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California Pilots Mitigation Credit System for Wildlife Crossing.

In April, California's State wildlife and transportation departments signed a credit agreement for an innovative pilot project to create advanced mitigation credits for wildlife highway crossings. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) developed the mitigation crediting system for the Laurel Curve Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Project on Highway 17 in Santa Cruz County. The system will transition to a statewide program being developed through the new Regional Conservation Investments Strategies Program.

Using the Laurel Curve project as a pilot, CDFW and Caltrans developed a model compensatory mitigation crediting system that can be used to mitigate impacts to wildlife movement for future transportation projects.

The system calculates mitigation credits using a first-of-its-kind methodology which takes into account the length of highway to be improved in lane miles or the project footprint in acres and the total cost of the project. When appropriate, Caltrans may sell or transfer the credits within Caltrans or to other transportation agencies with projects in the defined geographic area, thereby freeing funds for additional infrastructure projects.

CDFW's Habitat Conservation Planning Branch and the Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis worked closely with the California Transportation Commission to formulate the credit agreement.

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Caption: Laurel Curve, shown here in an aerial image taken by a drone, served as a pilot project to develop California's mitigation credit system for wildlife highway crossings.


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Title Annotation:Public Information and Information Exchange
Publication:Public Roads
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2017
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