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Environmental Review Toolkit

Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to
Developing Infrastructure Projects

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Council on Environmental Quality Preface

Embodying the intent and principles of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Executive Order 13352 on Facilitation of Cooperative Conservation, Eco-Logical: An Ecosystem Approach to Developing Infrastructure Projects offers a framework for achieving greater interagency cooperative conservation. Eco-Logical provides a nonprescriptive approach that enables Federal, State, tribal and local partners involved in infrastructure planning, design, review and construction to work together to make infrastructure more sensitive to wildlife and their ecosystems. It recognizes that open public and stakeholder involvement is the cornerstone for cooperative conservation.

Developed by a team of representatives from eight Federal agencies and the Departments of Transportation for four States, this Guide articulates a vision of how infrastructure development and ecosystem conservation can be integrated to harmonize economic, environmental, and social needs and objectives. It describes ways to make more efficient and effective the governmental processes needed to advance infrastructure projects—in compliance with applicable laws—while maintaining safety, environmental health, and effective public involvement.

Eco-Logical is intended to be a starting point for identifying and addressing the greatest conservation needs associated with the development of infrastructure projects. It is also meant to help agencies join in partnerships as catalysts for greater stakeholder cooperation and coordination. Using this Guide, infrastructure improvements can be advanced in productive harmony with the restoration of fragmented habitats, reduction of wildlife mortality, and other cooperative conservation goals. With Eco-Logical, we encourage agencies and stakeholders to integrate environmental solutions and goals into planning for infrastructure development and to implement efficient, predictable, and open processes for the review and management of the ecological effects of our Nation's infrastructure projects.