap Analysis Program and the USDA Forest Serviceled LandFire initiative. NatureServe provides access to many General GIS websites that assist with environmental data of these nationwide species and ecosystem data through its and methods of data integration possess information and NatureServe Explorer website (see NatureServe Vista). Also offer approaches that can help with some of the ecological see chapter three, Case Study 3. survey needs listed for long-range planning. ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) is a FHWA's website on Planning and Environment Linkages world leader in the development of GIS software and provides contains information developed and compiled by the FHWA access to numerous standardized underlying geographic data and its partners to assist in strengthening planning and envi- sets. This company produces ArcGIS, the industry-standard ronment linkages. It represents an approach to transportation GIS software program used around the globe. ESRI develops decision making that considers environmental, community, specific software applications for individual organizations and economic goals early in the planning stages and carries and states. For instance, Utah's Geographic Transportation them through project development, design, and construction. Environmental Assessment System (GTEAS) for analyzing This approach can lead to a more seamless decision-making data layers of species of concern was developed specifically process that minimizes duplication of effort, promotes envi- by ESRI. Recently, the Western Governors' Association, a ronmental stewardship, and reduces delays in project imple- political organization of 19 western states, was advised by mentation (see Federal Highway Administration, Planning both ESRI and NatureServe on how to map wildlife corridors and Environment Linkages in References). across the entire western United States. Both organizations develop software for individual states [ESRI (Environmen- The USGS maintains a landcover data portal containing tal Systems Management)]. federal lands, data from the Amphibian Research and Moni- toring Initiative, landcover, Gap Analysis Program (GAP) The National Geospatial Program was developed by analysis resources, water resources such as aquifers, rivers, USGS. This program developed the National Atlas, which topographic maps, and many more data layers and links (see contains topographic maps and stream coverages. The U.S. Geological Survey Landcover in References). National Geospatial Program provides leadership for USGS geospatial coordination, production, and service activities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a GIS Wet- The program engages partners to develop standards and lands Geo-database (see U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, GIS produce consistent and accurate data through its Geospatial in References). Liaison Network (see U.S. Geological Survey Geospatial Liaison Network in References). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service maintains a soil-mapping The National Map, developed by the USGS, is an online GIS service online, linked with the Soil Survey (see U.S. interactive map service based on a consistent framework. It Department of Agriculture in References). provides public access to high-quality, geospatial data and information from multiple partners (a consortium of federal, Approximately six respondents mentioned the need to state, and local partners who provide geospatial data) to sup- have national or statewide standards for data collection and port decision making by resource managers and the public storage of GIS data. The following software companies, (see U.S. Geological Survey, National Map in References). organizations, and initiatives seek to standardize GIS data on natural resources. These efforts have assisted transportation The Western Governors' Association Wildlife Corridor planning across the country and potentially allow greater Initiative involved a science committee that made recom- ease of interagency data exchange across the United States. mendations for GIS data collection and storage for 19 west- ern states (see Western Governors' Association, Wildlife NatureServe, a nonprofit research organization, sets Corridors Initiative in References). Also see chapter three, national standards for the collection and management of data Case Study 4. on species and ecosystems used by the network of state Nat- ural Heritage programs. As a result, Natural Heritage data Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages Maps are nationally consistent and can be used in regional and and Connectivity Plans Landscape-scale ecological con- national-scale analyses. NatureServe has developed a U.S. nectivity and plans are critical to long-range transporta- National Vegetation Classification system, which has been tion plans. Long-range transportation planning efforts
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26 need input on areas where landscape and aquatic linkages maps show where wildlife needs to move on public lands and occur or that need to be restored across a state as well as on private land as well. Each state's maps have their limita- which lands and waterways are important for conservation tions, but the critical attribute of each is that they are tailored to local and regional citizen and agency efforts. Incorporat- to each state's needs. The states with greater human devel- ing information from coarse-scale large area maps of areas opment have limited natural landscape linkages. A recent where wildlife and aquatic species need to move helps plan- trend has been to combine several state analyses to identify ners determine whether potential long-range projects should areas where wildlife movement lands can be linked with avoid those affected areas, minimize potential impacts, or other states. The Western Governors' Association Corridors include mitigation efforts long before the project-level plan- Initiative is the most far-reaching example. Several different ning. The Context Sensitive Solutions approach enables approaches give a view of the various maps available. transportation agencies to consider the ecological, histori- cal, and human community values and attributes of an area In Arizona, a GIS initiative called Areas of Conserva- under transportation development consideration. To best tion Priority is being developed to identify major areas of consider the ecological resources and the ecological attri- importance to wildlife, development threats, and connectiv- butes that local communities find important, ecological ity. The program should engage transportation professionals resources must be considered from the data perspective and and developers in maintaining some of the important areas community conservation priorities perspective. In this sec- that are identified (see Arizona Natural Infrastructure Data tion, needs and new approaches are presented for terrestrial Sources in the References). connectivity, aquatic connectivity, and overall planning for local and regional scales. Since its release in 2006, Arizona's Wildlife Linkages Assessment has proven to be a valuable tool in alerting plan- Twenty states expressed the need to identify landscape ners to potential conflicts with wildlife movement corridors. linkages or wildlife corridors largely for mammals, to Although no formal adoption of the document has occurred, avoid, minimize, or mitigate transportation corridors. These Arizona DOT (ADOT) has put wildlife linkages in their responses came from every region of the country. Respon- project checklist. ADOT has said that open preservation dents conveyed the sense that data are available for the indi- and wildlife linkages are one of the overarching principles vidual animals studied, but they are not sufficient to map to be considered in framework studies. The Wildlife Link- corridors for the majority of wildlife movement. As one ages Assessment was a collaborative effort between nine respondent wrote, "GIS mapping that depicts important fish agencies and nonprofit groups to proactively address wild- and wildlife habitat and wildlife crossings areas will assist life connectivity in Arizona. In conjunction with this effort, in proactive planning to avoid impacts to valuable habitat, the Arizona Game and Fish Department funded site-specific minimize vehicle/wildlife conflicts, and identify potential Linkage Designs for eight of the identified linkages. The mitigation opportunities. This will support the requirements work was conducted by Northern Arizona University (NAU) of Section 6001 of SAFETEA-LU." Although these maps and led by Dr. Paul Beier. These plans identify and map mul- are important, it is the data that create them that are lack- tispecies corridors that will best maintain wildlife move- ing. Ecological surveys help planners understand different ment between wildland blocks, as well as highlight specific species' movements, which in turn can be combined across planning and road mitigation measures required to maintain studies to create landscape-level maps. Although current connectivity in these corridors. Through this process, NAU maps are helpful, they are often based on consensus among developed a GIS extension tool to aid in wildlife corridor biologists and created through GIS modeling efforts with planning. The downside of this project is that it works only usually only data for up to five species' needs and distri- with ArcView 9.1 or 9.2, a more recent GIS software that not bution. Data needs for terrestrial wildlife connectivity thus all agencies may possess as a result of budgetary constraints. involve not only maps of potential landscape linkages, but The completed Linkage Designs are extremely useful when also studies of multiple species to learn how animals use the completed before design of a transportation corridor (see landscape, especially with respect to roads. Arizona Wildlife entries in the References). New approaches include approximately 20 individual Vermont Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis is a GIS state analyses of terrestrial connectivity for wildlife or green database of core wildlife movement areas associated with infrastructure mapping. A general overview of these maps state highways (Austin et al. 2006). For more information, can be found under Wildlife and Roads--Landscape Link- see chapter three, Case Study 2. ages in the References. These analyses are developed using two methods: (1) consensus-building rapid assessments The University of MassachusettsAmherst and its part- through a statewide meeting of concerned professionals, ners in Massachusetts will build on the existing CAPS and (2) a GIS-modeling exercise developed specifically for a through a statewide landscape connectivity study. CAPS state that incorporates multiple GIS layers and models of the is a computer model developed by the University of Mas- needs of approximately five keystone species. The resulting sachusetts that incorporates biophysical and anthropogenic
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27 data to develop an index of ecological integrity. This Land- rable to what is found naturally. This is especially important scape Connectivity Study will create a spatially explicit in maintaining habitat connectivity for aquatic organisms, tool, including maps and scenario-testing software, to miti- such as fish and mussels. Although long-range planning gate the impacts of roads on the environment and inform typically does not analyze specific infrastructure such as the design of new roads. This study will assess connections existing bridges and culverts, a general overview of a poten- among natural areas and wildlife habitats; design strategies tial transportation project must determine whether the exist- to protect existing connections among habitats (including ing infrastructure is impeding the movement of water and rivers, wetlands, and forests); locate prime wildlife habitat aquatic organisms and needs to be redesigned or retrofit. In and movement corridors, where the strategic use of mitiga- Washington State, this is mandated by state legislation. Ret- tion techniques can be used to facilitate wildlife passage rofitting and realigning existing road infrastructure in long- and reduce the risk of animalvehicle collisions (a-v-c); and term planning creates an ecological survey need to check examine habitat connections that transcend political bound- existing databases and priority lists of blocked passages to aries through regional analysis. This study has been used determine what the aquatic connectivity retrofitting will to site a new highway alignment in Connecticut (see Mas- entail. Long-term planning also entails evaluation of exist- sachusetts Conservation Assessment and Prioritization Sys- ing natural aquatic resources in a general area (1) to evalu- tem in the References). ate how potential transportation project would affect these areas' connections and (2) to avoid these areas or evaluate The Maryland Green Infrastructure Project is a GIS how bridge and culvert structures can be designed to reduce mapping tool used to identify and prioritize the state's most hydrologic impacts to aquatic species. Whereas wetlands in important natural lands. For more information, see chapter general are evaluated for other potential impacts, this part of three, Case Study 2. the long-term planning addresses an ecological survey need to better understand the aquatic connectivity of a system. In New Hampshire, the FHWA awarded a grant in 2008 to At this stage in the planning process, potential structures the Audubon Society of New Hampshire to develop a frame- along a transportation corridor may need to be evaluated. As work to identify transportation and wildlife conflict areas one respondent wrote, "Structure design should be analyzed and potential mitigation strategies on an ecosystem scale that by an inter-disciplinary team of professionals consisting of can be used before the design phase of state transportation a biologist, hydrologist, and engineer to minimize risk of projects begins (see New Hampshire Audubon Society). adverse impacts to all aquatic resource values." This eco- logical survey need also includes the identification of poten- In Arizona, GIS tools to identify wildlife connectivity tial pathways for the possible spread of contaminants from a on the landscape are available to multiple users, including project area, and the spread of invasive species across an area the Least Cost Path Analyses Corridor Designer Toolbox by means of the waterways. The ecological survey needs for developed by Beier of Northern Arizona University (see aquatic connectivity include the following: (1) maps of exist- Arizona's Wildlife Corridor Planning GIS extension), and ing wetlands and hydrologic data, (2) priority lists and maps the newer Circuit Theory Model developed by McRae of of blocked aquatic passage, and (3) a standardized methodol- Northern Arizona University (see Arizona's Circuit Theory ogy for determining what constitutes a blocked passage and Model). Agency expertise to use these programs in both how to prioritize these areas. state wildlife and DOT agencies are necessary to determine and prioritize wildlife corridors. The new approaches to understanding aquatic connec- tivity include new classification systems of waterways, The Western Governors' Association adopted the Wild- web-based mapping functions to better investigate aquatic life Corridors Initiative in 2008. An important component of resources, and fish passage programs that are well organized this initiative is the standardization of data and its storage. A and allow efficient access to large databases of prioritized science committee that advised this initiative created a stan- passages, as well as standardized methods for collecting dards manual for future data collection and GIS systems for blocked passage data. 19 states to be able to share data and create seamless maps. This is discussed in detail in chapter three, Case Study 5. Washington State DOT (WSDOT) recognized that many existing highway culverts are barriers to fish passage. Aquatic systems connectivity is an important environ- WSDOT has managed a cooperative program since 1991 to mental concern for long-range and project-level planning. inventory, prioritize, and correct these fish passage barriers Several respondents replied how the hydrologic connectiv- on the state highway system statewide. Through an assess- ity of rivers, streams, estuaries, marshes, bogs, and other ment process, WSDOT has identified and prioritized fish wetlands and uplands is an important information need barriers for correction. Fish barriers are corrected as part in long-range planning. For these systems to function, the of transportation improvement projects and also as part of water quality, quantity, exchange, and organism movement separate stand-alone projects. Since 1991, more than 200 all need to be maintained or restored in ways that are compa- fish barriers have been corrected with project cost ranging
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36 · The need to consider the impacts of noise, light pollu- ing the road. These comments were also given relative to the tion, runoff, and road fragmentation on amphibian and need for survey information on wildlife-vehicle collisions. reptile communities. · The toxic effects of storm-water runoff including ther- Animalvehicle collisions (a-v-c) or wildlifevehicle col- mal increases resulting from canopy loss, sedimenta- lisions were mentioned by 21 agencies. The comment most tion from runoff, and nutrient loading, on streams, fish, often given was the need to improve the collection of data and fish connectivity. concerning wildlife involved in vehicle collisions, including · The effects of salt runoff on terrestrial and aquatic spe- a standardized data collection method and a standardized cies (mentioned by eight agencies), especially amphib- way of exporting those data. Several respondents expressed ians and aquatic species and systems. a need to identify areas where smaller animals, including small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, are getting killed. All but two of the new approaches to dealing with pol- Respondents from a wildlife agency in the Northeast gave a lution in ecosystems are presented in the section Systems well-thought-out response: Long-Range Planning, Ecosystems Long-Term and Cumu- There is a need for a standardized statewide survey lative Impacts under cumulative impacts , as well as in the of road kills contained in a centralized database. The sections Construction, and Maintenance and Operations, database should contain information on the location, Ecosystems and Landscapes. The following references are date, and species of vertebrates and invertebrates killed compilations of noise effects on wildlife. on roadways. Particular attention must be given to those species of greatest conservation need and to species located in areas with high concentrations of roadways In 2006, Kaseloo and Tyson published Synthesis of Noise and relatively small patches of existing habitat. The data Effects on Wildlife Populations. The report was sponsored acquired from such a survey should assist in identifying by FHWA. It evaluates all studies the authors could find that the distribution and significant habitat areas for terrestrial and semi-terrestrial wildlife species and potential hotspots analyze noise effects on wildlife in some manner. for significant losses related to transportation corridors. Noise effects on birds have been reviewed by Dooling and Popper (2007) from the University of Maryland in a synthe- The following are new approaches taken in wildlife cross- sis of existing literature. For a description of how research- ings and a-v-c: ers developed guidelines, see Dooling and Popper in the References. A continent-wide study funded by NCHRP was com- pleted in 2008. The objective of this study, titled Evaluation Landscape Connectivity --Wildlife Crossings and Animal of the Use and Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings (Bisson- Vehicle Collisions The need for more research, installation, ette and Cramer 2008), was to develop guidelines for the and determining the effectiveness of wildlife crossings was selection (type), configuration, location, monitoring, evalu- mentioned by 27 agencies. This was the most often quoted ation, and maintenance of wildlife crossings. Other studies need of the entire survey. The majority of respondents under- were published by this team of nine ecologists and engineers stood that the crossings were necessary not only as a safety who researched this project. consideration, but also for all kinds of animals, large and small. Respondents identified a lack of information to deter- An ongoing study is developing the software and hard- mine the placement and spacing of crossings for different ware standards for a-v-c data. For more information on the species, the designs necessary for getting amphibians and Use of PDA Devices, see chapter three, Case Study 5. reptiles under larger highways, general design requirements, and crossing effectiveness. Six respondents mentioned the The website of the Deer Vehicle Crash Information and need to research crossings to determine their effectiveness. Research Clearinghouse has been a central location to access Florida respondents specifically asked that the need for information about the effectiveness of deervehicle collision crossing criteria assessments be addressed. A respondent prevention methods. So much data have been collected that a from the Northeast stated the need for understanding where visit to this site may cancel the need for another study ("Deer wildlife is likely to cross the road, Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse"). There is a need for development of a computer model that uses GIS data, observation data, and the literature (for In Maryland, the SHA developed a Large Animal Removal species habitat use) to predict where animal crossings are Reporting System Database, which has proven useful in most likely to occur in high numbers. This model should identifying information about a-v-c hot spots. This site was be inclusive for all species affected by the roads, with one of the success stories highlighted in the NCHRP study special consideration for rare species. AnimalVehicle Collision Data Collection (Huijser 2007). At least a half dozen respondents expressed a need for A respondent from the Northeast worked with students more data on areas where wildlife are most prone to cross- from Framingham State College to develop a model that
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37 identifies turtle road-crossing hot spots. The modeled habi- policy and funding initiatives. To get a complete sense of new tat was overlaid with Massachusetts roads to determine hot approaches for this survey need, readers should find aquatic spots that may be of concern for turtles whose habitat is in and fish connectivity at each step of the planning process. proximity to roads. This information will be useful in deter- mining whether special structures will need to be erected to Following are new approaches for fish connectivity. protect turtles on existing roadways, as well as in the future when new construction or road improvements are made. Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags are being used inside fish to help determine aquatic connectivity. A moni- Although it was not identified as an environmental sur- toring device is mounted at a culvert or other aquatic struc- vey method, to prevent a-v-c, ADOT is currently evaluating ture and as fish pass through, it records which animals have several different types of fencing, escape ramps, and jump- passed through. Montana DOT sponsored a fish passage out ramp options to keep wildlife off roads. ADOT is also research project using this method. One of the researchers experimenting with a driver warning system (for contact explains the technology: information, see Arizona GPS technology). This report describes the use of PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags for assessing road crossings as barriers During 2006 and 2007, the Virginia DOT (VA Trans- to fish movement. This technology holds great promise for portation Research Council) and Virginia Game and Inland accurately characterizing the barrier status of a crossing Fisheries investigated the use of GPS-enabled PDAs to docu- or any other type of in-stream hydraulic structure that might be a barrier to fish or other aquatic organism ment a-v-c in a pilot study. Results indicated that mainte- mobility. The technology is best used in combination nance personnel found greater than nine times more deer with a gauging station. The gauging station's function is (Odocoileus virginianus) carcasses on the roads than were to record the hydrograph (flow vs. time) in the stream reported in a-v-c reports for the same areas (Donaldson and system. The PIT tags will identify the timing of fish movement. The last step is to overlay the hydrograph data Lafon 2008). For more information, see chapter three, Case onto the PIT tag information, and the passage thresholds Study 4. are clearly shown. The downside to this technology is that it takes some time, effort, and expense to evaluate a crossing structure compared to more simple methods A 2007 study documents the different data collection (Cahoon et al. 2007). methods for a-v-c and suggests the need for national stan- dards. NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 370: Animal Vehicle Collision Data Collection reports on all the methods Michigan DNR is entering new data that are georefer- used by states and Canadian provinces to collect, store, and enced. These data give the characteristics of culverts, such use a-v-c data. The study includes successful examples of as that collected at the USGS National Fish Passage Program states and provinces where the a-v-c data collection and use (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fish Passage). appears to be working well (Huijser et al. 2007). In Connecticut, the Department of Environmental Protec- Landscape Connectivity -- Streams and Fish Connectiv- tion is working with the Connecticut DOT (CTDOT) to allow ity Eleven agencies identified the need to map fish con- for the avoidance and minimization of impacts to fisheries' nectivity and install fish passages. Much landscape-scale resources during the design and construction of transporta- analyses of fish and aquatic systems connectivity are covered tion projects. The CTDOT strives to avoid aquatic habitat earlier in Systems Long-Range Planning, Landcover Maps loss with new projects, and to restore riverine continuity and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages sections on GIS Analy- in areas where projects previously have caused fragmenta- ses, Maps and Connectivity Plans, and Local and Regional tion. Required replacement of aging infrastructure provides Planning. The specifics of new approaches are presented that the restoration opportunity. The major concerns typically explain where and how to install fish passages at a project- addressed include direct habitat loss and prevention of fish oriented level. Respondents identified other needs as follows: passage problems associated with elevated or steep culverts. to inventory culverts and determine which ones impede fish Other impacts, such as thermal increases from canopy loss passage, and to develop rapid field assessment protocols to and from runoff over impervious surfaces, bituminous pave- assess road-stream crossings and other barriers to aquatic ment in particular, and nutrient loading from storm water are organisms. One respondent in the Northeast mentioned that more problematic. this need to survey culverts can help prioritize actions and secure funding. The respondent mentioned that the state A New Jersey respondent wrote: interagency committee on wildlife crossings was asked to In recent years, there has been a significant advance in identify the specific unmet infrastructure needs in terms of the types of tagging/marking approaches which could be highways and habitat to best prioritize where future policy employed to track the short- and long-term movements and funding could be directed. The committee did not have of fish and wildlife. Radio tags can and are being used an answer. The respondents noted that a culvert assessment to determine the movements of fish and wildlife through stream corridors, particularly in the vicinity of road and prioritization list would have enabled them to respond to crossings, dams and other types of barriers.
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38 A Northeast agency responded: Following are the new approaches for planning at local and regional scales. Through the use of radio tags and tracking devices, it would be possible to determine what the performance standards should be for designing/modifying road A transportation planning research project was under way crossing structures to ensure that the upstream movement in 2008 sponsored by the U.S.DOT Research and Innovative of invertebrates, non-game fish, amphibians, reptiles, Technology Administration. The objective of this research and small mammals are not impeded. When conducted on a seasonal basis, radio-tagging studies would provide is to develop new and innovative approaches to streamlin- valuable information on the home ranges and migratory ing environmental and planning processes for transporta- behavior of aquatic organisms within stream corridors tion corridors that will use commercial remote-sensed data and terrestrial organisms, e.g. amphibians and reptiles. and spatial information technologies. Each activity typical of the transportation planning process will consider how Such work is exemplified by the Montana PIT tags of fish, remote-sensing and spatial information technologies may discussed earlier. add efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve the quality and outcomes of the task or activity. The lead institution for this Visual elastomers are being used in Kansas. Research- project is Mississippi State University. Mississippi State ers in Kansas are using a visual elastomer material injected is working in collaboration with partners at Oak Ridge under the epidermis layer of endangered fishes to deter- National Laboratory and Michigan Tech Research Institute, mine how small cyprinid fishes pass through stream barri- along with partner DOT agencies. The research will com- ers including culverts. The information helped researchers pare and quantify benefits of new and innovative approaches determine what the fish habitat requirements are to increase versus traditional methods for completing tasks in the EIS movements across these barriers. Biologists then used Arc- process. A completed EIS for a planned segment of I-69 that Map GIS software with mapping of landscape features to traverses Memphis, Tennessee, and northwest Mississippi disseminate this information. General information about serves as the research test bed to quantify benefits deliv- Visual Elastomers can be found in the References. ered by the technology deployment project. In addition, the project also addresses Hurricane Katrina lessons learned to The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provides derive nationally significant motivations toward enhanced guidelines and criteria for stream-road crossings (Oregon geospatial preparedness for application to transportation Stream Crossings). planning practices (National Consortium for Remote Sens- ing in Transportation Streamlining Environmental and Maine DOT has fish passage policy and design guides Planning Processes). available online (Maine Fish Passage Policy and Design Guides). Construction University of MassachusettsAmherst has sponsored a River At the construction phase of transportation planning, the and Stream Continuity Project that examines ways to inventory need for environmental data is at a fine scale, measured in blocked culverts and gives instructions on assessing structures just a few meters. Transportation and natural resource pro- and crossing designs (Massachusetts Stream Guide). fessionals need to examine how equipment and grading of the road will affect the immediate natural world. Of par- The U.S. Forest Service maintains a site that provides ticular importance is judging ecological impacts to species software intended to assist engineers, hydrologists, and fish and ecosystems during different times of year, and avoiding biologists in the evaluation and design of culverts for fish impacts during the period of time when they are most sensi- passage. The software is free and available for download tive. The same construction activity can have different lev- (U.S. Forest Service Fish Xing). els of impacts at different times of year. As a result, certain species and ecological processes present in an area (such as Overall Planning for Local and Regional Scales Gener- animals that need to nest or spring runoff) can affect con- ally, survey respondent needs for environmental surveys that struction timing. The survey needs for species usually are address overall planning, including local and regional plans, specific enough that they are for particular structures and were presented in the section Systems Long-Range Planning, patches of vegetation along the road project. Wetlands that Landcover Maps and Wildlife and Aquatic Linkages Overall may receive runoff or flow diversions are also analyzed at the Local and Regional Planning. A plethora of different maps local level, near the road. Some of the survey needs for spe- and plans from state to local agencies and organizations pro- cies and wetlands have been addressed in previous sections vides environmental resource and conservation data useful and some are discussed in chapter three. The organization of to project planning. Uniting them in one place represents a this section is again provided in the species, and ecosystems major need for transportation planning. and landscapes format.
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39 Species Presence the effectiveness of current abatement measures versus an in-water work moratorium to reduce impacts. Ecosystems and Landscapes Jurisdictional wetlands were mentioned by at least three · Ecosystem Wetlands and Water Quality state agencies from across the United States. One respon- · Changes to Water Features. dent mentioned that the determination of wetlands under this context was the most pressing ecosystem consideration Species Presence for their agency. The general opinion was that jurisdictional wetland determinations are taking significantly more time During construction, an understanding of species presence to complete and require detailed mapping, which increases is typically needed for wildlife with nests or movement near the cost of permits. Of note, no agencies provided innovative the area to ensure that species have not entered the area since examples of how they are handling these needs. construction began, and for sensitive and invasive species of plants. The needs to track wildlife movement or detect their Water quality was another process-associated need presence in the area are the same (as are the new approaches) respondents believed warranted further survey evalua- as those for species detections at the project level. Better tion. This survey need could be addressed at any level of monitoring techniques that are specific to the construction the transportation planning process, but is significant at this phase are needed. The vegetation and sensitive species loca- stage because the flow of pollutants potentially could enter a tions can be tracked with mapping methods, as described in wetland area during construction. Survey respondents stated the project-level approaches, as well as through the use of that aquatic species could benefit from the determinations GPS devices. Innovative ways to use GPS devices on equip- of in-stream or ecological flows, which could be maintained ment are covered in chapter three, Case Study 5. to support aquatic communities. Respondents also noted that knowledge of the chemical composition of pollutants The most appropriate publication to address environmen- in stormwater runoff is a critical piece of data necessary to tal survey needs during the construction phase is a study assess aquatic system impacts. sponsored by NCHRP. This compendium is titled, "Environ- mental Stewardship Practices, Policies, and Procedures for Hydroacoustic monitoring of aquatic ecosystems for Road Construction and Maintenance" (Venner Consulting species while construction activities take place is a new and Parsons Brinckerhoff 2005). This project developed a research development that addresses aquatic survey needs. compendium of environmental stewardship practices, poli- When piles are driven into substrate to support transporta- cies, and procedures in the areas of construction and main- tion infrastructures, underwater sound pressure can affect tenance from 20032005. aquatic life, especially fish. Fish have been killed by these activities. Hydroacoustic monitoring is the measurement of Ecosystems and Landscapes sound transmitting through the water to evaluate the effects of these activities on fish and other aquatic organisms. The The majority of ecosystem and landscape-scale needs for FHWA, in coordination with DOTs in California, Oregon, environmental information at the construction phase called and Washington State, established a Fisheries Hydroacoustic for information pertaining to proximate wetlands. Respon- Working Group to improve and coordinate information on dents mentioned three ecosystem-level ecological survey fishery impacts resulting from the underwater sound pres- needs that could be applied to the construction phase. These sure caused by in-water pile driving. Additional working needs related to streams and their inhabitants affected by member agencies, researchers, and methods to resolve the noise and pile driving, and the effects of in-water work; juris- uncertainties regarding hydroacoustic impacts can be found dictional wetlands and their documentation; and water qual- online (see Hydroacoustic Monitoring in the References). ity related to in-stream flows and pollutants. The majority of landscape-scale needs for environmental information at The NYSDOT is a co-sponsor in a water qualityrelated the construction phase requested information pertaining to study that could be helpful for construction phase environ- proximate wetlands. No responses from the survey directly mental survey needs. The project Regionalized Channel Geo- addressed this need during the construction phase. morphic Characteristics for New York Streams is conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conser- Ecosystem Wetlands and Water Quality Survey needs vation (NYDEC) and USGS. The objective is to develop the related to streams and their inhabitants during the construc- NYSDECNYSDOTUSGS partnership to create regional tion phase included the need to better assess the effects of hydrologic curves and regional channel-geomorphic charac- noise and pile driving on species, especially pallid sturgeon teristics at bankfull discharge. The work would be conducted (Scaphirhychus albus). Additionally, respondents identified for streams of New York State by physiographic region and the need to learn more about impacts of in-water work and by Rosgen stream type to define stable reach characteristics.
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40 These characteristics would be used for DOT highway and Water flow is monitored by Michigan's DNR, which bridge construction and maintenance projects, and for stream enters data on changes caused by road construction to water channel restoration and mitigation projects (see New York flow at the USGS National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Study Water Quality in the References). The NHD is a comprehensive set of digital spatial data that contains information about surface-water features such as Buffering wetlands and construction zones may help lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, springs, and wells (National runoff problems. Minnesota DOT (MnDOT) is sponsor- Hydrography Dataset). ing a study titled "Wetlands: Role of Buffers in Upland Infiltration, Nutrient Absorption, and Wildlife Habitat Fluvial geomorphology is a part of construction concerns (20072010)." The objectives of the proposed research in wetland areas. In Kansas, rivers and streams are some of are as follows: (1) quantify the reduction in surface runoff their largest challenges. The standard approaches are culvert entering a wetland through a buffer; (2) quantify the reduc- construction, channel relocations, habitat loss by means of tion in transported sediment and chemicals from the sur- filling the channels to improve side slopes for safety, and use face runoff; and (3) characterize the biodiversity of wildlife of large non-native materials in sand bed streams. Recently, that uses the buffers and the wetlands (see Minnesota DOT more natural stream engineering has been promoted through Study--Wetlands in References). fluvial geomorphology training as taught by Dave Rosgen. There has been limited success in disseminating this infor- GISHydro is a computer program used to assemble and mation, but proponents have been working diligently on a evaluate hydrologic models for watershed analysis. The stream mitigation guideline in which the state DOT was a program combines a database of terrain, land-use, and soil cooperative sponsor. data with specialized GIS tools for assembling data and extracting model parameters. The primary purpose of the Commitment and compliance is documented in Mary- GISHydro program is to assist engineers in performing land. Much of the state's current survey activity is focused watershed analyses, especially to support transportation on developing tracking system databases to document the design projects, in the state of Maryland (GISHydro com- successful completion of Maryland SHA commitments. puter program). These databases include (1) Environmental Monitors (EM) Toolkit, (2) SHA Environmental Programs Division Toolkit, NCHRP Report 443 is helpful for assessing the impacts and (3) the Wetland Mitigation Monitoring System. of construction on ground water. Environmental Impact of Construction and Repair Materials on Surface and Ground Maintenance and Operations Waters (Eldin et al. 2000) developed a methodology to assess the environmental impact of highway construction Although there are fewer regulatory requirements for daily and repair materials on surface water and groundwater, and operations than for new development, there are voluminous to apply the methodology to a spectrum of materials in rep- needs for information on the location of species that may resentative environments. Accomplishment of this objective nest, move, or grow near roads, their right-of-way, and infra- involved several phases. In the final phase, the proposed structures. Maintenance crews are often the personnel who methodology was developed and validated. need this information as they tend to structures, mow right- of-way lawns, maintain bridge and culvert integrity through NCHRP sponsored a study titled "An Autonomous and annual maintenance, and keep wildlife and fish crossings Self-Sustained Sensing System to Monitor Water Quality open and useable for the intended species. Mitigation mea- Near Highways" (20072008). This project developed and sures such as bat roosting sites on bridges, fish passages, and demonstrated the application of a sensor system based on wildlife crossings need to be monitored to ascertain their microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to monitor water quality near effectiveness. The effects of pollution that come with road highways (see An Autonomous in References). runoff from vehicles and de-icing agents also need to be monitored for changes to populations of aquatic and terres- Changes to Water Features The majority of landscape- trial species and ecosystem effects. Vegetation management scale needs for environmental information at the con- is a large part of these maintenance activities. DOTs need to struction phase are for information pertaining to wetlands ascertain the extent of invasive species, manage for them, nearby. No responses from the survey directly addressed and determine the presence of rare species as well as manage this need during the construction phase. Some of the needs for them. Although transportation departments struggle to considerations are discussed in the section Maintenance predict and build for changes in ecosystems as a result of cli- and Operations. The following new approaches address mate change, maintenance and daily operations have begun water connectivity (flow), construction and engineering for to make necessary changes to take into account higher water fluvial geomorphology characteristics, a thermal imaging levels, changes in water flow and timing, and species compo- approach, and tracking the ability of projects to comply with sitions in communities. This section deals with these areas, commitments. in the following format:
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41 Species Although bird detection approaches were presented in the project phase of new approaches for species, several are pre- · Species Animal Use of Structures: Mitigation and sented in this section. Bats roosting on bridges are another Bridges survey need for wildlife use of existing structures, and fol- · Species Plants and Vegetation: Management, and lowing is a common survey approach. Invasive and Rare Plants. Several newly developing technologies can be used to Ecosystems and Landscapes detect birds near road infrastructures. VERTRAD equip- ment, Thermal Imaging (TI), and TI-VERTRAD target · Ecosystems Pollution detection may be sufficiently developed to detect birds (see · Ecosystems Climate Change Thermal Imaging and VERTRAD--Vertical Beam Radar in · Landscape Mitigation Monitoring. the References). A respondent described the need for the use of automated photographic and auditory recordings to bet- Species ter understand how these techniques are being developed to obtain evidence of vertebrate use of existing bridges and cul- Species Animal Use of Structures: Mitigation and Bridges The verts and to gather information on avian presence in forested majority of responses to the survey identified needs to survey landscapes. These techniques also have value in collecting for species at the project level. Other needs were identified to data along new or proposed road alignments to develop the learn more about wildlife use near the road and of infrastruc- species lists. Videography also is being used in areas of nest ture such as bridges, and about wildlife and fish passages. sites to monitor birds and to determine when the young birds Birds, bats, and fish were the three types of taxa mentioned fledge and leave the area. for survey needs related to the operations and maintenance of existing structures typically in place solely for transporta- Bat surveys were mentioned by five respondents as new tion. Respondents stated needs to determine wildlife use of innovative technologies. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife passages to gauge their effectiveness. These needs for Kentucky Field Office, has provided protocols for acoustic surveys were covered comprehensively in wildlife connectiv- surveys for bats to complement mist netting. The number ity needs and approaches to projects. Although areas along one device mentioned to survey bats was Anabat, which is a roads need to be evaluated for wildlife permeability to move passive monitoring device to detect and record bat echoloca- across the landscape, once the wildlife crossings are placed, tion calls and visually display the sonogram of the calls on they need to be monitored for effectiveness. a computer. The sonogram can be analyzed by Anabat and Analook software to determine the genus or species of bat. Respondents asked for more updates and data on bird spe- Detectors can be left at the site (Anabat). cies that are affected by roads, road lighting, and bridges, with special attention to waterfowl, migratory birds, and Remote cameras have been placed in dozens of studies Hawaiian and Florida birds (agencies in those states identi- to evaluate whether wildlife use crossings structures. A few fied specific needs). examples include the following. Bats were the most often mentioned taxa type, with the An evaluation of the effectiveness of wildlife passage Indiana bat (Myotis sodalist) the most mentioned animal. structure on the Bennington Bypass is available online (Ver- Four agencies referenced needs to learn more about this mont Bennington Bypass). species' habitat needs on bridges for roosting and maternity sites, and movement data. An overview of the methods and approaches for evaluat- ing the effectiveness of wildlife crossing structures was pre- Fish and aquatic organisms' needs to move through cul- sented at the 2003 ICOET conference (Hardy et al. 2003). verts and under bridges are addressed at the long-range, project, and operations and maintenance phases of planning. A study to determine placement of wildlife crossings Evaluation of culverts for blocked passage can be conducted was presented by van Manen and colleagues (2001) at the as a regular routine survey over the course of maintenance of 2001 ICOET conference. these culverts. The following new approaches are presented for blocked culverts, and even though daily operations can In Florida, Smith (2003) monitored wildlife use of pas- address some of the culvert inventory needs, this informa- sages and determined culvert design standards. tion is important at the long-range and project levels. During 2005, the Virginia Transportation Research Coun- Knowledge of wildlife use of existing transportation cil used remote cameras to monitor various underpass struc- structures is needed during daily operations. The majority tures in Virginia to determine the structural and locational of these survey needs are for bats and birds near bridges. attributes that make a crossing successful in terms of its
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42 use by large mammals ("Virginia Transportation Research objective of the study was to develop proposed AASHTO Council Report on Wildlife Use of Underpasses"). Guidelines for management of roadside vegetation (Guide- lines for Vegetation Management 20062008). A new technology to monitor wildlife passages using DNA analysis was further developed in a pilot study con- An NYSDOT-sponsored study evaluated recommen- ducted in Banff National Park, Alberta: "DNA Profiling to dations on the Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) Identify Individuals Using Wildlife Crossings" (Clevenger program for control of right-of-way vegetation and on the 2007). The objective of this research was to develop a simple, Alternatives to Herbicide program. The study developed rec- noninvasive, cost-effective method to identify and quantify ommendations for the IVM program using an IVM/Envi- animals using wildlife crossing structures. ronmental Management System (EMS) and developed a systematic framework and research protocol for identifying, Wildlife use of wildlife crossings and the general road evaluating, and implementing environmentally sensitive, and road right-of-way area can be monitored by citizens lower maintenance, and cost-effective vegetation manage- who are willing to spend time inputting the data on sight- ment techniques that can be integrated into an IVM program ings. In Washington State, citizens are helping to work with ("Herbicides--New York State DOT's Alternatives to Her- remote cameras placed before construction begins along bicides, Integrated Vegetation Management, and Related I-90. Future crossings will be placed to determine wildlife Research Programs" 20032004). use of the area. In Colorado, citizens are helping to do the same kind of work along I-70. In Idaho, citizens have helped Blumenthal and colleagues (2007) documented a new input data on wildlife on the road in an area where mitigation technology that uses aerial photographs to analyze the is needed. In Crow's Nest Pass in Alberta, citizens are help- size and distribution of invasive plant patches. Typically, ing to input GIS-based data on areas where wildlife are seen sparse vegetative patches cannot be analyzed in aerial pho- alive and dead along the road. tos and have to be ground-truthed to best document their presence, size, and changes over time. The authors tested a Species Plants and Vegetation: Management, and Invasive novel approach that used a lightweight airplane to rapidly and Rare Plants Eighteen agencies mentioned survey collect high-resolution images over relatively large areas. needs for plants. The majority of these comments related to Through the analyses of older images of mixed-grass prai- the need to learn more about invasive species of plants that rie, the authors were able to reliably measure small patches are spread along the road right-of-way, but needs also were and even individual plants of an invasive forb, Dalmatian identified to inventory for rare species of plants. Plant sur- toadflax (Linaria dalmatica). These results suggest that vey needs included the following: (1) statewide surveys of such high-resolution aerial imagery could be used to obtain invasive species locations and their spread; (2) methods to detailed measurements of many invasive weed populations. inform maintenance workers about sites with invasive and The data may be most useful for identifying incipient weed rare species of plants so mowing and spraying impacts could infestations and expanding the scale at which population- be minimized; and (3) surveys of historical occurrence areas level attributes of weed populations can be measured effec- of rare species to better document their existence. tively. Although transportation corridors typically do not allow for a plane to fly as low as 100 meters above the road- Following are a variety of new approaches to the survey way, perhaps parallel flights could convey the same infor- and data management of plant species locations, with par- mation. This methodology has the potential to allow for ticular reference to the management of invasive species. quick, cost-effective analyses of invasive species of plants along road corridors. A Florida study, "Mapping of Invasive Exotic Plants and Rare Native Plants on Florida DOT District 6 Right-of-Way Ecosystems and Landscapes in MiamiDade and Monroe Counties, Florida," was com- pleted in 2008. The purpose of this project was to survey and Daily maintenance and operations need to consider two eco- map exotic and rare native plants along FDOT right-of-way system-level issues: pollution and climate change. within MiamiDade and Monroe counties and to create a database that can be updated to reflect future activities and Ecosystems Pollution Throughout the survey, responses conditions. A second, similar study is under way as of this touched on the issue of pollution at the species, ecosystem, publication, slated for completion in the fall of 2009. FDOT and process levels. Noise and light pollution, chemical runoff funded this study, "Techniques for Management of Invasive (such as salt), sedimentation, and the invasion of non-native Species on Florida Rights-of-Way." species (a form of pollution) were all mentioned in trying to determine the effects on species and ecosystems. Pollution is In 2008, an NCHRP study was completed to assist with also addressed at all other phases of transportation planning, guidelines for vegetation management along roadways. The as discussed earlier.
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43 The following new approaches to pollution are research timing of biological functions. Climate change is something study reports. Other methods are discussed in previous sec- that already is being dealt with in daily operations and main- tions of this chapter. tenance, especially with respect to water flow and timing. NYSDOT sponsored a study to look at pollution impacts New approaches to climate change were addressed under on water quality and aquatic life ("Impacts of Snow and Systems Long-Range Planning, Ecosystems Climate Change Ice Control Practices in the Cascade Lakes Region of the Causes and Effects. See that section for further discussion Adirondacks" 20032006). The objective of this study was to that relates climate change effects directly to maintenance determine the cause-and-effect relationship of past and pres- and operations as well as long-term planning. ent winter highway maintenance activities on water quality and aquatic life in the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes; the At the landscape level, monitoring of mitigation sites for study also evaluated survival of birch trees (Betula species) performance is conducted to assist with everyday opera- adjacent to this section of Route 73. tions. Five agency responses mentioned the need to assess restoration mitigation. The two general comments referred NCHRP Report 479: Short-Term Monitoring for Com- to the need to determine the effectiveness of wetlands that pliance with Air Quality Standards developed monitoring were created for mitigation, and their ability to function and procedures (Caniparoli 2002). The project objective was to perform like nearby unimpacted wetlands. develop a short-term monitoring procedure that can pro- duce more accurate input data for air quality dispersion Landscape Mitigation Monitoring Several studies have models in a manner that requires less data collection and helped states track progress in mitigation areas. less time to complete than current monitoring requirements. It should result in the development of procedures that can Protocols were developed in an NCHRP Study, Devel- accurately assess the validity of peak carbon monoxide or oping Performance Data Collection Protocol for Stream particulate matter predictions emanating from air quality Restoration (20042006). The objective of this study was models based on observed present conditions as opposed to to develop protocols for the collection and analysis of per- modeled values. The study could provide an assessment of formance data that would show the effectiveness of stream the differences between predicted and monitored concen- restoration in removing pollutant loads and improving eco- trations appropriate for improving the reliability of model logical benefits. impact predictions. Wisconsin funded the study "Tracking Environmental An NYSDOT study (to be completed in 2009) looked at Mitigation Projects: A Survey of Methods Used by State the amount of pollution generated from mowing and her- DOTs" (2008). The objectives of this study were to learn biciding ("Modeling Air Quality and Energy of NYSDOT how DOTs track environmental mitigation projects through Highway Right-of-Way Practice"). The study used mowing forms and databases to ensure that departments commu- and herbicide data to develop a model that estimated the nicate with each other and that their commitments stay amount of air pollution and energy expenditure associated attached to projects throughout their life. with mowing and herbicide application in the road right-of- way. The types of air pollutants evaluated were hydrocar- In California, Caltrans is exploring the concept of devel- bons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oping or facilitating the development of a joint "sensor" sulfur oxides, and particulate matter. The types of soil and network in which all properly equipped field equipment water pollutants evaluated included both the active and the (e.g., cameras, flow meters, and acoustic detectors) can inert ingredients of herbicides. The model also incorporated transmit data to a collaborative centralized backend sys- the frequency of each right-of-way practice. tem. This could optimize field time, leverage investment between agencies and parties by allowing real-time data Ecosystems Climate Change The causes and effects of sharing on a local or regional level, and create a web-based global climate change are so broad in space and time scales environment in which reporting could transition to data that the traditional regulatory framework and transporta- queries that utilize both site-specific and regional data. An tion phases have not addressed them. Increasingly, however, added benefit would be access for academic research or states are taking the lead in finding ways to address these community group involvement. It is not known how far issues within the transportation planning, development, and along this system is. operations process. Twelve participants described survey needs related to climate change. Responses indicated con- WSDOT maintains and publishes the Gray Notebook, cern about the effects of climate change on existing species which provides quarterly performance measure reports on distributions and terrestrial and aquatic connectivity, the how well the state is meeting performance standards objec- flow of water, loss of habitat and its degradation, and the tives (see chapter three, Case Study 7).
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44 Matrix of Needs and New Approaches to Address Those examined for its potential use in the determination of species Needs or groups of species (taxa), and general ecosystems (such as wetlands), landscapes, and processes, such as climate Table 1 presents a matrix of the newly emerging technologies change, vegetation changes, and hydrology. and methods that are in use or are starting to be accepted for use by state DOTs and wildlife agencies in environmental This table is a handy reference guide for use during dif- surveys. The table is organized in several ways. First, under ferent stages of transportation and operations and ecological a section header in the first column, a specific type of emerg- survey needs. The entries are further organized under the ing technology or method is presented. This technology or different transportation stages, with technologies that per- method is listed according to the stage in which it can be tain to individual species locations presented first, and those used: systems long-range planning, project development, technologies that enable a broader landscape level, typically construction, or maintenance and operations. If the technol- a GIS approach, in the second tier. Each entry is presented ogy or method is applicable to more than one stage, it is pre- in the report under the transportation sections and specific sented in the other stages as well. Second, in columns two websites for each entry, if available, can be referenced in the and three, the applicability of the technology or method is Literature and Website Review. Table 1 MATRIX OF STAGE OF TRANSPORTATION PLANNING, OPERATIONS, AND MAINTENANCE AND THE TYPES OF TECHNOLOGIES, METHODS AND COOPERATION THAT COULD ASSIST WITH ECOLOGICAL SURVEYS AT THAT STAGE Ecosystems, Landscapes, and Type of Technology/Methods/Cooperation Species/ Taxa Processes Long-Range Planning Cyber Tracker x x Florida Efficient Transportation Decision Making Tool for GIS Data Sharing (under GIS and Case x x Studies) NatureServe (under GIS) x x Satellite Imagery (under GIS) x x Predictive Modeling (under Species) x x Google Earth (under GIS) x x FHWA Website on Planning and Environment Linkages (under GIS) x x Trust for Public Land GreenPrinting Web Service x (under GIS) National Geospatial Program (under GIS) x The National Map (under GIS) x USGS Landover maps (under GIS) x Wetlands Geodatabase (under GIS) x CAPS--Conservation and Prioritization System x x (under Ecosystems and GIS) USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Mapping (under GIS) x x ESRI (under GIS) x x National Spatial Data Infrastructure (under GIS) x x Dr. Paul Beier's Corridor Design for Identifying Wildlife Linkages (under GIS) x x Maryland's Green Infrastructure (under GIS) x x Washington Fish Passages (under Maps and x x Connectivity Plans) California Fish Passages (under Maps and x x Connectivity Plans)
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45 Ecosystems, Landscapes, and Type of Technology/Methods/Cooperation Species/ Taxa Processes Massachusetts Fish Passages (under Maps and Connectivity Plans) x x USFWS iPac Decision Support System Tool (under Local and Regional Planning) x Climate Change book: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation x x Goddard Space Flight Center Global Change Master Directory Website (under Climate Change) x LIDAR Technology to Measure Topographic Change Data Along Shorelines (under Climate x Change) Landscope America (under Local and Regional Plans) x x CRAFT (under Local and Regional Planning) x x Community Viz (under Local and Regional Planning) x x "Eco-Logical" (under Local and Regional Planning and Case Study 6) x x NCHRP SHRP 2 (under Local and Regional Planning) x x Natural Capital Project (under Local and Regional Planning) x Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) (under Local and Regional Planning) x NatureServe Vista (under Local and Regional Planning) x x Metro Quest (under Local and Regional Planning) x Trust for Public Lands GreenPrinting (under Local and Regional Planning) x Project-Level Planning Trail Cameras (See Maintenance and Operations--Species) x Anabat (See Maintenance and Operations--Species) x VERTRAD (See Maintenance and Operations--Species) x Cyber Tracker x x GPS--PDA Handheld Devices w/Data (under Species and Case Studies) x x Visual Elastomers for Fish (under Species) x x Hydrophones for Fish and Streams (see Construction--Ecosystems) x x Sonic Tag Detectors (under Species) x x DNA Analyses (under Species) eBird (under Species) x x Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Handbook (under Species) x x Occupancy Estimation Modeling Book (under Species) x Thermal Imaging (under All Types of Biological Organization) x x VERTRAD--Vertical Beam Radar (under Species) x x Florida's Efficient Transportation Decision Making Tool for GIS Data Sharing (under GIS and x x Case Studies) Google Earth (under Species) x x Northwest Habitat Institute (under Species) x x Utah's Geographic Transportation Environmental Assessment--GTEAS (under Species) x x NatureServe and Natural Heritage Programs (under Species) x x GPS Data on Wildlife Movement in Arizona (under Species) x x USGS National Fish Passage Program x x USFWS Service Fish Passage Support System x USFWS Fish Crossings x x Website www.wildlifeandroads.org, for Wildlife Crossings and Other Mitigation (under Land- x x scape Connectivity)
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46 Ecosystems, Landscapes, and Type of Technology/Methods/Cooperation Species/ Taxa Processes PDA Device for AnimalVehicle Collisions to Help Identify Placement of Wildlife Crossings x x (under Landscape Connectivity) DeerVehicle Collisions Clearinghouse, www.deercrash.com (under Landscape Connectivity) x Digital Photograph Analyses [see Booth (under Ecosystems)] x Noise Effects Syntheses (under Ecosystems) x NCHRP Report 615 on Wildlife Crossings (under Landscape Connectivity) x x Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags (under Landscape Connectivity) x x Oregon Guidelines for Stream Crossings x x Maine Fish Passages Policy and Guidelines x x Massachusetts River and Stream Continuity Project x x U.S. Forest Service Fish Xing x x National Consortium for Remote Sensing in Transportation Streamlining (under Planning--Local x and Regional) Construction Cyber Tracker x x GPS--PDA Handheld Devices w/Data (Case Studies) x x GIS Hydro--Hydrologic Models (under Ecosystems) x Hydro-acoustic Monitoring (under Ecosystems) x Report--Environmental Impact of Construction and Repair (under Ecosystems) x Dave Rosgen's fluvial geomorphology (under Ecosystems) x Environmental Stewardship, Practices, Policies, and Procedures for Road Construction and Main- x tenance (under Species) Maintenance and Operations Trail Cameras x Cyber Tracker x x GPS--PDA Handheld Devices w/Data (under Case Studies) x x Google Earth (under GIS) for Changes in Vegetation, Hydrology, and Boundaries over Time x x Goddard Space Flight Center's Global Change Master Directory x VERTRAD to Detect Birds (under Species) x Anabat for Bat Surveys (under Species) x DNA Analyses for Wildlife Crossings (under Species) x Citizen Scientists (under Species) x Studies on Mapping Invasive Species in Roadway (under Species) x Guidelines for Vegetation Management (under Species) x x Study on Alternatives to Herbicides (under Species) x x Aerial Photo Analyses Blumenthal (under Species) x Study on Monitoring for Air Quality Standards (under Ecosystems and Landscapes) x Report on Protocols for Stream Restoration (under Ecosystems and Landscapes) x Wisconsin Tracking Environmental Mitigation Projects (under Ecosystems and Landscapes) x Washington's Gray Notebook for Performance Measures (under Ecosystems and Landscapes and x Case Study 7) Note: See References for literature and website review.