Wildlife issues for transportation planning on federal lands

Event Type: 
GNLCC Webinar
Date and Time: 
Feb 13, 2013 (All day)

Time: 12:00-1:00 pm Mountain Time

This webinar is co-sponsored by the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIPTAC).

Presenters: Rob Ament, Tony Clevenger, and Marcel Huijser - Western Transportation Institute of Montana State University

Summary: Protected areas are assumed to buffer populations of wild animals from human activities. Federal land managers face tough challenges in maintaining the delicate balance between providing access to visitors and preserving our country’s most precious resources. This webinar will focus on wildlife-transportation conflicts and solutions. It will include a brief review of the new transportation Act’s (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century or MAP-21) provisions for wildlife and connectivity as well as some recent progress by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) on providing state- and region-wide wildlife corridors and crucial habitats mapping and information.  

This webinar will be most useful for field unit and regional Federal Land Management Agency supervisors and managers with transportation-related responsibilities who wish to learn about methods, tools and infrastructure for enabling safe passage and habitat connectivity across roadways. This webinar will not directly inform the NEPA process but intends to offer an expanded understanding of the ways wildlife may be affected by transportation infrastructure and ways to mitigate roads.

The main objective of this webinar is to give natural resource agency professionals an expanded view of wildlife-transportation interactions and what they can do about mitigating negative effects on traveled federal lands.

Key topics that will be covered include:

  • An overview of the ways road infrastructure and traffic can negatively affect mammals, birds, herpetiles, and fish.
  • A close look at large wildlife-vehicle collisions, their cost-benefits and both proven and potential new solutions for their reduction.
  • The need for habitat connectivity and genetic exchange; and questions to think about when planning, designing and monitoring wildlife crossing structures.
  • A review of MAP-21’s new wildlife and habitat connectivity provisions that are important for federal land managers.
  • An update on the WGA’s wildlife corridors and crucial habitats decision support system that can be used for transportation planning.

About the Presenters:

Rob Ament, M.Sc., is the Road Ecology Program Manager at the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) of Montana State University. He has more than 25 years of experience in natural resource management, environmental policy, and organizational development. He manages road ecology research projects throughout North America and currently serves on various national and international committees and boards. Rob holds a M.Sc. in Biology.

Anthony (Tony) Clevenger, Ph.D., is a Senior Wildlife Research Scientist with the Road Ecology Program at WTI. He specializes in identifying factors influencing wildlife crossing performance and analyzing factors contributing to wildlife-vehicle collisions. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Effects of Highways on Natural Communities and Ecosystems. He has published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and co-authored four books. Tony holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology.

Marcel Huijser, Ph.D., is a Research Wildlife Ecologist at WTI. He has more than 15 years of experience working as an applied ecologist in Europe and the United States, specializing in road-wildlife interactions with an emphasis on evaluating and documenting methods and technologies that reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. Dr. Huijser serves as a committee member of the Transportation Research Board’s Taskforce on Ecology and Transportation, and is the co-chair for the Subcommittee on Animal-Vehicle Collisions. Marcel holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology.