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51 GPS units used in handheld devices assist in the georef- efforts are being developed in other states such as Florida. erencing of plants, a-v-c, pollutants, and habitat locations, GPS has been used to develop Oregon's Restricted Activity and many other kinds of environment-related location data. Zone Mapping (RAZ). Through the use of computer software For example, FDOT uses portable GPS applications to col- and field data-gathering equipment such as GPS units, maps lect easily transferable data related to species occurrences, are created to help maintenance staff identify sensitive areas nest locations, wildlife mortality sites, areas where habitat along roadways or areas of specific maintenance needs, such and water quality information is collected, and areas of pol- as patches of invasive plant species. RAZ was originally cre- lution, such as sediments. This is not a recent advance, but ated to help in maintenance activities near salmonid species such wide applicability of these devices still is not common. (salmon) habitat [see Schwartz and CH2M Hill (2006) for a The collection of GPS data can be managed so that the infor- more detailed description of this program]. mation is standardized, and using wireless technology, users can upload the information directly to a database. Case Study 6. Expanding Scale Of Ecological Considerations For Transportation Projects Standard methods for using these GPS devices are devel- oping within states and across the nation. In Florida, the FDOT provides customized handheld ARCPAD applications Transportation construction, infrastructures, mainte- to their consultant community to assist with field collection nance, and traffic can affect ecosystems directly, indirectly, for project development data to support the delivered envi- and cumulatively over the long term. Effects extend well ronmental documents. The handheld unit is synchronized beyond the road right-of-way, with up to 20% of the land with existing databases, uploaded data are verified by FDOT in the United States being affected (Forman et al. 2007). staff, and data are brought into databases available for use in When transportation programs are considered piecemeal the Florida ETDM planning process. For more information, on a project-by-project basis, mitigation is also conducted see chapter three, Case Study 1. in fragments, sometimes with repetitious lengthy envi- ronmental compliance procedures. A recent federal guide There is a national effort to standardize locational data to ecosystem approaches has been developed. It is called pinpointing areas where a-v-c's occur. The researchers at the Eco-Logical. This guide helps make transportation infra- Western Transportation Institute at Montana State Univer- structure more sensitive to wildlife and ecosystems. This is sity have been developing a prototype PDA with a GPS unit, conducted through greater interagency cooperative conser- and corresponding software for use in collecting spatially vation that streamlines the environmental approval process accurate animal road roadkill. As part of this nationwide while comprehensively helping to manage water, land, and study on use of standard PDA/GPS units, the Virginia Trans- the biotic and abiotic resources possibly affected by trans- portation Research Council investigated how they worked portation. Key components of the approach include inte- for Virginia's needs. Details on these and other studies can grated planning, the exploration of a variety of mitigation be found in the References under the entries under Global options, and performance measures (Eco-Logical ). Positioning Systems. The Eco-Logical approach was applied by an interagency GPS units are being used on machinery to help track areas group in Montana to create the Integrated Transportation where equipment is positioned in relation to wetlands, sensi- and Ecosystem Enhancements for Montana (ITEEM) pro- tive plant species' locations, and other areas of interest. In cess, the pilot effort to apply the Eco-Logical approach. Missouri, the Missouri DOT uses GPS units on vehicles that Hardy (2007) details how the ITEEM process was developed automatically upload location data by means of the Internet and offers insights for other interagency efforts to increase and transmit the data to office computers so that office per- the efficiency of transportation project delivery, while at the sonnel can assist the vehicle users in determining areas to go same time applying mitigation where the greatest conserva- to and areas to avoid. For instance, technology experts are tion efforts are needed. The state has taken lessons learned developing ways that GPS units can be used to map areas of along this highway and has begun the next set of steps in proj- sensitive species of plants' location and create a "geo-fence," ects along MT 83 to the east of US-93. One lesson learned which is a series of GPS points in computers that indicate from MT 83 is that the process works best if a project is at the exactly where these areas are located. When herbicide stage between its nomination from the long-range plan to a sprayers are applying their chemicals, the GPS units on the project on the STIP. If the plans for the project are too far off vehicles can upload exact GPS locations to office computers, in the future, the integrated planning efforts may be difficult enabling a manager to direct the driver away from the geo- because of too many unknown factors. Yet, it is imperative fenced areas. Conversely, areas of invasive plants and nox- that these efforts occur before the project is set to the point at ious weeds can similarly be delineated and their locations which there is little room for alternatives and additions. uploaded so office personnel can accurately direct drivers to those locations. These types of applications are being used Transportation and natural resource agencies may be able to direct snow plows, salting trucks, and mowers. Similar to follow a standardized national program of large-scale