Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery

Eco-Logical Webinar
Eco-Logical in Cross-Agency Coordination

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
2:00 PM - 3:00 P.M. Eastern

Presenter: Roberta Gerson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Presenter: Rich Muzzy, Pike's Peak Area Council of Governments
Presenter: Judy Gates, Maine Department of Transportation

PDF Version [3.9 MB]


Table of Contents

Eco-Logical in Cross-Agency Coordination

Cross Agency Coordination - California Regional Advance Mitigation Plan

Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Implementing Eco-Logical in a World of Schedules and Salmon


Eco-Logical in Cross-Agency Coordination

Slide 1: Eco-Logical in Cross-Agency Coordination

Presenters

  • Roberta Gerson, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Rich Muzzy, Pike's Peak Area Council of Governments
  • Judy Gates, Maine Department of Transportation

November 18, 2014

(Learn more about Eco-Logical at the FHWA website)

Images: Logos of Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration
Image: Collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report

Slide 2: Steps to Ensure Optimal Webinar Connection

This webinar broadcasts audio over the phone line and through the web room, which can strain some internet connections. To prevent audio skipping or webinar delay we recommend participants:

  • Close all background programs
  • Use a wired internet connection, if possible
  • Do not us a Virtual Private Network (VPN), if possible
  • Mute their webroom audio (toggle is located at the top of webroom screen) and use phone audio only

Slide 3: Steps of the Eco-Logical approach

  1. Build and strengthen collaborative partnerships
  2. Integrate natural environment plans
  3. Create a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF)
  4. Assess effects on conservation objectives
  • Partner
  • Share Data
  • Analyze Effects
  1. Establish and prioritize ecological actions
  2. Develop crediting strategy
  • Identify key sites and actions
  1. Develop programmatic consultation, biological opinion, or permit
  2. Implement agreements, adaptive management, and deliver projects
  3. Update REF
  • Document
  • Implement
  • Evaluate

Slide 4: Step 1: Build and Strengthen Collaborative Partnerships

When getting started, consider…

  • What are the boundaries of your planning region?
  • What types of expertise would be helpful to your organization or planning effort?

Slide 5: Step 1: Next…

  • Using relationships your organization already has developed, identify potential partners.
  • Approach new partners individually or through convening a team meeting with a shared goal.
  • Think about a structure for your partnerships.

Slide 6: Step 1: Challenges

Step 1 necessitates cross-agency coordination but can often present challenges such as:

  • Key people to reach out to
  • When and how often to reach out to partner agencies
  • Managing expectations for the level of coordination

Slide 7: Eco-Logical Webinar Series: Eco-Logical in Cross Agency Coordination

(Learn more about Eco-Logical at the FHWA website)

Image: Collage of colored photographs of a bridge, a deer, a fish, and a curved rural road from the cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report
Images: Logos of Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration

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Cross Agency Coordination - California Regional Advance Mitigation Plan

The slides in this presentation are branded with the logo of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Slide 8: Cross Agency Coordination - California Regional Advance Mitigation Plan

Roberta Gerson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
November 18, 2014
Image: Manipulated image, labeled “Conservation and Conflict,” showing an armored tank riding on top of a field of sunflowers

Slide 9: What is RAMP - A Process

Collaborative State and Federal partnership

  • Landscape level conservation-based mitigation
  • Develop a process - RAMP
  • Multiple State, Federal Agencies, NGOs
    • State Departments: Caltrans, Water Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Regional Water Quality Control Board
    • Federal: FWS, EPA, Corps, NMFS
    • NGOs: The Nature Conservancy, CA Strategic Growth Council
  • MOU - commitment
  • Statewide Advance Mitigation Initiative (SAMI)

Slide 10: Early Coordination

Defining

  • Conceptual work at each stage moving towards implementation stage
  • Common needs
  • Best data sources
  • Finances/Funding - looking for ways to generate funding

Slide 11: Ongoing Coordination

  • Integration and Consistency with Other Efforts
  • Financial Support
  • Modifying and Implementing Actions
    • Government structure
    • Defining draft agreements
    • Work products

Image: Photograph, labeled “Land acquisition recon,” of two men and two SUVs in a barren, rural field with mountains in the background

Slide 12: Challenges

  • Moving Forward
    • Slower than expected
    • Many different State laws and regulations
    • Agency workloads and priorities
  • Assurances
    • Infrastructure and regulatory agencies
  • State Laws include:
    • CA Endangered Species Act
    • CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
    • Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB)
    • Coastal Commission

Slide 13: Challenges, continued

Funding $$$$

  • Ongoing monitoring and management of acquired lands prior to mitigation need
  • Lack of overlap of action agencies
  • Combining funding sources

Image: Photograph, labeled “Wetland restoration; monitoring for listed snake,” of a man in a small boat, fishing in a wetland

Slide 14: Improvements

Efficient use of time

  • Improve the decision process
  • Take small steps
  • Defining roles and responsibilities
  • Engaging government structure
  • External and internal coordination

Image: Drawing of an alarm clock

Slide 15: Improvements, continued

Reality checks

  • Willing to recognize when approach isn't working.
  • Trying to fulfill/satisfy too many agencies and their infrastructure projects
  • Must find ways to collaborate with money, and not just on planning
  • Analysis paralysis

Slide 16: Contacts


Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Slide 17: SHRP2 Webinar: Eco-Logical in Cross Agency Coordination

November 18, 2014

Rich Muzzy
Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments

Slide 18: PPACG and Region Facts

  • PPACG is the MPO for Colorado Springs Urbanized Area - responsible for development of Regional Transportation Plan
  • Region has over 600,000 people
  • Colorado Springs is Colorado's second largest city
  • Five military bases
  • Climate: Alpine Desert
  • Elevation – 6,000-14,000 feet
  • Average Yearly Days of Sunshine: 300+

Slide 19: PPACG History of SHRP2 Projects

  • SHRP2 Pilot Test Project 2010-2012
    • Received funding to test the Transportation for Communities - Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) process.
    • Process tested during development of PPACG's Regional Transportation Plan (2035 Plan)
  • SHRP2 Development of Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) 2013-2015
    • Conduct Impact Analysis
    • Quantify Mitigation Needs - (2040 Plan)
    • Development of Google Earth Web based platform
    • Development of an Integrated Regional Mitigation Plan

Slide 20: Agency Involvement

  • State Agencies
    • Colorado Department of Local Affairs
    • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
    • Colorado Open Lands
    • Colorado Department of Natural Resources
    • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Federal Agencies
    • United States Environmental Protection Agency
    • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Housing and Urban Development
    • Bureau Land Management
    • Army Corps of Engineers
    • Colorado Department of Transportation
    • Military Installations - Fort Carson
  • Local Agencies and Organizations
    • Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District
    • Sierra Club
    • Palmer Land Trust
    • Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Slide 21: Resource Agency Roles

  • Identify potential project opportunities
  • Review and identify critical areas
  • Identify potential opportunities to collaborate with existing sponsors of other projects
  • Identify potential regulatory and non regulatory hurdles and barriers

Slide 22: Project Purpose

  • Identify potential conservation impacts and opportunities
  • Provide a framework to collaborate on mitigation needs
  • Conserve and connect important habitats
  • Streamline permitting processes
  • Integrate planning and decision making between agencies
  • Consider both on-site and off-site mitigation opportunities
  • Apply the regional ecosystem framework in decision making process

Slide 23: SHRP2 Analysis

Image: Screenshot from a tool used for SHRP2 Analysis, which displays a topographc map of Colorado Springs with many major roads color-coded orange

Slide 24: Potential Conservation Areas

Image: Screenshot from Slide 23 with an additional layer of data: areas are color-coded to show potential conservation areas

Slide 25: Potential Conflict Areas

Image: Screenshot from Slide 23 with an additional layer of data: areas are color-coded to show potential conflict areas

Slide 26: SHRP2: Transportation Project Species Conflict Analysis

Image: Screenshot of a data table of Transportation Projects

Slide 27: SHRP2 Data Attributes

Image: Screenshot from Slide 23 with a pop up box containing a table of data specific to the rehabilitation project at 8th St. over Fountain Creek Bridge

Slide 28: Benefits Using Regional Ecosystem Framework

  1. Provides a framework to develop and prioritize projects that incorporates economic, community and environmental interests
  2. Allows for better collaboration, improved understanding and buy in, and increased trust
  3. Leads to integrated projects and improved outcomes
  4. Provides a structure to identify and address complex issues early on in the planning process
  5. Allows for streamlined permitting process for transportation projects

Slide 29: Lessons Learned Using Regional Ecosystem Framework

  1. Make sure all interests are represented
  2. Encourage agency representatives to attend meetings - use web based conferencing
  3. Define the roles of participants and goals of the project during kick off meeting
  4. Learn from past mistakes
  5. Consider hiring a facilitator for meetings
  6. Identify milestones and decision points

Slide 30: ?? QUESTIONS ??

Image: Photograph of a river at the bottom of a tall cliff
Image: Photograph of eroded land encroaching a neighborhood of suburban houses
Image: Photograph of a large building at the edge of eroded land along a raging river
Image: Aerial photograph of a curving river in a wide valley


Implementing Eco-Logical in a World of Schedules and Salmon

Slide 31: Implementing Eco-Logical in a World of Schedules and Salmon

Judy Gates, Environmental Office
Eco-Logical Webinar Series
November 18, 2014
MaineDOT
Integrity ~ Competence ~ Service

Image: the MaineDOT logo

Slide 32: Atlantic salmon

Image: Photograph of the Altlantic salmon
Image: Map of Maine, color-coded to show Distinct Population Segment areas and Critical Habitat areas of the Atlantic salmon

Slide 33: The Facts

  • Schedule (>85% on time) & budget (< 20% vs. award) are two of MaineDOT's “Capstone” performance measures.
  • Approximately 25% of stream projects per work plan year (~50) require consultation for Atlantic salmon.
  • Of those 50, about 10 require formal consultation.
  • Section 7 is critical path on 100% of projects intersecting with Atlantic salmon.
  • Expectations vary widely; design & construction methods do not.
  • ~98% of projects qualify for Categorical Exclusions
  • Where salmon are an issue, 100% of projects have missed their original target date for completing consultation

Image: Reproduction of the cover of MaineDOT's report: “Strategic Plan (2014 Update): Your On-the-Job Road Map”

Slide 34: AHHHHHH!!!!

Image: Screenshot from the Addams Family televison show: Uncle Fester has his head in a vise which is being adjusted by Morticia Addams

Slide 35: (No title)

Image: Cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report
Image: Six logos: SHRP2, FHWA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and MaineDOT

Slide 36: So how are we doing?

Deliverable/Activity Timeframe  
Gap analysis 6/2013 - 8/2013
Draft modified REF 8/2013 - 9/2013
Draft work flow map 9/2013 - 10/2013
Design and construction BMPs 7/2013 - 1/2014
Programmatic Agreement 1/2014 - 9/2014  
Draft ecosystem crediting strategy 10/2013 - 6/2014
Final work flow map 9/2014 - 12/2014  
Documented benefits/efficiencies 9/2014 - 11/2014  
Implementation schedule for full work plan 11/2014 - 12/2014  

Slide 37: (No title)

  1. Build/strengthen collaborative partnerships
  2. Integrate natural resource, transportation, and land use plans
  3. Create a regional ecosystem framework
  4. Assess effects on conservation priorities
  5. Establish and prioritize ecological actions
  6. Develop a crediting strategy
  7. Develop programmatic agreements and consultations
  8. Implement agreements and deliver projects

Image: Cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report

Slide 38: Beginning with Habitat

Image: Aerial photograph marked with color-coded lines denoting these labeled areas: Deer Wintering Area, Musk Turtle, Inland Wading Bird and Waterfowl Habitat, Eagle Nest, Wood Turtle, and Atlantic Salmon

Slide 39: “Priority” Crossings

Image: Screenshot from MaineDOT's Maine Stream Habitat Viewer tool

Slide 40: Maine Conservation Priorities

Image: Aerial photograph with these elements labeled: four brooks and six land areas (acreage)

Slide 41: (No title)

  1. Build/strengthen collaborative partnerships
  2. Integrate natural resource, transportation, and land use plans
  3. Create a regional ecosystem framework
  4. Assess effects on conservation priorities
  5. Establish and prioritize ecological actions
  6. Develop a crediting strategy
  7. Develop programmatic agreements and consultations
  8. Implement agreements and deliver projects

Image: Cover of the Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects report

Slide 42: (No title)

Image: Process flowchart for the Multi-agency for Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act

Slide 43: Things we've learned from the wise (or not so wise) salmon…

  • The stream less traveled is that way for a reason
  • And we don't always get to know why
  • Once you're in the turbulence, it's hard to see where you're going
  • Some people focus on the lipstick, some focus on the pig
  • Sometimes throwing money at a problem is helpful, if distasteful
  • Even a village can get discouraged
  • A step in any direction is progress

Image: Photograph of a bear at the top of a small waterfall in a river trying to grab an Atlantic salmon as it swims upstream

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