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>> Let's bring it back to what we've been talking about. So fragmentation -- real issue.

>> It was right there.

>> So you almost contributed to road kill? Yes.

>> I just saw him looking at me and I was like, "Oh, my God."

>> Nice, nice. Yeah, so we'll talk about this when we get to the lab stuff. But I have actually two kind of -- they're not really competing versions that we have to reconcile -- but we have two versions of our first CSUCI research iPhone app. So unfortunately, the way these development things go, you develop it for Android or for iPhone or for whatever. So it isn't like a generic thing yet. So we started with an iPhone app. So if you guys have an iPhone when we get to -- you guys can let me know if you want to and you could beta test some of our iPhone apps and you can be marking those kills you see out there. But that's an optional thing. All right, so getting back to what we've been talking about. So, again, roads are everywhere. They fragment everything -- watersheds, et cetera.

^M00:01:13 [ Silence ] ^M00:01:21

Boy, is this guy hanging. Okay, we talked about all the local scale, regional scale impacts -- how roads are increasingly a conversation factor in things beyond what we might just initially think of such as facilitating invasive species, such as being a threat to relatively rare populations or endangered species. Big part of facilitating resource extraction -- the first step in resource extraction. And we mentioned that road kill now -- as you guys were just commenting, the things you saw this weekend -- an incredibly important factor for many vertebrates and, in fact, many insects, as well that have historically gone under the radar screen. We talked about animals going in and around and we mentioned the lab that we'll talk about in a little bit. The point of that lab activity is going to be to see if you guys can estimate the road kill in the Santa Monica mountains and also estimate the amount of road kill that occurs across our major roads across Ventura County in, say, a given year. And we talked about fragmentation -- about the Florida black bear story. Recall, these were where the guys were -- where the largest concentration of kills, I should say, are right here in the Northeastern part of the state and we looked at that, talked about roads, talked about the kinds of things there, talked about how we could use this data and how animals don't read signs. And then we mentioned, again, how this stuff -- how animals moving over or under a roadway could be considered -- is now referred to as a wildlife crossing but it's actually one subset of a wildlife corridor. And, again, this is, perhaps, our idealized road where we have it underground in the sense of having it be hard for animals to get killed on it. And the parts that aren't underground are elevated. So, again, hard for terrestrial animals, at least, to get whacked. And we showed a bunch of pictures and talked about the scale of impacts. This was the bear in the former Yugoslavia -- now the country we recognize as Croatia -- going across, climbing over, bonk, bonk, bonk. Oh, he made it. He things he's going to make it all the way over and giant trucks are barreling by and he can't get off the road bed so he turns around and goes all the way back. And, thankfully, makes it. So this was not a horrible, gross YouTube video with nasty stuff. This guy actually survived, so that was good in the sense that he was able to survive. Talked about fragmentation, talked about salamander tunnels up in the Bay area, mentioned how roads are a ubiquitous part of our Southern California conversation and planning and all of those issues, because we increasingly have small islands of a particular ecosystem or community surrounded by lots of human development. And that, by definition, means surrounded by a lot of roads. Talked about some of the different structures that we could see, different examples of wildlife, of structures that allow wildlife to move over or under a road bed. And some of these are multiple use. We talked about the most sophisticated kind which are these wildlife overpasses or sometimes called Green Bridges. And they were first really given prominence up in Canada in and around Banff National Park and actually farther North of there. And then we talked about the Croatian part of the story. I should say that I just got an e-mail -- I e-mailed my technicians. All of our staff and everybody's fine from the big earthquake that hit eastern Turkey which hit -- it hit near where we work. So not that everybody was asking me but it's good news that all of my people are safe. The famous Croatian forests -- well-known for all their National Parks and expansive protected areas -- and we talked about some of these roads. We talked about this, right? Or did I end this? Yeah, I thought we went through this. And how this portion of land -- or this portion of road, excuse me -- has one green bridge. But, importantly, when you add up all the different things -- the places to go under, the places to go over -- it's something like about a fourth of the entire roadways. That's a huge, relatively speaking, a huge amount of potential crossing options for wildlife. The one I showed you just before is the one up top. Now we can look at this guy, a longer extension, and this is more typical where when you add up all the bridges and underpasses and everything it comes up to more about ten percent of the total area. And that is pretty good. So most places are even more constrained than this particular location. And these guys put in several green bridges. And right, so we talked about that -- what some of the construction looks like, different styles, before, during, after, revegetating, reforesting these soil structures on top of the road and how these guys have -- I just got an e-mail this weekend from the cameras we just put out two weekends ago in our Louisiana spot. And we're actually starting to get video now of coyotes and stuff visiting our restoration sites using similar technology. And these guys use both that high-tech which is really cool -- it counters and cameras -- but also just the old school attract markings which can be highly effective. And the best thing -- as with most endeavors in life -- the best approach is to have a whole pallet. So doing conversation -- it's great to have these really low tech, simple things that can work all the time as well as these more sophisticated technologies that maybe can work when, for example, I'm out here in the U.S. and they can still be getting data and transmitting the data to me, for example. So it's wonderful to have a blend and then you can pick and choose which option is the most appropriate for the particular scene, as opposed to having only one or a few tools that you have to force everything into. So a wonderful tool, probably one of the best tools we have, but this requires staff, right? So you have to have the money to hire someone or volunteers to go out every day or frequently to record this and to reset it, to rebrush it. And just some of the animals that we've seen using these crossing structures in Croatia. Okay, and we mentioned there's slightly different species breakdowns of these guys and how, if we look at -- in this case the wolf use of these road crossing structures, we do indeed see that, yes, they are being used because we can see these tracks where the animal was here and when it crossed. And every once in awhile they go up to some other strange part of the road, the regular part of the road, but the vast majority of all the crossings are at these structures created to facilitate their crossing. So, indeed, wildlife crossings can work. That's, I think, where we left it at. I want to finish this part talking about some examples from around the U.S. This case, talking about road kill and all this and that, was -- we'll go back to Florida for this. And, again, I think I said this before but just to be clear, so we call the Florida Panther, which is listed as an endangered species and endangered subspecies -- that's the same thing as what we call a mountain lion. It's recognized as a distinct subspecies. There's some unique genetic aspects to them. But if pull one of those guys up and one of our California mountain lions, they could breed and have babies and all this and that. The subspecies in Florida is the most threatened of all of the mountain lion populations or sub populations or subspecies in the U.S. So in this case, this is on a road that has come to be known as Alligator Alley because there's so many alligators on the road, on the side of the road, et cetera. This originally began as a two lane toll road built in '69. Anybody from Florida? Anybody been to Florida? They have a lot of toll roads, right? So whereas toll roads for us in California are kind of a new phenomenon or in really heavily trafficked areas such as Southern Orange County, Northern San Diego -- Florida they're a more ubiquitous part of the road landscape and they've been part of the transportation network for a much longer period of time. And that's for a variety of reasons. One of which, though, is Florida has no income tax -- state income tax. And everybody's like, "That sounds great." And maybe it is. Until it comes to having to do things with money like repair your roads and stuff. And they have very little money to do that kind of stuff. So the roads are usually pretty bad and that has ushered in this phenomenon of toll roads. So the idea, as well, you can essentially sell finance or privately finance these roads and that's how you get the cool, new, fancy, schmancy big, smooth road beds. And so toll roads are ubiquitous across Florida. So one of these toll roads went in in 1969 through this relatively pristine habitat for Florida panthers and other things. And a huge amount of road kill going on there, a lot of large things -- alligators as well as panthers. And it was realized this was becoming a serious issue. And, again, it's an alligator, right? It's not a squirrel. So when you hit an alligator or mountain lion that leads to actual significant damage on your vehicle, to say the least, if not actually a serious accident where you or your passengers are injured or, unfortunately, even killed. So this was recognized as a problem for many sides. This wasn't just a wildlife conversation thing. So what we did is similar to what we're doing in Turkey, what's been done in Croatia, what we're trying to do here in the Santa Monica's until those folks killed our mountain lions intentionally. But that it, put some radio collars on the necks of these guys and follow them around for while. Let's figure out their normal behavior, where do they prefer or where do they seem to prefer to cross the road and that kind of stuff. And then we can use that -- once we have a decent data set of that we can say, "Ah, here's the place that will maximize, be the most cost efficient and the best for the critters. And, therefore, promoting the most safety for the drivers, as well. This is where you should plop down the corridors or the crossing structures", excuse me. And so that led to, in the early 90s when the roadway was expanded, to do a series of 24 underpasses -- sort of redid and made better for animals 12 existing bridges, added more than 40 miles of fencing. So to keep critters off the road, then, in the first place and direct them to one of these crossing structures every so often. And then also do restoration and an important thing we'll see in several of these -- also acquire the land, acquire the land just off the road bed. One of the problems, particularly in California that we have a problem with, is everybody is developed right up to the edge of the road, right? Like [inaudible] outlets and all this and that. If there's [inaudible] outlets right next to our road and you and I want to put a wildlife crossing there, right, we have to put the fence on, we have to sort of force them, direct them into these areas. So by definition we have to working off of the road bed. And if that's on park land or something like that, we're good to go. But if it's on something that's private land they're like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. You can't do that." So it's much, much easier if the land adjacent to the road is in public domain or public control or we have some right of way that we can do that kind of stuff. And that's what these guys realized so they also did land acquisition along the road side to facilitate their crossing efforts. And after this -- after '93 -- the Florida Department of Transportation showed a greatly reduced number of Florida panther kills or observations on the road side as wells as bear, deer - beer? Let's try that again - reduced Florida panther deaths and encounters, bear, deer, bobcat and alligators. So a success, a success, right? And it cost them money but many fewer human accidents, as well, and so it's better for everybody all around. Here's another contrasting example. This is from Colorado. This is the Short Grass Prairie Initiative. They put this one in because this is one of the first examples of this really proactive thinking -- thinking, "Outside of the box." The typical approach has been the agency that -- the transportation department or whatever is like, "Hey, we're putting in a road", and then a bunch of enviros go, "No, no, the poor little warm fuzzies." And they go, "No, we need a road because people are congested and we're losing economic dah, dah, dah, dah, dah." And they get angry and they fight and they sue each other, right? Or actually one sues and then all that kind of stuff. But so with this approach is like, "Before we even have a particular project listed, let's just get folks together way, way, early in the process and decide what we'd kind of like to see and what we're really trying to avoid." And so this effort, this initiative brought together our version of Caltrans, this is the California Department -- or, excuse me, the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Fish and Wildlife agency, another one within the state, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency and the Nature Conservancy. And the Nature Conservancy, for those of you who don't know, is a non-governmental organization, a conservation organization. And they do various things but they're most known for buying land, acquiring land and holding land and managing that land. So they're the largest private land owner in the U.S. So they own huge swaths of -- they own, for example, more than half of Santa Cruz Island. They own a lot of the land out at Ormond Beach. They own all these chunks of land all around the U.S. and, actually, the world. And most environmental organizations will help or there might be some local land trust that acquires land or something. Most environmental groups sort of take the approach of, "Raise money to acquire the land and then turn it into a public park or turn it into public ownership." These guys don't necessarily do that. They are involved with that sometimes, but their specialty is really acquire land, hold the land and manage the land for conversation values. And so these folks got together and started talking. And they said, "Okay, over the next several decades obviously the State of Colorado is going to grow, the population's going to grow. Where are the population centers? Okay, they're here." And then, "How many people do we think are roughly going to be living here? About this many, okay. That means this many cars need to be going from this location to this location." And so they did some basic forecasting. And with that they said, "Okay, it looks like the places that are going to be the most concerned for road kill, for example, are going to be places A, B, C and D." And so they started early on, before the projects necessarily even began, they started early on the mitigation planning. So, yes, let's just assume there's going to be more cars going through here. What do we need to do to lessen the impacts of those vehicle trips? And so the approach that basically was decided was a mix of restoration -- so there's more places for those animals to have babies and their populations can grow so you can augment their population assuming that some are going to get taken out by the cars. But you can also try to encourage populations to move somewhat away from the roads, et cetera. And so the [inaudible] species would be the burrowing owl, which is a owl, unlike other owls, does not live up in barns or up in sort of hollows of trees but rather burrows down in the ground. And so they're really vulnerable to a whole bunch of things that mess with grasslands. So that's one example from Colorado. Our example from California -- I have another one in a second -- but our example from California that would be somewhat akin to this is the so called Tri-Agency Partnership. I'm not sure the status of this; I haven't been able to figure this one out in the last year or so, given the economic insanity and all of our budget cuts and stuff. But it's still a useful example even if it's been sort of mothballed. But I don't think it has been. So the Tri-Agency, the three agencies are California Environmental Protection Agency, the State Resources Agency which is the parent entity for California Fish and Game and all of those -- California Coast Conservancy -- all of those entities, and the California State Business Transportation Housing Agency. So in this case these are all within the state structured entities. And it was recognized that even though these are all members of one government, their purposes were often times at cross purposes with one another. And so these guys got together and said, "Hey, same idea, let's do some forecasting. Let's think ahead and anticipate these problems before they happen and put some tools into play, put some planning into motion that will mitigate the impacts before we even have the impacts." And so the idea here was to change the business as usual model. And one example of this is right here. So, for example, here is a map of a particular road bed. The existing road bed is in white with this red line going on. And what would typically happen before this endeavor began -- the road guys would go out and, "Oh, my God. We've got a lot of cars here. We need to improve the traffic flow on this. We need to widen this road." And they would go out and they would start laying out their roads and then as they're laying out the roads and figured out how they should add more lane capacity or signals, whatever it was, then like down the line they'd hire some biological folks or have their own biologists -- some of our alumni have worked for Caltrans as biologists now -- they would go out and then they would start to survey for wetlands or endangered species or other sensitive parts of the ecosystem.

>> [ Inaudible audience question ]

>> So what I would say is -- how do I answer that? One, they're getting better. They are getting better, absolutely, that's the case. They're getting better with their revegetation pallet that they use on roadsides, absolutely. Having said that, my students that work for them -- they all don't still work for them. Some of them worked for awhile and then left. They say that it is a difficult slog -- that Caltrans is first and foremost a road engineering, road maintenance entity. And some of my students have reported that they're not necessarily always listened to. So they go into a meeting and the biologist will say, "X." And then the engineer guys say, "Y." And they usually do the Y thing. But that's more of a long conversation we have to have. But so, yeah, just because you have a sentinel member in an organization or someone that represents a point of view, which is great -- that's the first step and entities and corporations and stuff really need to be commended for that -- it's a whole other thing to be effective within the organization. And they're getting better; they're getting better. But it's definitely an ongoing thing. Those of you in my coastal marine management class when we go up to our central coast trip will visit with Caltrans and you guys can talk to those guys about stuff. In all honesty, a lot of times the Caltrans guys think that what's going on is ridiculous -- well, that's a whole other conversation. Okay, so let's save that for more extensive discussions. But let's see if we can finish this guy up. So what I was just telling you was sort of the existing approach -- or, excuse me, the historic approach. And this new approach that came in was saying like, "Look, instead of doing all this stuff start down the road and then all of a sudden, 'Oh, my God. There's an endangered species or there's a wetland or there's a whatever here', before you even begin why don't we just have a big database of the whole state that has, and we can't know everything, but at least the gross things like the wetlands already mapped out, let's say." So then before we even send an engineer out to do anything you can do a quick -- essentially generate a map and go, "Oh, damnation, look, there's a wetland in the footprint of this road. Hey, just as the first pass, let's make the road alignment over here so we don't tweak that wetland as much or something like that." Not a complex thing but, again, something that requires a little bit of forethought, a little bit of planning, a little bit of setting up of databases. And it's been very helpful. So the goal has been to change business as usual, to change to try to make these road projects not take 20 years to be done, to have them be done in a more routine basis. Most of these projects that have any kind of environmental impact, it's decades and decades of -- not decades and decades, but at least a decade or so. I think of back near where I went to high school in the San Francisco Bay area there's this place where these several major freeways merged. And like, "Oh, my God. It's always slow and commute time and this and that." So these guys proposed a fly over where essentially one roadway came up and you kind of go whew way crazy high and then come down and merge. And they looked at it and they said, "Oh, no, that's not going to meet capacity or we'll build that, within a couple of years it won't work." That story that I just said was 1969. So they said, "Okay, it's not worth building this thing. It's not going to be capacity; it's not going to pay for itself." They actually ended up building that thing in the 1990s because they're like, "Oh, my God. We're so screwed; we don't know what else to do." And so this notion of designs taking forever -- or old designs being recycled -- it's just a huge problem in our state because of all of the regulations and all of the double checks and everything we have to go through -- so timely delivery of transportation projects is a real thing. It's a huge problem. And these guys want to produce -- instead of just producing projects that don't totally nuke the environment, they said the new mantra should be when they do one of these projects, the project should protect or restore the environment -- so putting on its head. Not that we should try to make it less bad; we should try to make it a positive structure by, again, facilitating wildlife crossings where there aren't wildlife crossings or whatever the case may be. Brittany?

>> If you have an existing road, how long would it take you to build like a green bridge over it? I'm just curious about that time wise. If you wanted to like, shut it down for like two years and then build a bridge. I know that won't happen but [inaudible].

>> Is anybody here from [inaudible]? So that was one little teeny bridge -- that wasn't even a bridge, that was one half of a bridge that was [inaudible] and that was like, "The world's going to end and all this and that." So that's an interesting question. A couple of years ago when a fuel tanker guy was driving too fast and took a turn too quickly going towards the San Francisco Bay bridge, overturned, huge fire, melted the road and essentially shut down this one part of this major, major artery in the San Francisco Bay area and the people said, "Oh, my God. This is going to be screwed for a couple of years and this and that." And Caltrans looked at it and they said, "Okay, here's what we need to do." And they made the -- they gave the economic incentive for the contract. And they said, "Instead of doing a regular bid" -- we're getting off topic, but real quickly, how this stuff typically works -- in many cases, agencies are required to take the lowest bid. It's gotten a little bit better, which is a total, stupid, stupid thing to do. So what happens is you have the culture that now exists over much of the country -- and this is with government contracting, this is with state, whatever -- what the model that's happened is someone looks at this and firstly, it's not a free market because there's only a few corporations that are big enough to actually bid on these projects so it's actually a very small number of people that actually bid on these things. And a lot of them pay a lot of campaign contributions. But, anyway, so they're like, "Okay, let's do this thing." And you look at the project and you're like, I don't know, $20 million, right? And this project costs $20 million and usually it's a sealed bid. So you make your bid, you make your bid and nobody sees that. They just go to the agency; the agency opens it up and goes, "Ah, this one is $20 million, this one's $22 million, this one's $17 million." Let's go for the $17 million one, right?" Even though it's highly unlikely that you could ever do that for $17 million, right? But they know if they low bid then they'll get the contract. And once they get the contract they start doing -- like, "Oh, yeah, we can't do it for that much so we have cost overruns." And it takes longer and this and that. So this notion of going to the lowest bidder necessarily is just totally messed up. And some agencies and some entities are starting to get beyond that. But this notion on going cheap, always the cheapest, cheapest, cheapest -- cheap is very expensive in the long run, it turns out. And so with regards to these projects, that's one of the issues is that we've lowballed for so long. And then once you've spent, who knows, whatever, $17 million on this project and you're like, "Oh, it's going to cost another four", most people won't say, "Screw it, we're going to cut our losses and start over again", right? They're going to go, "Okay, well, here's another $4 million and here's this." And it takes longer. So this project in San Francisco, they took an opposite approach and they said, "We have looked at this. This is going to cost about, whatever the hell, $20 million." That's not right, but whatever the amount was. And they said, "Okay, if you're going to bid on this you have to get it done by date X and if you don't every day that you go over you start owing us" -- I forget what it was, like half a million dollars, a half a million dollars a day you owe the state. Also, if you finish early you get -- I don't know what it was, like, $250,000.00 more a day that you do early. So there was this incentive built in that said, "If you're going to bid for this you're going to go into this agreement and if you go early you'll make more money. If you get it done early and safely and correctly you'll get more money. If it takes you longer then you're not going to make as much money." And that proved to be an incredibly -- and people said, "They're never going to be able to build this, finish this road pass, this structure in a few months." And they did it in record speed and they won all these government awards because of that. So if you're smart about it we can do better. Anyway, so yeah, so that's California's Tri-Agency partnership. Do you guys get the idea? Here's another one that is not -- I put up not as an example of road kill "minimization" but actually turns out to be that. So this had nothing to do with road kill. And this example is from Zion National Park. Anybody been to Zion? Recently? Okay, well anyway, so a cool place; you guys should go check it out, very cool national park. And like most of our national parks that are in valley kind of structures, you think of Yosemite and places like that, there's a valley floor and everybody wants to go to the valley floor. That's where the pretty meadows are, that's where the souvenir stores are, that's where the campgrounds are -- all that kind of stuff. And so as is the case all around, we love our parks and that means they get used heavily. And so by the mid-1990s there was so many people going -- not so much all year round, but in the peak travel time, in the summer time when kids are out of school -- so many people were crowded in the valley floor that it was a huge pain in the butt. It was like driving through downtown L.A. in the middle of traffic time. It was bumper to bumper kind of stuff, right? And there were cars, there were RVs, there were tour buses, all this stuff that made the experience of trying to enjoy the park, see the park, take in the park totally not fun. And not only that, some animals were killed because of road kill. But, more importantly, all kinds of congestion, all kinds of air pollution problems because it was just cars idling all the time and all this crud coming out of the tailpipe. Noise, very loud. And it ticked off people because they've been sitting in traffic for half an hour trying to go like a mile or something. So in 2000 the park started an effort that during the peak summer months we would essentially remove cars from the primary road bed on the valley floor. And so instead they introduced these guys which are these free shuttle buses -- compressed natural gas and sort of alternative fuel vehicles. I think now they might even have a few electric ones. But alternative fuels and run by the park service free so if want to go camping and you want to go to the store or whatever you just jump on the bus and they're constantly circling. So very easy, very convenient, free, jump on, jump off, you want to go hiking, that's cool. And it worked out very, very well and now everybody loves this. The first little bit people were like, "I'm American. I'm supposed to be able to drive a car", right? But then after a little bit people were like, "This is actually much better. It's much quieter, you can ride your bikes and your family can ride your bikes along the roadside and not worry about getting taken out by some angry guy who's been stuck in traffic for God knows how long. Reduced the air quality, reduced the road kill, reduced the carbon emissions and pollution in general from that area. So it's one of these things that wasn't so much designed as a road kill thing; it was more of a visitor experience type of thing, but had direct benefits in terms of reducing road kill and the possibility of road kill and also the totally the reduction of accidents, essentially making driver accidents zero by definition during that time of the year because people weren't allowed to drive there. So that's an example from Zion. And then this is the Roadway Animal Detection System. I e-mailed these guys last week when I was updating this lecture and have not heard back from them. So I'll just give you my understanding of this as about a year ago with the caveat that things have changed a little bit. This would be sort of a high-end to avoid road kill. This system is called the Roadway Animal Detection System. It's a radar system. And it was designed for areas that are too remote, road crossings really wouldn't work financially or feasibly or something like that. And it initially rolled out for places like Yellowstone where we have these large animals -- meaning American bison, all right, buffalo -- that are really gigantic. And no matter what, if you hit that, it's really bad for you and the animal. And in this stretch of road and some of these stretches of road if it looks like this picture on the left you're probably okay. But during lots of the year it's snowing, it's foggy, you can't see too far in front of you and so you're kind of driving and all of the sudden there's this massive, huge, several 100 pound thing right in front of you. And that was the problem. These are also, for example, using the Yellowstone case, these are miles and miles and miles in between places. So if there is an accident you're screwed, right? I mean, you're with no fog you're maybe 45 minutes from the hospital maybe, right? I mean, these are rural areas and so people tend to drive fast which tends to have more significant types of encounters with wildlife, all that kind of stuff. And so the notion is, "Wow, wouldn't it be great if we could actually give the drivers some more active information about what's going on right now?'" So the idea was, "What if we put a little" -- and you can see the diagram here on the lower left, "What if we put a little sensor system on the side of the road that was coupled with signs that gave visitors real time information?" One of the problems with signs when you put up wildlife crossing signs, for the first little bit they tend to work, actually. People go, "What, a sign? There's wildlife? Oh, my God, let's drive slow." But after a very short amount of time people habituate to that and they start to ignore -- they see the warning but they don't pay attention to it. So the notion is here this could be an active type system. Instead of doing nine tenths of the year it's just sitting there. But if the radar -- beep, beep, beep -- says something's big there, all of the sudden the sign starts to flash. Maybe lights in the road start to flash and it's like, "Whoa, seriously, man, like right now there's something giant either on the road or maybe right next to the road. So you better go really slow." So that was the idea. So this system was developed by Sensor Technology Systems, Inc. And it's now a different -- the company's now a different name. But the company, the start-up was based in Scottsdale, Arizona but these systems have been tried in various parts of the country. They're really focused on detecting large things. These are not designed to detect rabbits or possums. These are large bodied animals that will have a significant impact on both the animal and the vehicle should they come into contact. So they're really shooting for things like elk, deer, that sized critter. These guys use historic data, historic reporting of accidents and road kill observations and they say, "Okay, this stretch is where we're going to focus." And this isn't hundreds of miles. This is a sensor, a ray will work for -- they'll put it in for a course of a mile, maybe two miles, kind of that sort of area of the most intensely used section. It's still under development; it's still considered experimental. It's been going on for, God, a decade or so now. And the primary folks that are experimenting with this are folks from Montana State and folks in adjacent wildlife departments and things like that. Because it's still a relatively new technology, because it's still a relatively technology intensive tool, they're still working kinks out. So in California, actually last year, we just got our first one of these. It's up in Northern California, a place on highway three up in sort of far Northern California. And some folks out of Berkley are the ones behind this and they actually have a 1.3 kilometer stretch where they've historically had a large number of deer crossing and deer encounters with cars. And so they put this stuff up there. In this case, they have it both on the side of the road and video camera linked to it so they can monitor the efficacy to actually detect how many animals actually were there versus how many they actually detect. And they have it set up with a text messaging and SMS system that will actually report the data back to the folks down in the San Francisco Bay area. So they don't have to go up there every single time. Had some problems, a car ran into one of the poles this summer and they've had to restart it. But it's looking good. The next generation of these -- and there's now a couple car manufacturers that are starting to have this -- which is the ability for the cars to detect this information. So the idea is the next step is -- this right now flashes to these signs here and you can see they're solar powered so they're off the grid. You don't have to pay to have giant utility poles come in. And so here you see one of the cameras and the detectors and then this is one of the flashing warning lights. Right now, detect an animal, this thing flashes. In a few years many of our cars will be smart cars and they'll have the ability to receive text messages. So the car itself -- a dashboard or something -- might go, "Slow down, slow down, slow down, deer", or something of that nature. And so that will be even better than this stuff. But this is one way to try to minimize road kill. Not going to work everywhere; this is very expensive. So this is really going to be localized to these areas where we have -- out in the middle of nowhere and large migrations of caribou or elk or something like that. But nevertheless, it is a kind of cool technology that is not quite ready for primetime. And I'll just end this discussion by saying that this is not a new thing -- so wildlife crossings and death from roads and the expansion of roads, all that -- this is a continuing problem and an increasing problem. So it's something we need to deal with. Okay, in summary, the general suggestions we have for wildlife crossings overall is to first and foremost do some kind of studies like what we're about to start doing here, which you guys are about to start to contribute to. And understand how many -- how big is the issue? Is it a little, teeny issue or is it a major issue? If it's a major issue, where is it focused, right? So we need that background data to really focus our limited resources. The next thing you could do would be to retrofit existing structures, so existing underpasses or culverts, that kind of stuff. Is there a way to relatively easily tweak these a little bit, add some fencing on either side to make that more likely to be used, et cetera? That's a relatively cheap approach. What we're discovering and what we've discovered here in Ventura as we try to talk about this is that private ownership right up to the road is a problem and is not conducive to facilitating wildlife crossing. So the next level of things to do would be to, if possible, acquire land or at least get an easement on some of the land right next to where you want to put those crossings so that you can actually do those crossings and allow that to happen. Always, always, always -- as we've learned from our tiger salamander example -- we want to monitor the efficacy of these crossings. Are these things actually working? And it's completely unacceptable to spend a huge amount of our scarce dollars and not spend a fraction of that cost over the course of many months to many years to actually see, "Does this thing work?" Again, everybody's always afraid of saying, "We spend $4 million and now that was a wasted amount of money." But it's even worse to spend $4 million this year and $4 million next year and $4 million the next year and $4 million the next year all because people were too afraid to look at it critically and actually see, "Did it really work or not?" So I would add to that, we need to give our public agencies the flexibility to try things that won't work and not come down on them and treat them like evil things that are against the constitution if they experiment with something that turns out to not work. Experimentation means that we don't know exactly what's going to happen. One of the things we could easily do that's super cheap and is probably even the first thing that could happen after the road kill studies is just add more signs. Not necessarily effective, but at least that's a relatively cheap fix, a relatively cheap thing to do. And that will reduce the speed of some folks. Another thing you could do is actually, this requires more public policy folks involved in the cities and local jurisdictions, but is the idea of decreasing speed in these various crossing intense areas. And that tends to be controversial because people like to go fast in our country and people really hate to be told how fast they could drive. But that is one thing that -- and when you say that the speed limit is 40 miles and hour, that doesn't mean that people are driving 40 miles an hour, right? But it means at least they're probably not driving 100 miles and hour. And so brining down speed limits, reducing speed limits is one thing that seems to work -- seems to improve things. It doesn't solve things perfectly. Ultimately what we want to do is reduce the total number or vehicle trips, the total number of thousands of pounds of steel rocketing across the landscape at tens of miles per hour. So if we can reduce those; that's the best thing. And ultimately, reduce the amount of roads in wildlife intensive areas. That's really the key, but whether we'll actually get there or not is a huge question given our population. But that's it. So those are some simple suggestions for wildlife crossing.

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