King, District 6
It was District 6’s turn to plan and host this annual conference. Because collisions with wildlife and the resulting cost in injury and property damage are increasing in Idaho and throughout the United States as motorists, speeds, highway widths and highway density increase, this year’s conference theme was “Integrating Wildlife Crossings into Transportation: Highways and D-6 Environmental Planner Tim Cramer Wildlife Connectivity, Crossings, Habitat Fragmentation and Linkages.”
conference featured presentations by wildlife crossing researchers and
a Wyoming Dept. of Transportation (DOT) district engineer, who has years
of experience implementing
Presenters at the conference were Jon Beckman, associate conservation ecologist of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Patty Cramer, United States Geological Survey (USGS) Utah Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit of Utah State University; John Eddins, district engineer, Wyoming DOT, Rock Springs; and Greg Burak, Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).
District 6 implemented ITD’s first wildlife linkage data collection and analysis effort in 2005 as a pilot project. In the future, all ITD districts will participate in linkage analysis data collection. Greg is heading up the database and “geographic information system (GIS)”-based statewide linkage analysis work for IDFG, which is funded by ITD and administered by IDFG.
presented information on the process IDFG is using and how the results
can be used.
Also participating were Marc Munch, ITD transportation archaeologist; Nicholle Braspennickx, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liaison for ITD; Kim Just, headquarters environmental planner; and Brent Ingrahm, environmental program manager, FHWA Idaho. ITD Director Pam Lowe was invited but unable to attend.
Dennis Clark, headquarters section manager, Environmental Section, delivered closing remarks at the conference. He said that the event provides ITD’s environmental planners with insights and know-how from environmental professionals outside ITD and outside Idaho, as well as an opportunity for information exchange and discussion of internal processes and procedures.