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68 Response from a group within a northeast wildlife agency can help to summarize the problem that mitigation is seen as a cure to road impacts; "As fish and wildlife biologists, we are unanimous in our opinions that roads are largely deleterious to natural resources and mitigation measures fall far short of offsetting the larger issue. Numerous research studies have already been conducted on the various aspects of the effects of roads to include collisions, fragmentation of habitat, degradation of habitat, population effects, etc. While implementation of some of this work may alleviate some issues, especially regarding culverts, it is unlikely that newer surveys will do more than restate the obvious. I do acknowledge that it is often necessary to demonstrate on a local scale in order to prove a point, but this does not amount to innovative research or survey methodology." While this type of reply only occurred in approximately 10 responses, the author believes this quote accurately reflects the theme of those who chose to address this quandary. One of the respondent's simple suggestions may help to address what we have already done; after construction, evaluate the mitigation and the impacts that actually do happen. A thoughtful federal employee respondent provided a list of questions that should be considered when framing survey needs for transportation projects. These concerned increasing the time and space scales when we look at potential transporta- tion impacts, and addressing ecological phenomena beyond the typical regulatory aspects of species and wetlands, such as evaluating impacts at a landscape scale of disturbance regimes, wildlife movement, plant dispersal among ecosystems, and changes in vegetation. A Midwest DOT respondent wrote of the need to change the "vision" of state DOTs to include more of a landscape scale way of examining the road effect, especially for those at higher level positions within DOTs. Other respon- dents mentioned similar concerns with expanding the scope of concern to larger scales and multiple impacts. These ideas are directly related to the overall paradigm change that is occurring among DOT's; expanding the scope of concern beyond the road right-of-way. Timing And Planning Of Surveys Nine respondents mentioned the need to better plan surveys with respect to time. The two major themes of these responses were that planning needs to occur at longer time scales ahead of projects to better plan for surveys, which ties into the second theme, which was the timing of surveys are important for researchsurvey planning years ahead of the actual survey and the time of year surveys occur. One western DOT respondent gave a succinct statement: "Knowing about projects with enough advance notice to get the needed surveys done, and getting the information to the planners in enough time for them to plan the project to avoid or minimize impacts" is crucial. Whether responses mentioned plants or animals, it was often conveyed that there is a need to survey for the intended species at the correct time of year. Another respondent, from the Mid-Atlantic region is also quoted: "Guidelines need to be established that prompt the DOT to confer with natural resource agencies early enough in the process such that there are an adequate number of seasons to gather data on the potential presence of species." Cooperation And Coordination A lack of cooperation in certain places, the need for better coordination, and overall cultivation of working relations among agencies was mentioned by at least 18 respondents when discussing survey needs for species. A Midwest DOT professional eloquently wrote of how important working relations were to the successes of their agency; "I believe that in order to truly accomplish the goal of building or retrofitting transportation facilities to accommodate both the human and natural environ- ment, it is necessary to cultivate relationships with local, state, and federal resource/permitting agencies." Others wrote of the need to establish full-time dedicated wildlife and DOT agency employees that could take wildlifeecological data and bring it to the long-term and project planning processes within DOTs. The need for increased cooperation often was in response to specific complaints. At least one-half dozen respondents mentioned the need to gain better access to on-line databases. While there were specific needs for greater cooperation and coordination, there were also concrete examples given on how some states have benefited from improved interagency cooperation. For example, Programmatic Agreements have become standard operating procedure in most states. Examples of how these agreements have bolstered cooperative relations were given by several respondents. Examples include the Ohio and Minnesota experiences here. Ohio DOT in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a Programmatic Agreement on the Indiana Bat (federally listed). The programmatic developed standard definitions and a two-tiered process for consultation that has reduce consultation time and efforts. See Ohio DOT Indiana Bat in the References.

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69 A Minnesota respondent replied, "I've included some of the agreements/arrangements that we have recently established. I am optimistic that these endeavors will go a long way in building relationships, establishing a sense of ownership by all parties, and assisting in building long-term partnerships. These agreements include: (1) Designation of the FHWA as the Lead Federal Agency for Endangered Species Act Consultations; (2) Designation of Minnesota DOT Office of Environmental Services as the Non-Federal Representative for the FHWA for Informal Consultations under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; (3) Minnesota DOT/Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)--Rare Species Surveys--Pre-qualification Agree- ment; and (4) Streamlining the Section 7 Consultation Process--Counties in Minnesota without Federally Listed Species or Designated Critical Habitat. An exemplar situation of coordinated cooperation appears to occur in Wisconsin. There were several innovative solutions in that state that appear throughout chapter two. A Wisconsin respondent explained working relations in their state: Our success is really based on the strong relationship that our agencies share. We share a level of trust. DOT trusts that DNR is serving the public by protecting natural resources. Likewise, DNR trusts that DOT is serving the public by providing safe and efficient transportation facilities. So DOT trusts DNR if they say that there is certain habitat that should be avoided. So instead of spending time and money on surveys to prove or disprove it, the DOT simply accepts it and does what it can to avoid an area. If it is a species that has a level of legal protection, then the DOT works with the DNR on reasonable mitigation measures. Sometimes the DNR doesn't `know' but the DNR has a hunch something could be there. In that case, the DNR asks DOT to conduct an appropriate level of study to answer the question of present or not present. The flip side is that DNR doesn't usually make a big deal about purpose and need. Not to say the DNR doesn't push the DOT on need, but the DNR rarely says at the end of the day that a project isn't needed. It goes back to trusting that DOT is the transportation expert in the state. The basis for our relationship is our DNR/DOT Cooperative Agreement [see Wisconsin Cooperative Agreement in References]. This agreement works because there is a state law exempting DOT from state water permits as long as they follow the `liaison process' in the agreement. This may seem like it gives a lot of environmental protection away, but in reality it gives the DNR an awful lot of flexibility. For instance, unprotected lands like oak savannahs and prairies could not ordinarily be protected from impact by a private housing development. However, through the liaison process, the DNR can withhold their `concurrence' to DOT for the project if they fail to avoid impacts to the prairie. While this appendix presents information beyond the scope of the original objectives of this research, the number of respon- dents with these ideas and the striking similarities of these responses truly require that these issues be addressed in this report. They are not meant to offend or to lay blame with any single group of professionals. They are meant to stimulate thought on changes that many see as necessary to help continue doing business, but not as usual.

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Abbreviations used without definition in TRB Publications: AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACINA Airports Council InternationalNorth America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA Air Transport Association ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETY-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation

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