Over 1,000 Road-Stream Crossings Removed or Upgraded for Aquatic Organism Passage
The Forest Service is a national leader in designing road-stream crossings to provide aquatic organism passage (AOP) and flood resiliency, typically removing or upgrading 150 to 300 road-stream crossings per year. Forest Service design experts hold trainings for agency staff and partners annually across the country.
In 2015, the Forest Service achieved the milestone of removing or replacing more than 1,000 road-stream crossings to benefit Aquatic Organism Passage using Legacy Roads and Trails funding, since the creation of this Federal funding source in 2008. Over this time period, the Forest Service has invested over $90 million to complete 1,049 AOP projects to benefit fish and other aquatic animals, protect clean water, and improve reliable access. Agency employees have worked with more than 200 partners and leveraged an additional $14 million to achieve this milestone. About 20 percent of the AOP projects benefited federally listed species. This kind of aquatic restoration work also benefits local communities by updating road infrastructure to survive large floods and provide safe, reliable transportation for emergency services, schools, work, and recreation. The Legacy Roads and Trails Program is a major contributor to the agency’s leadership in AOP and flood resiliency work across the Nation.
A Look Ahead
- Work with partners to protect and restore native aquatic species and their habitat at the watershed-scale.
- Expand AOP projects for climate change and flood resiliency.
- Prevent and mitigate aquatic invasive species.
- Guide watershed restoration within the agency and work more closely with other program areas.
- Emphasize economic contribution of fish and fishing, ecosystem services, and investments in climate change resiliency to local communities and regional economies and the importance of these in the work that we do.
- Identify new Fisheries Program performance measures that are outcome-based and more effectively communicate the value of work we do.