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Useful Policies

The STURAA or Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act became effective in April of 1987. It contains a mandatory requirement that native wildflower seeds or seedlings or both be planted as part of landscaping projects undertaken on the Federal-aid highway system. At least one-quarter of one percent of the funds expended for a landscaping project must be used to plant native wildflowers on that project. Although waivers were granted in the beginning where growing wildflowers was difficult; the science and industry of native wildflower planting has grown to the point where waivers are no longer encouraged. (An example of an acceptable waiver is shown on page 19.) Native wildflowers are forbs and grasses that existed in a region before European settlement.

The Executive Memorandum on beneficial landscaping became effective in April of 1994. This Executive memorandum encouraged the use of native plants as much as practicable on all federal lands and in all federally-funded projects. The Native Plant Initiative, an interagency coalition, has worked together to share information and resources to improve public awareness, educate their own forces, increase planting success, and more. Their Plant Conservation Alliance website is www.pca.org. In 2000, this EM was incorporated into EO 13486, the greening of government. Thus what was once a suggestion, is now law. A copy of the EM can be found on the FHWA website.

The Executive Order on invasive species (EO13112) became effective in February of 1999. This Executive Order encourages cooperation and communication at all levels of government to prevent and control invasive species. The EO asks that native plants be restored to newly controlled sites. The EO also set up a National Invasive Species Council (NISC), on which all interests are represented. An Advisory Committee of national experts supports the council, whose first mission was to define a national management plan within 18 months of the signing by President Clinton. State Invasive Species Councils are being set up around the Country to reflect the cooperation of public and private sectors in each State. The FHWA Guidance for implementation was released in August of 1999 and can be found on our website www.fhwa.dot.gov/roadsides.

EO13112 guidance from the FHWA was expanded to include the NEPA process. All EIS reports should include an analysis of the invasive plant presence on a project site and prediction with recommendations of new invasives resulting from soil disturbance during the project. An invasive plant management plan should be designed on a site specific basis.

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This page last modified on August 4, 2004

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