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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2012 www.TRB.org The Second S T R A T E G I C H I G H W A Y R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M REPORT S2-C06-RW-2 An Ecological Approach to Integrating Conservation and Highway Planning Volume 2 InstItute for natural resources, corvallIs, oregon natureserve, arlIngton, vIrgInIa ParametrIx, Inc., Portland, oregon cH2m HIll, Portland, oregon
Subscriber Categories Environment Highways Planning and Forecasting
SHRP 2 Reports Available by subscription and through the TRB online bookstore: www.TRB.org/bookstore Contact the TRB Business Office: 202-334-3213 More information about SHRP 2: www.TRB.org/SHRP2 SHRP 2 Report S2-C06-RW-2 ISBN: 978-0-309-12925-1 Â© 2012 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Copyright Information Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copy- right to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. The second Strategic Highway Research Program grants permission to repro- duce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, or FHWA endorsement of a particular prod- uct, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing material in this document for educational and not-for-profit purposes will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from SHRP 2. Note: SHRP 2 report numbers convey the program, focus area, project number, and publication format. Report numbers ending in âwâ are published as web documents only. Notice The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the second Strategic Highway Research Program, conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. The report was reviewed by the technical committee and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the sponsors of the second Strategic Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. The Second Strategic Highway Research Program Americaâs highway system is critical to meeting the mobility and economic needs of local communities, regions, and the nation. Developments in research and technologyâsuch as advanced materials, communications technology, new data collection tech- nologies, and human factors scienceâoffer a new opportunity to improve the safety and reliability of this important national resource. Breakthrough resolution of significant transportation problems, however, requires concentrated resources over a short time frame. Reflecting this need, the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) has an intense, large-scale focus, inte- grates multiple fields of research and technology, and is fundamen- tally different from the broad, mission-oriented, discipline-based research programs that have been the mainstay of the highway research industry for half a century. The need for SHRP 2 was identified in TRB Special Report 260: Strategic Highway Research: Saving Lives, Reducing Congestion, Improving Quality of Life, published in 2001 and based on a study sponsored by Congress through the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). SHRP 2, modeled after the first Strategic Highway Research Program, is a focused, time-con- strained, management-driven program designed to complement existing highway research programs. SHRP 2 focuses on applied research in four areas: Safety, to prevent or reduce the severity of highway crashes by understanding driver behavior; Renewal, to address the aging infrastructure through rapid design and construction methods that cause minimal disruptions and pro- duce lasting facilities; Reliability, to reduce congestion through incident reduction, management, response, and mitigation; and Capacity, to integrate mobility, economic, environmental, and community needs in the planning and designing of new trans- portation capacity. SHRP 2 was authorized in August 2005 as part of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The program is managed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) on behalf of the National Research Council (NRC). SHRP 2 is conducted under a memorandum of understanding among the American Associa- tion of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Academy of Sciences, parent organization of TRB and NRC. The program provides for competitive, merit-based selection of research contractors; independent research project oversight, and dissemination of research results.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transporta- tion, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work was sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with the American Asso- ciation of State Highway and Transportation Officials. It was conducted in the second Strategic Highway Research Program, which is administered by the Transportation Research Board of the National Acad- emies. The project was managed by Steve Andrle, Deputy Director for SHRP 2. The research reported on herein was performed by the Institute for Natural Resources, the Michi- gan Natural Features Inventory, NatureServe, Parametrix, the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage, and CH2M HILL. Gail L. Achterman of the Institute for Natural Resources was the principal investigator. The authors acknowledge the contributions to this research from Lisa Gaines, Sally Duncan, and Jimmy Kagan of the Institute for Natural Resources; John Paskus of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory; Patrick Crist, Shara Howie, and Ian Varley of NatureServe; Kevin Halsey and Paul Manson of Parametrix; Jason Bulluck of the Virginia Division of Natural Heritage; and Marcy Schwartz of CH2M HILL. SHRP 2 STAff Ann M. Brach, Director Stephen J. Andrle, Deputy Director Neil J. Pedersen, Deputy Director, Implementation and Communications Kizzy Anderson, Senior Program Assistant, Implementation James Bryant, Senior Program Officer, Renewal Kenneth Campbell, Chief Program Officer, Safety JoAnn Coleman, Senior Program Assistant, Capacity Eduardo Cusicanqui, Finance Officer Walter Diewald, Senior Program Officer, Safety Jerry DiMaggio, Implementation Coordinator Charles Fay, Senior Program Officer, Safety Carol Ford, Senior Program Assistant, Safety Elizabeth Forney, Assistant Editor Jo Allen Gause, Senior Program Officer, Capacity Abdelmename Hedhli, Visiting Professional James Hedlund, Special Consultant, Safety Coordination Ralph Hessian, Visiting Professional Andy Horosko, Special Consultant, Safety Field Data Collection William Hyman, Senior Program Officer, Reliability Michael Marazzi, Senior Editorial Assistant Linda Mason, Communications Officer Michael Miller, Senior Program Assistant, Reliability David Plazak, Senior Program Officer, Capacity Monica Starnes, Senior Program Officer, Renewal Noreen Stevenson-Fenwick, Senior Program Assistant, Renewal Charles Taylor, Special Consultant, Renewal Onno Tool, Visiting Professional Dean Trackman, Managing Editor Pat Williams, Administrative Assistant Connie Woldu, Administrative Coordinator Patrick Zelinski, Communications Specialist
This report is intended to help transportation and environmental professionals apply eco- logical principles early in the planning and programming process of highway capacity improvements to inform later environmental reviews and permitting. Ecological principles consider cumulative landscape, water resources, and habitat impacts of planned infrastruc- ture actions, as well as the localized impacts. The report introduces the Integrated Ecologi- cal Framework (Framework or IEF), a nine-step process for use in early stages of highway planning when there are greater opportunities for avoiding or minimizing potential envi- ronmental impacts and for planning future mitigation strategies. Success requires some level of agreement among stakeholders about prioritization of resources for preservation or restoration. This implies long range environmental planning as a companion to long range transportation planning so that there is a basis and methodology for prioritization. This report provides a structured collaborative way to approach these issues. It does not address environmental mitigation and permitting actions required by current law or regulation. The report provides technical background on cumulative effects assessment, ecological accounting strategies, ecosystems services, and partnership strategies, along with a summary of the available ecological tools that are most applicable to this type of work. The appendices document three pilot projects that tested the approach during the research. The Framework details steps to enhance ecological considerations and efficiency in the early stages of planning highway capacity projects. Transportation professionals must rou- tinely interact with numerous agencies in the course of planning highway expansions. These materials are intended to help each stakeholder better understand the missions and respon- sibilities of the other stakeholders and provide a structured and repeatable framework for interaction, thus allowing for agreement on ecological priorities. Use of the Framework can streamline the delivery of highway projects and improve water resources and habitats. The research from SHRP 2âs Capacity Project C06 produced two volumes of reports and a companion guide. Volume 1 (forthcoming) covers institutional issues and provides exam- ples of techniques such as banking and programmatic agreements that can be used in the highway planning process. The guide (forthcoming) provides step-by-step information to help practitioners use the Framework. Essential content from the C06 project is available on the Transportation for Communities: Advancing Projects through Partnerships website (www.transportationforcommunities.com). F O R EWO R D Stephen J. Andrle, SHRP 2 Deputy Director
C O N T E N T S 1 Executive Summary 1 The Framework 2 Cumulative Effects Assessment and Alternatives Process 3 Regulatory Assurances and Ecological Accounting Strategies 6 Pilot Projects 6 Dissemination 7 CHAPTER 1 The Project Approach 7 Relationship to the Collaborative Decision-Making Framework and Volume 1 7 Approach 7 Development of the Framework 8 Ecological Assessments Tool Survey and Utility Analysis 9 Regulatory Assurances and Data Quality 9 Ecosystem Services Accounting and Crediting 9 Pilot Projects 10 Symposium 11 CHAPTER 2 The Ecological Assessment Process in Transportation Planning 11 Introduction 11 Vision for an Integrated System 12 The Need for Integrated Conservation and Transportation Planning 13 Cumulative Effects Assessment and Alternatives 17 Regulatory Assurances 26 Ecological Accounting 29 CHAPTER 3 The Integrated Ecological Planning Framework 29 Introduction 29 The Nine Steps of the Framework 55 CHAPTER 4 Pilot Projects 55 Background of Pilot Tests 55 Summary of Pilot Test Results 56 Conclusions 58 CHAPTER 5 The Web Tool 59 CHAPTER 6 Symposium 59 Approaches and Frameworks 59 Working Together 60 Funding 60 Regional Ecosystem Frameworks 61 Implementation Activities 62 CHAPTER 7 Conclusions
64 References 67 Appendix A. Wetland Workflow and Data Development 70 Appendix B. Lists and Sources for Plans and Data for Regional Ecological Frameworks 72 Appendix C. Pilot Project Reports 124 Appendix D. Ecosystem Based Tool Database 128 Appendix E. Ecosystem Service Accounting Tools 150 Appendix F. Glossary