Developing a Regional Ecosystem Framework for Terrestrial and Aquatic Resources along the I-70 Corridor, Colorado
Started: March, 2008 Ended: June, 2011 Project ID #4W2140 Status: Completed
The objective of this project is to assist the Center for Native Ecosystems (CNE) with developing a wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity monitoring and evaluation program, and developing a mitigation plan for the I-70 Corridor in Colorado from Evergreen to Glenwood Springs in portions of the Clear creek, Blue River and Gore Creek Watersheds.
To relieve congestion along the I-70 Corridor, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) initiated a planning process for increasing the capacity of the I-70 corridor and released a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) in 2005. CDOT has been working to reduce congestion while also working with local communities and stakeholders to address their needs and discuss transportation alternatives. One of the environmental issues identified in the PEIS is that the I-70 Corridor presents a major barrier to the movement of wildlife, including mountain lion, moose, coyote, deer, bear, elk, Canada lynx, and wolf. The Final Environmental Impact Statement is expected to be complete in late 2008, with a Record of Decision in late 2009. CDOT is calling for additional community input into the final phases of the decision making process. To support this process, WTI, CDOT, Center for Native Ecosystems (CNE) (Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project is now merged with CNE), the Colorado Watershed Assembly (CWA), and Colorado State University are developing a Regional Ecosystem Framework (REF) for the I-70 Corridor (CO) from Denver to Glenwood Springs in portions of the Clear Creek, Blue River, and Gore Creek Watersheds. This effort is designed to field test the principles of “Eco-logical,” a collaborative infrastructure planning approach developed by federal agencies including FHWA, EPA, BLM, USFWS, NPS, and others. Eco-logical encourages federal, state, tribal and local partners to integrate plans across agency boundaries, and endorses ecosystem-based mitigation - an innovative method of mitigating infrastructure impacts that cannot be avoided. WTI is responsible for assisting CNE with developing a wildlife mortality and habitat connectivity monitoring and evaluation program, and developing a mitigation plan for the I-70 Corridor in Colorado from Evergreen to Glenwood Springs in portions of the Clear creek, Blue River and Gore Creek Watersheds. This effort is jointly sponsored by CNE and the University Transportation Center (UTC) program (part of the Research and Innovative Technologies Administration of the USDOT). This project represents the CNE portion of the overall effort.
Tony Clevenger - PI
Dan Bell - Main External Contact
Sponsors & Partners
- Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project Sponsor
- Colorado Department of Transportation Partner
- Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) Partner
- Center For Native Ecosytems Sponsor
Part of: Road Ecology« Back to Focus Areas