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52 analyses and mitigation once the results of a National Acad- sage barriers, stormwater treatment, wetland replacements, emies' pair of projects are published. National Academies' environmental compliance, NEPA documentation, and inte- TRB, NCHRP SHRP 2 sponsored two research projects grated vegetation management. The electronic format of the beginning in 2008. The projects looked at ways to enact these reports, available on the Internet, allows readers access to landscape-scale long-term ways of doing business among current and archived performance information, along with transportation agencies and the natural resource agen- specific project information. Through the use of "Perfor- cies. Project C06(A) is titled "Integration of Conservation, mance Journalism" the reports contain quantitative writing Highway Planning and Environmental Permitting Using an supported by the use of charts, tables, and measurements, Outcome-Based Ecosystem Approach." The objectives are and also tell stories in the form of special features, text, and as follows: (1) to create an ecological framework for making pictures. The goal of the Gray Notebook is to share the per- decisions about transportation capacity enhancements and formance of even the more complex and diverse programs the surface environment across key decision points and geo- and projects in a clear and concise format that is easily graphic scales of the collaborative transportation decision- understood. making process; (2) to solve the problem of assurances--for example, how can agencies that invest in ecological-level Performance measures have been created nationally. action to minimize or mitigate impacts or restore resources For example, the Eco-Logical approach to developing to the ecosystem be assured that agencies that mitigate or infrastructure projects has applied the logic model to the avoid get credit for their actions with regulatory agencies process linking objectives with performance measures. and the public? and (3) to link implementation mechanisms An overview is provided on the Eco-Logical--Federal and the business model developed in C06(A) to the Ecologi- Highway Administration website (see Eco-Logical Perfor- cal Assessment Process developed in C06(B). Study C06(B) mance Measures). is titled "Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Through Development of an Haufler et al. (2002) is a commonly used reference for Outcome Based Ecosystem Approach and Corresponding performance measures and ecosystem management. Credits System." The objective of this project is to create an ecological assessment method(s) for highway capacity enhancements that supports the ecological framework and Case Study 8. New York Invasive Species Control In Adirondack Park, Use Of business model being developed in SHRP 2 Project C06(A). Technology For Rapid Response The method(s) may be a credits system, an index system, or some other scientifically justifiable method. (Refer to "Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning and Envi- Invasive species of plants and some animals are commonly ronmental Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem spread by means of roadways. Respondents in the survey Approach" in References.) stated the need to identify and manage such species. A north- east respondent mentioned the invasive species monitoring program in New York State as an example of what other Case Study 7. Assessment Of Performance states could be doing to track and manage these types of Measures mainly plants along roadways. The current NCHRP research project was fortunate in that a member of the Topic Panel was Transportation agencies are accountable for their actions. from NYSDOT and was able to convey information on how Performance measures can provide a quantitative basis for this invasive species-monitoring program is standardized evaluating how well actions are meeting stated objectives. and has become part of the standard operating procedures When transportation projects affect the natural environ- for all stages of transportation planning and operations. This ment, when restoration projects are created, when pollu- example is given to help other states learn how a data inven- tion is abated, or when vegetation is managed, the impacts tory method can become standardized and institutionalized, and results of actions to mitigate those impacts must be and how these data can become available on the Internet for quantified. all interested parties. WSDOT maintains and publishes the Gray Notebook, Some regional initiatives, such as the Adirondack Park which provides quarterly performance reports supporting Invasive Plant Program (see References), have incorporated WSDOT's commitment to accountability, and which is the a systematic regimen to set management priorities, and to basis of external performance reporting. Also known as identify, inventory, and control priority invasive plant spe- "Measures, Markers, and Mileposts," the notebook is pub- cies. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program has been lished in three cycles (quarterly, biquarterly, and annually). used as a test case in carrying out Executive Order No. Environmentally related topics include before and after 13112, which requires NYSDOT to consider and address, to analyses of projects, environmental management systems, the extent practicable, the impacts of invasive species in all air and noise quality, erosion control, water quality, fish pas- aspects of transportation.
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53 During the NYSDOT project development phase in NYS- Mode" to map linear patches, and use the "Area or Poly- DOT transportation planning for the Adirondack region of gon Mode" to map regular patches, as well as how to collect northern New York, locations of invasive species of plants marker locations and information, and enter these data into and animals are inventoried. Practitioners can first survey the Regional Invasive Species Inventory database (a GIS an electronic database of all priority invasive plant locations project). This database is then searchable for the Adirondack identified in association with capital projects to see whether region through a web-based interactive map of the coun- the area has already been inventoried. For prioritization ties or USGS quad maps of the region. (More information purposes, regional inventories have begun with interstates, is available from the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Pro- expressways, and parkways. There is a standard inventory gram.) NYSDOT has published an environmental procedure method that includes an inventory data collection form and manual (Invasive Species Manual and Data Collection) for a GPS method to georeference plant and patch locations. dealing with invasive species during all phases of transpor- For instance, specific instructions tell users how to use the tation planning and maintenance and operations (see New GPS unit to implement the "Mapping Mode" to collect point York State DOT, Invasive Species Manual 2004). data in the center of a patch of invasive plants, use the "Line