Transportation and Wildlife Migration Corridors: Secretarial Order 3362

Elizabeth Fairbank, The Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Grace Stonecipher, The Center for Large Landscape Conservation
Topic Area
Policy and Regulatory Developments in Transportation

On February 9, 2018, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362 (SO 3362): Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big-Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors. Focused on the 11 Western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), SO 3362 directs relevant federal bureaus to work with State, tribal, and territorial agencies to enhance and restore migration corridors and winter range habitat for big-game species including elk, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope on federal lands. State wildlife agencies were asked to identify priority corridors and additional research needs as part of a state action plan.

On October 23, 2018, all State Action Plans were made publicly available as part of a Request for Proposals put out by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Funded by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and ConocoPhillips, the program makes $2.7 Million available to conserve or restore habitat in the priority corridor areas identified by each state.

For this presentation we have synthesized the Action Plans of each of the 11 states, with a particular focus on transportation infrastructure. We found that roads were mentioned as being major barriers to wildlife movement in all State Action Plans. Some states reported specific locations for potential crossing structures or other mitigation projects, while others mentioned roads more generally.

We have documented all roads mentioned in the Action Plans, including the species impacted. In addition, we created a map which shows the general locations of the priority areas put forward by states, as well as roads of concern for wildlife movement within each state. Note that the location of the red dots is just an approximation to highlight the mention of that road; it does not necessarily indicate intended mitigation action in that exact location.

Abstract Keywords
Transportation
Migration
corridors
Ungulates
Highways