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64 Glossary AASHTO--The American Association of State Highway general guidance in up-to-date techniques for road plan- Transportation Officials is a nonprofit, nonpartisan asso- ning, construction, maintenance, and monitoring. Tax ciation representing highway and transportation depart- dollars that come from a state's fuel tax are returned to ments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the states through FHWA with specific instructions on Puerto Rico. Its primary goal is to foster development, the projects they are to be spent on, usually with match- operation, and maintenance of an integrated national ing state money. transportation system. Much of AASHTO's work is done GIS--Geographic information systems are basically maps by committees composed of member department of in computers. GIS software allows data about the earth, transportation personnel who serve voluntarily. AASH- natural resources, and human attributes on the landscape TO's standing committee on research (SCOR) makes to be combined into maps from fine (local) to broad-scale reports and recommendations on the National Coopera- (regional or the world) levels. ArcGIS is an updated ver- tive Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and other sion of the GIS software ArcView. activities to the AASHTO Board of Directors. GPS--Global Positioning Systems are a system of satellites, a-v-c--Animalvehicle collisions are the reported vehicular software, and computers that allow users of a GPS device accidents that involve an animal (usually a large ungulate to detect exactly where they are on the earth within a few such as a deer, elk, or moose) large enough to cause vehi- meters, in a georeference data set. Georeferenced means cle damage or injury or worse that evoke an accident that the location has exact coordinates that can be report with local or state law enforcement. These reports uploaded to a computer and mapped. are taken by sheriff's deputies, highway patrol, or other authorities, and are reported to the traffic safety division National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)--As of 1970, of state departments of transportation. These reports NEPA established procedural policies requiring federal rarely involve animals smaller than a deer, and typically land management agencies to create environmental have to cause a minimum of $1,000 in damage and occur reviews of potential projects that have ecological impacts. with a driver who is willing to report the accident. Report- An Environmental Assessment (EA) is required for ing these accidents is rare among those driving tractor development projects that may have some impacts on trailer trucks, or with vehicles that have no comprehen- ecological resources, and a full Environmental Impact sive collision insurance coverage. As such, the record of Statement (EIS) is required in situations in which the a-v-c is considered a portion of actual collisions. environmental consequences of land use or changes have to be identified and considered in decisions affecting the Context sensitive solutions--The context sensitive solutions public domain. Often in transportation planning, NEPA approach instructs transportation agencies to consider requirements begin once a project is defined. the ecological, historical, and human community values and attributes of an area under transportation develop- NCHRP--The National Cooperative Highway Research ment consideration. Program is a program of the Transportation Research Board, which is a division of The National Academies. DNR--Department of Natural Resources, a state agency. See initial pages of this final report for further DOT--The state department of transportation is the agency descriptions. responsible for road building and maintenance of state PDA--A personal data assistant is typically a handheld and federal roads in each state. Some states have slightly computer that allows users to input data that can be down- different names, such as state transportation department, loaded into a computer; the device also can be read and but all states are referenced in this manner. County and worked with using the data it contains. local roads are not under the purview of these agencies, but do work with them. Permeability--A principle that wildlife, plant propagules, and natural processes can move across the terrestrial and ESRI--Environmental Systems Research Institute is the aquatic landscapes freely in both daily and long-term dis- company that helped create the original and today's most persal movements. When applied to the transportation commonly used geographic information systems soft- setting, it implies that mitigation and avoidance measures ware (see GIS). have sufficiently been constructed to allow different FHWA--U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal High- types of animals of different ages and genders, plant way Administration, is the federal agency responsible for seeds, and natural processes such as the flow of water to working with state and local transportation agencies in move to natural areas on either side of a road corridor on the delivery of funding for road projects, research, and a daily basis.
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65 SAFETEA-LU--The U.S. 2005 Transportation Act, which range plans in turn are reflective of what local communi- is the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transporta- ties would like to see developed, based on Metropolitan tion Equity Act: A Legacy for Users. Sections 6001 and Planning Organizations (MPOs) plans, for communities 6002 relate directly to environmental considerations in of 50,000 or more, and from Rural Transportation Plan- transportation planning. ning organizations' plans. State Transportation Improvement Plan--STIP is a state- Taxa--A group of taxon, which is a group of organisms of wide transportation plan that projects what transporta- any taxanomic rank. These ranks are organized by class, tion projects will be selected to become active construction order, family, genus, and species. Taxa would be a gen- projects in the next 5 years. These have been selected eral category to group a number of species that have a from the Long-Range Transportation Plans that scope common characteristic. In this document, it is the species potential projects 20 years into the future. Those long- that often have a similar quality related to roads.