The Michigan Department of Transportation Fauna Review Process for Listed Species

The Michigan Department of Transportation Fauna Review Process for Listed Species and Approaches for the Protection of Wildlife (INT)
Richard A. Wolinski, Michigan Department of Transportation

The construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure affects wildlife species and their ability to move about the landscape. State transportation agencies are subject to federal and state laws that act to protect species of conservation concern and attempt to minimize impacts to animal communities. All projects are reviewed for their potential to affect native fauna and where needed, specific actions are put into place to avoid or minimize impacts. An overview of the review process is provided and several examples shared that show how a project design approach can be identified and applied to specific species and locations to reduce animal mortality and to aid in maintaining habitat connectivity. Another aspect of mitigation of impacts involves the installation of wildlife habitat structures and monitoring of wildlife use of mitigation wetlands by the department. This information is provided to regulatory and resource agencies to demonstrate how well these wetlands serve to replace wildlife habitat functions.

Richard A. Wolinski, Michigan Department of Transportation
Mr. Wolinski has a BS degree from Central Michigan University and an MS from Eastern Michigan University. He was employed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) from 2000 to 2003 where he was responsible for the Wetland Assessment Program, served as staff technical resource specialist on wetland ecology and wildlife issues, and helped defend permit decisions rendered by the DEQ based upon assessment of wetland functions and values. He is currently employed as a wildlife ecologist in the Environmental Section, Compliance and Mitigation Unit, Michigan Department of Transportation. His present duties include assessment of impacts of transportation projects on threatened and endangered animal species, wildlife, wetlands, rivers and streams and their associated floodplains and lakes.