Wildlife crossings and other enhancements for wildlife are becoming more common elements of long-term mitigation plans for many state departments of transportation (DOTs) as they meet requirements for mitigation within Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) consultation or for other permits. Part of this compliance is the valuation of crossings and enhancements by state DOTs and their partners. Mitigation values are used in calculations of mitigation and advance mitigation credits making them a critical element when establishing compliance.
The Integrated Ecological Framework (IEF) directs state DOTs to develop consistent valuation and crediting methods, which, along with advance mitigation credits, can reduce transportation project administrative costs and complexity. However, the methods used to determine the value of wildlife overpasses, underpasses, bridges, and culverts for habitat connectivity, and how these values are applied in calculating mitigation credits, are not well documented. State DOTs need up-to-date information on valuation methods for wildlife crossings and enhancements to evaluate their programs and processes for advanced mitigation, permit-required self-mitigation, landscape-level mitigation, and wildlife corridor planning. A synthesis of current practice, emerging approaches, and potential improvements will provide state DOTs with information needed to improve their efforts in meeting environmental permit requirements, providing effective mitigation, and engaging in FESA consultation.
The objective of this research is collect and synthesize information on valuation methods, metrics, criteria for credit development, and crediting mechanisms used by state DOTs and their partners for calculating and applying mitigation and advance mitigation credits for wildlife connectivity improvements. Quantitative methods and approaches are of particular interest.