CONSERVATION & ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION GROUP
“Ecosystem services, such as cleaning the air, filtering and cooling water, storing and cycling nutrients, conserving and generating soils, pollinating crops and other plants, regulating climate, sequestering carbon, protecting areas against storm and flood damage, and maintaining aquifers and streams, are all provided by the existing expanses of forests, wetlands, and other natural lands. These ecologically valuable lands also provide marketable goods and ser¬vices, like forest products, fish and wildlife, and recreation. They serve as vital habitat for resident and migratory spe¬cies, maintain a vast genetic library, provide scenery, and contribute in many ways to the health and quality of life.”1
Strategic (Transportation) Conservation Plans will allow the RPO/MPO to effectively design transportation projects that fit the RPO/MPO schedule and budget and that address the safety and mobility concerns of the region’s transportation system while promoting ecosystem protection, and sustain the economic vitality of the area. These plans will be developed using a variety of conservation ecosystem approaches. The CEP supports the application of any of these approaches or a combination of approaches depending upon the needs of the specific area and consistency with state practices or approaches.
REGIONAL CONSERVATION STRATEGIES (RCS)
KCT is focused on the development of Regional Conservation Strategies (RCS) that will engage stakeholders involved in protecting large, complex landscapes. The RCS process integrates cutting-edge conservation science with innovative strategic planning, thereby producing rich and multidimensional analyses.
KCT is currently utilizing this strategy in a number of landscapes throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. The Green Highways Partnership looks forward to incorporating their experience into pilot projects.
Northern Tier Project
Ecological Importance- The Nature conservancy has Identified the region as one of its top six priorities because of the high diversity in total species, richness of plants and animals, and the presence of unique species found only in this region.
Transportation- Contains transportation infrastructures ranging from major corridors, Interstate 81, State Routes US 6, US 15, US 11 and US 220 to a large network of local unpaved roads.
The creation of “Strategic conservation Transportation Plan” for use by rural and metropolitan planning organizations.
Wildlife Crossings & Wildlife Corridors
For more information on wildlife crossings, see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/wildlifecrossings/ .
Amphibians and reptiles that manage to scale the wall along US 441 in Central Florida will be topped by the lip at its top. The wall also directs animals, like bobcats to highway underpasses.(FHWA)