Program Selection Priorities
23 USC 202 (e) and 204 (k) (3) also provides guidance on criteria for selection of projects to be improved under the RR program. Projects shall be selected taking into consideration:
(1) The comprehensive conservation plan for each refuge.
(2) The need for access as identified through land use planning
(3) The impact of land use planning on existing transportation facilities
(4) The National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966
Since 23USC requires funding to be eligible based upon the relative needs of the various refuges, the selection process should favor project items that improve the condition rating factors that help establish the needs. These factors include the road condition rating which considers the number of miles of fair, poor, and failed (deficient) roads.
23 USC 204(a)(6) also requires that roads in the Federal Lands Highway program develop asset management systems to help insure the efficient use of FLH funds. These include safety, bridge, pavement and congestion management systems as applicable. The guidelines for the Fish and Wildlife Service management systems are codified in 23 CFR 972.
The requirement for a bridge management system is being met by existing FWS bridge management program. The requirement for a pavement management system is being met by the FHWA inventory and condition assessment program for FWS managed public use roads. Given the limited number of areas with congestion and safety programs, these programs are not applicable to most refuges. The Regions will consider congestion and safety in project selection, and identify any areas of specific concern to the national refuge roads coordinator.