Oregon: Wildlife Movement Strategy
Wildlife Movement Strategy steps
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) initiated a partnership in 2006 to develop a Wildlife Movement Strategy to address wildlife passage and habitat permeability in Oregon. The Movement Strategy is a collaboration of major wildlife management and land management agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The Movement Strategy identifies priorities for animal movement and provides technical guidance for wildlife passage improvements. The guidance includes a variety of voluntary approaches (e.g., transportation project scoping, project implementation, conservation, or restoration).
A working group comprised of members from the agencies listed above developed a charter to define the roles and responsibilities and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize working relationships. The working group developed a work plan that details tasks to achieve the group's broad goals of maintaining and improving existing conditions suitable for natural movement of animals across the landscape while improving safety for the traveling public. Implementation of the tasks follows a three-tiered approach. The first tier is an information-gathering phase to understand the scope of the problem and prioritize wildlife passage problem areas. The second tier involves using that information to define solutions, and the third tier implements those solutions and provides recommendations for adaptive management and monitoring.
At this time, the Oregon Wildlife Movement Strategy has completed the first tier--prioritizing wildlife movement needs—by combining ODFW wildlife linkage zones with ODOT wildlife collision priorities into a GIS database. The final GIS products (all linkages and prioritized linkages) and a summary report are available on ODFW's public GIS data server (https://nrimp.dfw.state.or.us/DataClearinghouse/default.aspx?p=202&XMLname=806.xml).
The working group is now involved in the second and third tiers: synthesizing information and formulating solutions. The group is collaborating with Oregon's Linking the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with the Transportation Planning Working Group to incorporate wildlife linkages into NEPA planning, collaborating with research institutions to develop wildlife crossing scoping tools, developing measures for success of the overall Movement Strategy, and providing broad outreach and training opportunities.
For more information, contact Mindy Trask at Melinda.Trask@odot.state.or.us.