Staff Responsibility: Stephen J. Andrle
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Region 1 follows the I-70 corridor from Summit County in the west to the Kansas border in the east. This part of Colorado includes many of the state’s most heavily traveled roadways, areas of rapid development, and popular destinations for recreation. It contains numerous critical and irreplaceable wetland resources, federally listed threatened and endangered species, other at-risk species, and key wildlife corridors. It also contains many areas that have been identified as having high conservation values by The Nature Conservancy, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, and Keep it Colorado.
The objective of this project was to test steps 2-6 of the Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) within the western portion of CDOT Region 1. The IEF was developed in SHRP 2 projects C06A (Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting Using an Outcome-Based Ecosystem Approach) and C06B (Integration of Conservation, Highway Planning, and Environmental Permitting through Development of an Outcome-Based Ecosystem-Scale Approach and Corresponding Credit System).
This project identified a priority pilot study area within Region 1 that is significant in terms of at-risk species, the need for improved data resources, and opportunities for exploring innovative approaches to mitigation. Partners in this pilot included CDOT staff and representatives of relevant state and federal resource agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The following data development and technical analyses were conducted:
· Development of potential habitat models for target species,
· Mapping of wetlands,
· Development of a conservation value summary for the study area,
· Analysis of existing impacts through development of a landscape integrity model,
· Identification of potential mitigation sites and strategies using a Marxan computer model, and
· Exploration into the potential for banking and market crediting strategies within the study area.
This project conducted an assessment of the Transportation for Communities—Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) web tool and the IEF. The assessment included research team observations related to the costs and benefits of the methods tested, as well as CDOT and agency partner input via interviews.
Status: This project is complete.