US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

IEFStep 8 : Implement Agreements, Adaptive Management and Deliver Projects

Integrated Ecological Framework Step

Purpose & Outcome


Implement the previous agreements, update the REF, and design transportation projects in accordance with ecological objectives and goals identified in previous steps (i.e., keeping planning decisions linked to project decisions), appropriate programmatic agreements, performance measures and ecological metrics. This will help ensure continuity from the early planning processes into transportation project implementation.

  • Use of regional ecological goals and objectives in project planning and decision-making.
  • Use of REF maps to guide project avoidance and mitigation decisions.
  • Incorporation of performance standards and programmatic agreements as appropriate into permitting and consultation documents.
  • Integration of programmatic cumulative effects analysis into project NEPA, 404 and 7 analysis.
  • Incorporating tools and approaches into a monitoring and adaptive management strategy to ensure positive project outcomes.
  • Accurate recordkeeping and tracking of all commitments by transportation agency in project delivery.
  • Updating information from construction and operation into REF.
  • Measuring performance success in project delivery.


  1. Design/implement methods to complete transportation project(s) consistent with REF, conservation/restoration strategy, and agreements.
  2. Identify how advance mitigation/conservation will be funded, if this has not been done already.
  3. As needed, develop additional project-specific, outcome-based performance standards related to impact avoidance and minimization.
  4. Design transportation projects and integrate performance measures to minimize impacts to resources.
  5. Use adaptive management to ensure compliance with requirements and intent of performance measures.
    • Develop and track ecoregional biodiversity, indicators of viability and integrity.
    • Develop and track conservation status, protected and managed area status, and management effectiveness.
    • Identify remedial actions and needed plan adjustments.
    • Adjust the planning process and management processes and/or management of individual conservation areas.
    • Incorporate outputs into future cumulative effects analyses for the region.

Technical Questions

  • What tools are available that could help document goals and priorities identified in the REF that need to be considered in project delivery?
  • What tools/methods can be used to track how projects contributed to and/or improved the REF priorities and goals?


None identified

Case Study Examples

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Tools & Methods

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