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ARC Solutions Wins 2015 FHWA Award for Excellence in Environmental Leadership: Award Recognizes ARC’s Work to Promote Wildlife Crossing Structures and Re-Connect Landscapes in North America
Bozeman, Montana – ARC Solutions and its partners have been named by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as the winner of the 2015 Award for Excellence in Environmental Leadership. The award recognizes ARC and its partners for their exemplary achievements in promoting Environmental Leadership through the Animal Road Crossing (ARC) project.
ARC is an international network whose mission is to identify and promote leading-edge solutions to improve human safety, wildlife mobility and long-term landscape connectivity. ARC does this by fostering innovation in the placement, design and construction of wildlife crossings. ARC seeks to share knowledge about these proven solutions by innovating, educating and promoting safe passage for both humans and animals on and across our roads.
“We spend $8 billion a year running over wildlife. If we took that cost and quartered it, we could build 200 animal crossings a year, and the problem of roadkill would disappear within a generation,” said ARC partner Ted Zoli, National Bridge Chief Engineer with HNTB Corporation and a MacArthur Fellow. “Most people don’t know that there are an estimated one million collisions between large animals and vehicles every year in the U.S. alone,” said Jeremy Guth, ARC founding sponsor and Trustee at the Woodcock Foundation. “FHWA’s recognition of the ARC project brings national attention to this solvable problem. Indeed, if a highway has as few as five deer-vehicle collisions per mile each year, then it actually costs more to do nothing, than it costs to do something to fix that problem. ARC’s work to prevent these crashes and provide safe passage not only saves human and wildlife lives, but it also saves taxpayer dollars – resulting in a win-win-win opportunity.”
Since FHWA’s program started in 1995, its biennial awards for Environmental Excellence have recognized partners, projects and processes that use Federal Highway Administration funding sources to go beyond environmental compliance and achieve environmental excellence. The selection process was extremely competitive this year because of the high caliber of nominations.
As ARC partner and Steering Committee member Sandra Jacobson, Wildlife Biologist at the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, remarked: “This award highlights the great opportunities ARC Solutions and its partners have to reduce the carnage on our roads with proven methods that reduce animal-vehicle collisions while allowing animals to move across their world, too.”
FHWA will recognize ARC’s accomplishments at an awards ceremony to be held on July 9th, at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Standing Committees on Planning and the Environment in Salt Lake City, UT. “Many of the ARC partners have worked together for almost two decades to demonstrate how well wildlife crossing structures work and to help agencies integrate them into their transportation projects,” said Steve Albert, director of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University; “we are so proud and gratified that FHWA recognizes the hard work by all of us to implement solutions that can make a huge difference in enhancing safety and preserving sustainable habitats for wildlife.”
The ARC project is an interdisciplinary partnership that advances the state of the practice in wildlife crossing structures and connecting landscapes in North America. In 2010, ARC Solutions sponsored the world’s first wildlife crossing design competition. Since then, ARC Solutions and its partners have worked to implement and disseminate the competition’s results by promoting the study, design, placement and construction of wildlife crossing structures in North America. As part of this effort, ARC Solutions has hosted workshops and forums; produced educational materials and design recommendations; conducted pre- and post-construction monitoring of wildlife crossings; and surveyed State transportation officials regarding their wildlife crossing efforts. An international, multi-disciplinary collaboration of organizations and individuals, ARC Solutions has taken a leading role in promoting innovative solutions that integrate human and wildlife safety, mobility and environmental considerations into transportation decisionmaking. A list of ARC’s partners and cooperating agencies as well as the five finalist teams from the wildlife crossing design competition appears below. To learn more, visit: http://arc-solutions.org/