US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

IEFStep 9 : Update Regional Ecosystem Framework and Plan

Integrated Ecological Framework Step

Purpose & Outcome

Purpose

Ensure that the REF and integrated plan become a living database.

Outcome
  • Updated REF and cumulative effects analysis.
  • Updated conservation and restoration priorities.

Sub-Steps

TIP: To access more information on sub-steps, please visit the complete Guide to the Integrated Ecological Framework.

  1. Integrate any revised conservation plans into the regional integrated plan/ecosystem framework and, where appropriate, individual resource spatial information
  2. Update the area/resource conservation requirements, responses, and indicators in collaboration with stakeholders (e.g., assess regional goals, update to minimum required area for species and/or habitat, review confidence threshold for achieving goals, review weighting values of resources in REF, evaluate responses to land use and infrastructure).
  3. Update the implementation status of areas in the REF to review those areas that are contributing to REF goals and priorities, and determine if additional conservation/protection action is required.
  4. Update the cumulative effects analysis with new developments, new disturbances, proposals and trends (e.g., ecosystem-altering wildfire, new policies, plans, proposals, and trends such as new sea level rise inundation model).
  5. Conduct regular review of progress, including effectiveness at meeting goals and objectives, current take totals, and likelihood of exceeding programmatic take allowance.

Technical Questions

  • Has the status of species or habitats changed? How does this affect REF goals?
  • Do areas on the landscape critical to meeting goals identified in REF need additional protection or restoration action?
  • How often should the REF be revised to incorporate new conservation data or plans?
  • How often should the cumulative effects analysis be updated?
  • Are indicators used to track conservation progress capturing the correct trends?
  • Are transportation project delivery indicators improving (e.g., streamlined decision-making and/or better conservation outcomes)?
  • How can modifications be moved forward to alter mitigation and restoration priorities previously identified but not yet implemented?

Data

  • New conservation or restoration plans
  • New information on species
  • New information developed by Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
  • New developments, new disturbances, proposals and trends (e.g., ecosystem-altering wildfire, new policies, plans, proposals, and trends such as new sea level rise inundation model)

Case Study Examples

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Tools & Methods

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