United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSkip to content FHWA HomeFeedback
A silhouette of an Oak leaf with a slight inner shadow effect. Environmental Excellence Awards logo

2011 Environmental Excellence Awards

A collage of leaves.

Agencies Awarded

Conservation Northwest

Montana State University – Western Transportation Institute

The Nature Conservancy

University of Washington

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Forest Service

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

Project Contributors

Conservation Northwest
Jen Watkins

Montana State University – Western Transportation Institute
Robert Long

The Nature Conservancy
Sonia Hall
Brad McRae
Erin Moore

University of Washington
Meade Krosby and Tristan Nunez

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Karl Halupka

U.S. Forest Service
William Gaines and Peter Singleton

Mike Atamian
Brian Cosentino
Karin Divens
Howard Ferguson
Lynn Helbrecht
John Pierce
Cliff Rice
Elizabeth Rodrick
Chris Sato
Joanne Schuett-Hames
John Talmadge

Washington State Department of Natural Resources
John Gamon

Marion Carey
Kelly McAllister
Sandy Moody
Albert Perez
Paul Wagner

Independent Researchers
Leslie Robb and Andrew Shirk

For Excellence in Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife

Washington Connected Landscapes Project: Statewide Analysis

Co-led by the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Washington Habitat Connectivity Working Group brings together diverse participants representing land and natural resource management agencies, organizations, Tribes, and universities to produce tools and analyses that identify opportunities for habitat connectivity in Washington. In December 2010, the Working Group completed a geographic information system (GIS) analysis of habitat conditions in Washington and portions of adjacent jurisdictions. The statewide analysis incorporated habitat and movement needs for 16 focal species, identified habitat networks of high natural integrity, and produced maps of the largest contiguous habitat blocks and the best linkages for connecting them. In addition to the maps, the Working Group also created a GIS toolkit that planners can use to develop projects that allow for the long-term movements of wildlife while minimizing collisions with the traveling public. The habitat connectivity assessment will reduce time and costs associated with environmental permitting, and can be used as one criterion to determine which highway segments will receive funds for wildlife-friendly improvements. As a result, highway improvement project teams will incorporate options that provide safe passage for wildlife into project plans. The Washington Connected Landscapes Project demonstrates how collaboration can drive the development of tools to help build a transportation system that is sensitive to the needs of wildlife.

A screenshot of a color-coded map of Washington state from the GIS analysis of habitat conditions

2011 EEA Home | Table of Contents

FHWA Home | Contact
FHWA logo