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Innovative Approaches to Wildlife/Highway Interactions The “Seven Dwarfs”

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Presentation on theme: "Innovative Approaches to Wildlife/Highway Interactions The “Seven Dwarfs”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovative Approaches to Wildlife/Highway Interactions The “Seven Dwarfs”

2  Often overlooked highway project planning elements  May be outside ROW, so may be missed in NEPA  Elements require analysis, clearance, documentation, permits  Don’t delay consideration

3 The “Seven Dwarfs” 1.Borrow and Waste Sites/Material Balance 2.Contractor’s Staging Areas 3.Water for Construction 4.Access for Construction or Geotechnical Investigation

4 The “Seven Dwarfs” 5.Utility Placement or Replacement 6.Mitigation Projects 7.Impact of Outside Agencies and Direction

5 1. Borrow and Waste Sites  Material balance to handle large volumes of moved earth  Requires temporary or permanent storage location  NEPA analysis needs to include impacts to sites


7 2. Contractor’s Staging Areas- Issues  Large equipment needed for construction  May be large numbers of vehicles  Supplies may include trailers, culverts, gravel, construction materials  Need large areas of flat ground


9 2. Contractor’s Staging Areas- Things to Remember  Carefully choose and analyze staging area  Avoid placing adjacent to important wildlife areas  Have appropriate clearances  Include restoration plan




13 3. Water for Construction- Issues  Construction requires huge volumes of water  Up to 6 million gallons/day  Surface water can be readily depleted  Aquatic resources impacted


15 3. Water for Construction- Things to Remember  Carefully analyze withdrawal sites  Define and enforce maximum daily and seasonal withdrawal limits  Consider seasons of use and any seasonal impact on fish and wildlife  Place limited operating season on withdrawal site if necessary

16 4. Access for Construction or Geotechnical Investigation  May need to access future highway location with a temporary road  May be far different from future alignment  May be outside ROW  Detours may affect many acres if speed is retained


18 4. Access for Construction or Geotechnical Investigation  Don’t leave access roads out of NEPA investigation  Early consideration avoids construction delays  Determine mitigation for access roads when no longer needed (gates, removal)  Install barriers when open to restrict public access  Remember seasonal timing restrictions for sensitive wildlife areas

19 5. Utilities-Issues  Frequently co-located with highway  New placement may require different routings for each utility  Often located outside ROW  Clearances often needed for pole placement  Several companies may be involved

20 5. Utilities-- Things to Remember  Realignment offers chance to reassess  Consider underground utility placement  Determine responsibility and level of maintenance for any closed roads  Don’t forget to include all utilities in decisions

21 6. Mitigation Projects- Issues  Mitigation also requires NEPA analysis and clearances  May be far outside ROW  Usually interagency, long-term agreements  May not be completely funded from highway project  Monitoring is strongly recommended


23 6. Mitigation-Things to Remember  Determine who is responsible for planning, funding and implementation  Document in MOU (this helps in case of changes in personnel too)  Develop monitoring plan prior to issuance of Letter of Consent


25 7. Impact of Outside Agencies Issues  Failure to plan for and obtain necessary permits causes project delays  Consider all regulations, permits needed, FWS consultation requirements  State DOT and FHWA interpret NEPA differently, particularly on timing  Rapid pace can allow details to ‘fall through the cracks’

26 7. Impact of Outside Agencies Things to Remember  It is Forest Service’s responsibility to ensure all applicable laws, regulation and policy are followed  Involve necessary specialists by informing them of projects early and often  Do not issue Letter of Consent without ensuring MOU enforcement of applicable environmental laws is followed


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