Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Step 3: Create a regional ecosystem framework (conservation strategy + transportation plan)
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The goals of Step 3 are:

  1. Create the regional ecosystem framework, based on mapping and prioritization of resources and transportation and land use plans.
  2. Create transportation program scenarios that address short- and long-term improvements and include all features that may cause impact to natural resources.
  3. Obtain a shared understanding of the current and planned/proposed locations, quantities, and patterns of all development, uses, and resource impacts in the region.

Create the Regional Ecosystem Framework. The regional ecosystem framework (REF) is the consolidation of the data collected in Step 2 into a geospatial database, with land use plans, including the long range transportation plan.

Creating Planning Scenarios. At this step, the stakeholders overlay the current plans with resources. Alternative scenarios could be developed depending on factors such as near-term versus long-term and low growth versus high growth assumptions. The transportation planning organization would provide its plan for the planning region and its assumptions. Other land use planning, such as community land use and management plans from the major local, state, and federal regulatory, land management and planning agencies in the region, could be included for a cumulative view. The combination of the plans defines the “footprint” of consideration of impacts.

The alternate scenarios can be overlaid on the resource mapping. It is likely that locations where planned improvements overlie important resources will be readily visible.

Documentation. The stakeholders should document the development of scenarios.

What is the difference between the terms “Regional Ecosystem Infrastructure Development Framework” (REIDF) and “Region Ecosystem Framework” (REF)?


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Step 1 -
Build and strengthen collaborative partnerships and vision
Step 2 -
Characterize resource status and integrate natural environment plans
Step 3 -
Create a regional ecosystem framework (conservation strategy + transportation plan)
Step 4 -
Assess effects on conservation objectives
Step 5 -
Establish and prioritize ecological actions
Step 6 -
Develop crediting strategy
Step 7 -
Develop programmatic consultation, biological opinion or permits
Step 8 -
Implement agreements, adaptive management, and delivery projects
Step 9 -
Update regional ecosystem framework and plan
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