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California’s Integrated Approach to Collaborative Conservation in Transportation Planning

  • Author(s): Erickson, Gregg A.
  • et al.
Abstract

California’s unique biodiversity in the context of strong growth pressures, limited resources and disseminated land use authority creates a unique challenge. That challenge is to integrate conservation planning into complex transportation decisions as necessary to effectively participate in the preservation and recovery of the state’s 309 federally listed species, rare habitats, anadromous fisheries, fragmented wildlife and related natural resources while delivering a multi-billion dollar transportation improvement program.

This challenging environment also creates a strong desire and opportunity to learn about the roles of integrated plan¬ning, tool development and partnerships in creating a common thread to successfully address regional and national issues. Good decision-making and planning efforts are predicated on the rigor of science, sound engineering and good policy, using innovations such as predictive modeling tools for analyzing such large-scale issues. These show great promise to effectively integrate conservation planning and transportation decisions.

The Department’s anadromous fish passage, animal vehicle collision reduction and advanced mitigation planning efforts illustrate challenges, approaches, tradeoffs and lessons learned as programs are developed and implemented. The role of partnerships with stakeholders, universities and resource agency partners provides a foundation for transitioning from accommodation to true stewardship. This collaboration results in better transportation decisions, resource conservation, and common advancement of science as illustrated by related presentations at the 2007 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) and this unifying presentation of integrated approaches.

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