Environmental Review Toolkit
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1 Practice: Midwest Region Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Streamlining (December 21, 2000)
Category: Environmental Stewardship & Streamlining
State: Wisconsin
Organization: USEPA Region V
Contact: Ken Westlake
Title: Chief, NEPA Implementation Section
Email: westlake.kenneth@epa.gov
Phone: (312) 886-2910
Description: The undersigned agencies agree to work cooperatively to carry out the provisions of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets forth the goal, guiding principles and strategies for interagency coordination of the Federal-aid transportation planning and project development processes, consistent with TEA-21, the National Environmental Policy Act and other applicable environmental statutes and Executive Orders. This MOU is based on the Environmental Streamlining National Memorandum of Understanding and provides a framework for future interagency streamlining agreements or project level agreements within the states.
Last Updated: March 12, 2014
2 Practice: WisDOT FHWA Tribal Partnership Agreement
State: Wisconsin
Organization: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Contact: Kelly Jackson
Title: Office of Business Opportunity and Equity Compliance
Email: kelly.jackson@dot.wi.gov
Phone: 608-266-3761
Description: In May of 2005, WisDOT entered into a Partnership Agreement with 11 federally recognized Tribal Governments in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Division of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to promote communication and cooperation between the agencies and tribes on transportation issues. The agreement was updated and re-signed in October of 2010 to reaffirm the partnership and include core emphasis areas of partnership, transportation safety, economic development, building capacity of tribally run businesses, Native American labor development, training and cultural resources. The agreement also established the WisDOT Inter-Tribal Task Force (ITTF) and fortifies the agencies current tribal affairs structure and programs.
Related Documentation: http://wwwcf.fhwa.dot.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/localgov/aid/tribalaffairs/index.htm
Last Updated: March 11, 2014
3 Practice: Wisconsin DOT Participation in Statewide Habitat Conservation Plan for the Karner Blue Butterfly
Categories: Habitat/Ecosystem Connectivity & Conservation
Interagency Agreements: MOAs, MOUs, and Programmatic Agreements
Interagency Coordination
Threatened & Endangered Species
Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species
State: Wisconsin
Organization: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Contact: Gary Birch
Title: Ecologist
Email: gary.birch@dot.wi.gov
Phone: (608) 266-1017
Description: Wisconsin’s Statewide Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for the Karner blue butterfly brought together 26 partners, including eight counties, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The plan is the only statewide HCP in the country with DOT involvement. WisDOT undertook a species and habitat conservation agreement with the state DNR, which, in turn, has a statewide HCP and Incidental Take Permit with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Karner Blue butterfly, listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The habitat conservation plan has increased awareness of the species and resulted in management of right-of-way to create dispersal corridors for the butterfly between larger habitat areas. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Wisconsin DNR see the corridors as important in creating connectivity, short-term refuge areas, and dispersal corridors. Management for the Karner blue butterfly also benefits a number of other state-listed species and federal species of concern, including plants, turtles, lizards, and other butterflies.

An appendix to the agreement outlines allowable and desirable management activities during construction and maintenance of the right-of-way ROW along certain highways, which have been identified as potential Karner Blue Butterfly habitat by the soil type preferred by an indicator species, the host plant for the Karner Blue Butterfly. Under the agreement, WisDOT will minimize incidental take through proactive right-of-way management to provide for corridors of dispersal between larger butterfly population centers. WisDOT agreed to limit mowing to within 15 feet of the road edge and to perform surveys along 500-600 miles of highways where the host plant, lupine, is most prevalent, based on sandy soil types. Conservation measures for any permanent take are decided on a project-by-project basis with Wisconsin DNR and USFWS. WisDOT is also engaging in public outreach and education activities for the purpose of conserving the butterfly.

WisDOT monitors and maintains written records regarding the effects of land management and activities on the lands subject to the agreement. WisDOT agreed to modify, to the extent necessary and practicable, the agency’s responsibilities and duties under the agreement, consistent with the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) monitoring and adaptive management protocol, or if WisDOT monitoring clearly shows that right-of-way management and other activities are not producing the anticipated conservation benefits. Under the HCP and agreement with DNR, WisDOT outlines how the agency is complying with the agreement and thus the ESA and USFWS regulations.
Last Updated: March 11, 2014
4 Practice: EIS Screening Worksheets Pilot
State: Wisconsin
Organization: Federal Highway Administration WI Division
Contact: Tracey McKenney
Title: Program Operations Engineer Team Leader
Email: Tracey.McKenney@fhwa.dot.gov
Phone: 608-829-7510
Description: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is using an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) screening worksheets pilot to develop a prototype screening sheet for projects requiring EISs. Over the past 20 years, WisDOT has applied a similar screening tool to less complex projects requiring Environmental Assessments. WisDOT anticipates that the EIS screening worksheets pilot will bring uniformity to future EISs while ensuring all potential environmental issues are identified, evaluated, and treated in a more structured format. WisDOT anticipates finishing the pilot in 2008.
Last Updated: February 20, 2007
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