Innovative Approaches to Wildlife and
Highways Interactions: The Basics
Sunday, September 20, 2015, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Enrollment limited to 50 participants
Workshop fee includes all materials and refreshment break
Adapted from the U.S. Forest Service’s multi-day training course, this 4-hour workshop will introduce participants to how highways affect terrestrial wildlife, and will demonstrate tools for identifying and reducing highway-related impacts to wildlife. The workshop will be particularly useful to resource management biologists and engineers new to transportation ecology issues.
Presentation and Discussion Topics
Topics covered in the workshop include:
- An overview of wildlife issues relative to
pre-existing highways and future highway
- Terminology, jargon, and multi-disciplinary challenges in communication affecting the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and
- Structural and nonstructural mitigation solutions
to wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity;
- Other natural resource issues and highways, including fish passage, visual objectives, and invasive species;
- U.S. Surface Transportation Bills (current, new,
and continuing resolutions) and how they affect planning wildlife-friendly highways; and
- Overview of NEPA and 404 issues from EPA’s perspective.
Sandra L. Jacobson: Wildlife Biologist, Pacific Southwest Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, Davis, California. Sandra has served with the Forest Service since 1980, and holds a BA in Zoology and MS in Natural Resources/Wildlife from Humboldt State University. As a district wildlife biologist, she managed multiple endangered species including grizzly bears and woodland caribou. Sandra currently serves as a subject matter expert for transportation ecology across the country, and facilitates research on highway projects through the Pacific Southwest Research Station. Her projects have won Exemplary Environmental Initiatives in 2009 and 2012 from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). She has worked on projects on 18 National Forests, and was an invited member of six-person international team of experts convened to work on elephant and tiger habitat connectivity in three national parks in the Himalayas, India. Sandra is a charter member of the Transportation Research Board ADC30 Committee on Ecology and Transportation, and also serves on the Western Governors Association’s Initiative on Wildlife Movement and Crucial Habitat Transportation Team, ARC Solutions Steering Committee, and ICOET Steering Committee.
Darin Martens: Project Liaison and Landscape Architect, US Forest Service/Wyoming Department of Transportation, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As project liaison for USFS since 2002, Darin coordinates DOT projects on Forest Service lands, focusing on natural resource impacts, mitigation and reclamation. He has been involved in the planning and construction of over 20 wildlife crossing structures in northwest Wyoming, and collaborated on projects receiving the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Exemplary Environmental Initiatives Award in 2012 and 2015. Darin has assisted Forests in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Tennessee with highway reconstruction, restoration, mitigation for visual impacts, as well as wildlife crossings and aquatic passages. He previously served with the National Park Service (NPS) from 1993-2002 as a Landscape Architect in the Rocky Mountain Regional Office and Grand Teton National Park; work that included NPS/FHWA road design projects and visitor services/amenity design in western parks. Darin holds a BS in Landscape Architecture, a MA in Facilitation of Collaborative Processes/Adult Learning and Technology, and a Graduate Minor in Environment and Natural Resources. He is a licensed/registered Landscape Architect in Wyoming and member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Clifton Meek: Life Scientist and Transportation Team, Environmental Review Section, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9, San Francisco, California. Clifton serves as biological resources lead and National Environmental Policy Act / Clean Water Act Section 404 (NEPA/404) expert within the U.S. EPA Region 9 Enforcement Division. His previous career experience includes positions with The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as several years as a field biologist and Section 404 permitting specialist with an environmental consulting firm. Clifton holds a BS in Ecology and Environmental Health from New York University’s Gallatin School and a MS in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Brian Yanchik: Team Leader and Lead Ecologist, Environment Technical Services, U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, Summerville, South Carolina. Brian’s areas of expertise in transportation ecology include Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act; interagency coordination and cooperation; programmatic consultation; water, aquatic resources, streams, and floodplains; and wetland functional assessment. In his work with FHWA, Brian has been involved with wetland and stream restoration, construction and monitoring, as well as developing habitat evaluation models. During his career Brian has served on development teams for a hydrogeomorphic (HMG) method for wetland functional assessment in the mid-Atlantic, and the instream flow habitat models for the Susquehanna River Basin. He was also a member of the environmental team for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project Washington, DC. Prior to joining FHWA Brian worked for U.S. Army Corps Regulatory Program from 1992 – 1999. He holds an MSc in Environmental Science from Indiana University, and BSc degrees in Biology and Geology from George Mason University.Photo Credit: Elk on Road image by George Andrejko, Arizona Game and Fish Department.