The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recognizes the critical role of transportation in the economic and ecological well-being of human communities. Transportation projects influence the character of a region by the number of people and amount of goods and services it transports. Transportation designs also influence plant and animal species and their habitats, and the ecological health of the nation. The Service encourages the design of transportation projects that provide the greatest value to the greatest number of people, while avoiding or minimizing impacts to plant and animals speices and their habitat, as well as the ecological processes that naturally sustain these areas.
In collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Service develops policy and guidance products to help facilitate the agency's role in transportation planning. The Service does this in a variety of ways. By gaining a better understanding of local transportation needs, the Service provides technical information that enables the FHWA, State Departments of Transportation, and local transportation planning organizations to develop alternatives with minimal environmental impacts. Through a streamlined environmental review process, Service participation in transportation planning includes:
- Involvement in statewide/metropolitan planning processes or Statewide Transportation Plans;
- Sharing of data and other information relevant to the integration of conservation and transportation planning;
- Identifying and promoting innovative practices that protect threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, valuable habitat and natural areas such as refuges and parks;
- Identifying and promoting innovative practices that streamline the environmental review process; and
- Promoting partnerships with other federal, state, and local governments and non-governmental organizations to address the efforts above.
Get information on the management and improvement of public use roads within the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Access the document library for policies, regulations, and guidelines related to transportation planning and project development.
2015 Red Book Revision: A Federal interagency workgroup has updated the environmental review handbook, Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects. Commonly known as the Red Book, the handbook provides guidance for federal agency field staff that review transportation projects and provide permits, consultations and other authorizations for such projects. It also provides guidance to federal, state and local agencies that fund or develop transportation projects. Guidelines include synchronizing the NEPA planning process, Endangered Species Act consultations, Clean Water Act permits and other regulatory reviews for more efficient project reviews, using a landscape-level approach, while improving outcomes for communities and the environment.
Wildlife and Habitat Conservation
- Conservation Planning