Getting Up to Speed: A Conservationist's Guide to Wildlife and Highways

Project #: 219155  –   Updated: September 26, 2013

Project Summary

Entering the 21st century, we face the final frontier of conservation—both literally and figuratively. It’s no longer enough to save species or spaces. As precious acres slip away under expanding infrastructure and associated development, advocates must look to a more comprehensive approach to conservation and can no longer afford to overlook unconventional partnerships. In the next century, our remaining habitat cores and corridors will be absolutely critical to wildlife as they attempt to respond to climate change.

Over the last decade, Defenders of Wildlife has recognized the urgency ...

view full description

Location (by county):
District of Columbia (DC)

Watersheds:
Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan

Congressional Districts:
DC District 98

Bird Conservation Regions:
New England/Mid Atlantic Coast

USFWS Regions:
Northeast Region

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Defenders of Wildlife No

Full Project Description

Entering the 21st century, we face the final frontier of conservation—both literally and figuratively. It’s no longer enough to save species or spaces. As precious acres slip away under expanding infrastructure and associated development, advocates must look to a more comprehensive approach to conservation and can no longer afford to overlook unconventional partnerships. In the next century, our remaining habitat cores and corridors will be absolutely critical to wildlife as they attempt to respond to climate change.

Over the last decade, Defenders of Wildlife has recognized the urgency of addressing the impacts of highways on our nation’s wildlife. Habitat loss is a significant threat to America’s biodiversity, and one of the greatest consumers of habitat is poorly planned, sprawling development. Better transportation planning can shape future growth, thereby determining the quantity and quality of the habitat left for wildlife. As the issue of wildlife and transportation has garnered more attention, several excellent resources have surfaced, including the seminal Road Ecology: Science and Solutions by Richard T.T. Forman et al. The burgeoning science of road ecology has spawned action in agencies, academia, legislature and the conservation community.

Defenders launched the Habitat and Highways Campaign in 2000; a concerted effort with dedicated staff working to reduce the effects of surface transportation on our nation’s wildlife and natural resources. The campaign has two simple objectives: reduce the impacts of highways on wildlife and prevent future habitat loss to unwise and unnecessary road building.

In 2003, Defenders of Wildlife, in partnership with the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership released Second Nature: Improving Transportation Without Putting Nature Second. Second Nature outlines six winning approaches to reducing the impacts of roads and highways on wildlife and habitat, including integrating conservation planning into transportation planning, early interagency coordination, restoring habitat connectivity with wildlife crossings and using native species in roadside vegetation management.

Defenders is now proud to present GETTING UP TO SPEED: A Conservationists’ Guide to Wildlife and Highways. While Second Nature was written specifically for transportation professionals, Getting up to Speed (GUTS) is intended for conservation advocates. Conservationists are often faced with conflicts involving transportation projects, but are ill prepared to respond in an informed manner.

For the uninitiated, the world of transportation can be confusing and intimidating. As a result, advocates may feel powerless and ultimately surrender, or expend their limited resources in futile battles. Without a clear understanding of how highways happen, the conservation community cannot make effective changes.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

Targeted habitats were not provided for this project.

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Education Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
Surdna Foundation (Foundation) Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

Log in to save this project in My Registry

Print this Project Print this Project Printing Help

Organization

Defenders of Wildlife
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Kassandra Kelly
Defenders of Wildlife
Send email

Project Photos

Getting_up_to_speed-1_detail
close window