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31 The original TRB Guide to the Integrated Ecological Framework (hereinafter referred to as âoriginal IEF Guideâ) is a very detailed technical guide to the IEF. This Managerâs Guide to the Integrated Ecological Framework, or IEF Managerâs Guide, is a more concise summary of the IEF. Its purpose is to help management-level decision makers understand how the IEF might benefi t their region or state and to explain what they need to consider if they want to begin its implementation. As mentioned in the What Is this Guide? section in Chapter 1, the C06 project team received feedback on the IEF after one of the report volumes was published in 2012 (http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/166938.aspx). A majority of the feedback received was from the project teams associated with SHRP 2 C21, which tested the IEF in four geographic areas: California, Colorado, Oregon, and West Virginia. Changes resulting from the feedback, and the reason for each change, are documented in the following sections. In some cases changes were made simply to clarify the language; in other cases substantive technical changes were made to address the feedback received. SUMMARY OF SUBSTANTIVE IEF UPDATES The most signifi cant changes to the IEF from the original IEF Guide are the changes to Steps 2â4. In the original IEF Guide, Step 2 is the integration of environmental and natural resource plans and data guided by experts in the various fi elds of natural re- sources and environmental conservation; in Step 3 a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF) is created by overlaying the results of Step 2 with transportation plans and data; and in Step 4 the results of Step 3 (REF) are analyzed collaboratively by transportation and natural resource experts and other stakeholders identifi ed in Step 1. 5 UPDATES TO THE IEF
32 MANAGERâS GUIDE TO THE INTEGRATED ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK In this IEF Managerâs Guide, the REF is redefined as the product resulting from the process completed in the original Step 2; Step 3 becomes the process of integrating transportation data, plans, and expertise; and Step 4 becomes the integration and anal- yses of the conservation and transportation strategies. These steps result in a product that is newly titled Regional Ecological and Infrastructure Development Framework (REIDF). Appendix A provides a detailed comparison of each step showing changes from the original version of the IEF Guide. The summary provided in Table 5.1 focuses on data that are available nationally; especially recommended are data in a standardized format so that they are comparable across jurisdictional boundaries and thereby sup- portive of regional-scale planning. Information Type Typical Sources Comments Species State wildlife division databases, NatureServe and state natural heritage program nationally standardized species location data or element occurrence (EO) data, NatureServeâs national animal distribution maps, Critical Habitat Designations (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), U.S. Geological Surveyâs (USGSâs) Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) species observations, USGSâs Gap Analysis Program (GAP) animal distribution maps These sources include known and predicted species locations. The use of species distribution modeling software is recommended to generate maps of the probable locations for listed and endangered species, other key species, and areas that may be priorities for restoration and recovery. National broad-scale maps may be available for many other species of conservation concern. Habitats and ecosystems data National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), local watershed inventories (LWIs), or plans by state or local organizations, for example, Wetlands of Special State Concern, Impaired (303d-listed) streams; USGS GAP, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), EPA EnviroAtlas, NatureServe nationally standardized ecosystem and vegetation community data Many existing wetland maps are incomplete and/ or inaccurate; regional or state efforts to improve these maps are under way in some states, but all need to be done across the country. GAP vegetation data and land-cover data are generally available nationally, but downscaling the data to ecological systems maps and more localized habitat maps may be needed or desirable in many locations. Resource conservation requirements Expert knowledge is the primary source; some useful information can be found in scientific literature or technical reports. It is a substantial effort for biologists from natural heritage programs, other agencies, and universities to establish thresholds, goals, indicators, etc., for resources. Plenty of time should be planned for this activity since this information is critical to accurate planning and performance measures. TABLE 5.1. KEY NATIONAL INFORMATION INPUTS, SOURCES, AND COMMENTS (continued)
33 MANAGERâS GUIDE TO THE INTEGRATED ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK Information Type Typical Sources Comments Current physical stressors, land use, infrastructure data DOTs, MPOs, Council of Governments (COGs), local government planning offices, National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Change Analyses Program, Department of Defense, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and other infrastructure data sources This information is typically readily available but must be assembled from multiple sources if a previous project has not yet done that. Natural resource management plans Local government planning offices, and state and federal land management agencies These plans generally represent potential near- term future (e.g., next 10â25 years) priorities and goals. These plans should be integrated and/ or coordinated with each other. Coordination with other NGOs and universities involved in the development of protected-area data and conservation priority-area data can ensure you have the most accurate and complete set of data. Current protected and managed lands U.S. Protected Area Database (PADUS); National Conservation Easement Database; federal, state, and local agencies; NGOs/land trusts that hold protected lands; mitigation banks Currently, protected-area data are not being tracked in a comprehensive and standard way across the country, but the situation is getting better. These data are critical to understanding the level of protection currently afforded to species and habitats. Thus, more accurate, current, and complete data on protected areas gathered locally can significantly improve the analysis. Conservation priority areas State wildlife action plans, state natural heritage programs, conservation NGOs (e.g., The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon), local conservation NGOs and land trusts Data for this theme must be carefully scrutinized to determine the match to the resources of interest and appropriate scale to be meaningful for analyses. Statewide and ecoregional prioritization efforts tend to generate very coarse maps that may not be useful for IEF purposes. Climate change stressors data USGS Regional Climate Science Centers, universities, Climate Wizard, Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) outputs, NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer The IEF does not formally address climate change, but this is becoming a common requirement in many planning activities. Downscaled climate change data and secondary effects models (e.g., soil moisture changes) are highly dynamic but are increasingly being developed more consistently and at finer scales. For coastal areas, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has invested in generating SLAMM analyses for many areas. TABLE 5.1. KEY NATIONAL INFORMATION INPUTS, SOURCES, AND COMMENTS (continued) (continued)
34 MANAGERâS GUIDE TO THE INTEGRATED ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK Information Type Typical Sources Comments Other stressors (e.g., invasive species, wildfire) Landfire program, BLM Rapid Ecoregional Assessments in the West, U.S. Forest Service, USGS, NatureServe, natural heritage programs, universities The IEF does not require this information, but having this information will provide more accurate cumulative effects assessment for many resources. Often development is a much less important stressor than these types. This information is highly variable in its availability nationally. Effort should be expended to research its availability locally and consider modeling efforts to generate it. If modeling is needed, the effort required may be substantial, especially in combination with climate change forecasts. TABLE 5.1. KEY NATIONAL INFORMATION INPUTS, SOURCES, AND COMMENTS (continued)