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67 Appendix B Ideas For Change OVERALL IDEAS ON NEEDS FOR CHANGES This survey was a bit unique in that it gave open-ended questions to respondents. As a result most respondents gave details that were best suited to their understanding and situation, and their thoughts on ideas much larger than could be captured in a multiple answer survey instrument. These rich responses from over one hundred people allowed for a variety of topics, ideas, and potential solutions that could not have been predicted in the survey development. The most pressing needs for environ- mental surveys were also given with specific ideas about what needed to change about current systems approaches to looking at the ecological world from a transportation development perspective. Over 30 respondents in every region of the country and in departments of transportation (DOTs) and Fish and Wildlife agencies addressed needs for change in the current systems that require environmental surveys. These concerned: coordination and cooperation; the need to study long-term, cumulative, and post-construction effects; how roads are placed in remaining undeveloped natural areas; how mitigation does not solve problems; and a need to increase concerns beyond the road right of way. These are presented here. Three Necessary Fundamental Changes To The Transportation Development Process The responses that went beyond the specific needs questions in the survey to speak of the fundamental flaws (as respondents saw them) to the transportationdevelopment process can be summarized by three statements: 1. There is a need to be proactive and to understand what species and ecological resources are out there across a state long before any development or road project is considered. 2. There is an unfortunate belief that a road can be built without deleterious effects because the mitigation will "take care of it." 3. Road impacts occur at spatial and temporal scales far beyond what current environmental surveys methods consider, and there is a need to think beyond the road right of way in a holistic manner. The need to be proactive and survey all species in a state comprehensively prior to any development plans was a need conveyed in a variety of ways. A northeast wildlife agency respondent wrote, "We have a need for basic information on the statewide distribution and abundance of wildlife of all taxa." In the southeast, a respondent stated, "Oftentimes it is not the type of data that is missing, but that the surveys may only cover a limited geographical area and not provide statewide coverage and/or its application." A Midwest response helps to see where respondents would like to see the results of this survey research headed; "We are continually pushing for a proactive measure in comparison to a reactive one, which appears is what this survey may help provide." The following list of ideas on how this can be accomplished is a summary of how respondents thought this could come about. 1. There are needs to address species at risk, and what they are at risk from: construction; the road itself; traffic and predicted increases in traffic volume; additional development in the areas; pollutants in soil, water, and air (runoff, noise, light pol- lution); vegetation changes including invasive species, and right-of-way management; mowing and chemical management. 2. Streams and wetlands have species and processes we are unaware of. What species are there and in the different layers of the resource, what do they need, and where are the culverts that block those needs? 3. Go beyond the threatened and endangered species requirements. 4. Wildlife agencies and other natural resource agencies need to establish presence or absence of species. 5. The same natural resource agencies need to help determine habitat requirements of animal and plant species. 6. Natural resource researchers need to help determine the connectivity and movement requirements of all species that may be impacted by transportation corridors and ancillary impacts.