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Eight Do's and One Don't for Enhancement Applications

Some specific suggestions for developing projects and writing applications for federal transportation funds.

From The Nature Conservcancy

  1. Know your state Department of Transportation (DOT) staff. Work closely with them and develop a trusting relationship.
  2. Apply in several categories if you are seeking transportation enhancements funding. The Minnesota Field Office applied in seven out of the ten eligible categories.
  3. Be political. Line up as much support for your proposal as possible.
  4. Get partners, particularly governmental (in some states a governmental agency is required to be a sponsor). They can add credibility and work to help get the project approved . The Virginia Coast Reserve had a county and a town plus two NGOs as partners.
  5. Obtain letters of support, resolutions and endorsements (the enhancement coordinators may tell you it does not matter, but it does).
  6. Work the geography angle if it works for you. If your part of the state hasn't won any ISTEA funding in previous years, point that out.
  7. Try again if defeated the first time. Maryland lost out on its first application, but won $196,000 on its second try.
  8. Become involved in the transportation planning process in your area at the earliest possible stage. Instead of mitigating the impact of a new road through your preserve, you may help get the road rerouted so it misses your preserve entirely.
  1. Proceed until all paper work is approved. In Minnesota, the state's Department of Natural Resources lost $75,000 because it purchased land ahead of a project signoff by the Federal Highway Administration.

    For More Information

  2. Read TOOLS FOR CONSERVATION: Wetlands Mitigation under title 1; ISTEA:93-1, October 1993.
  3. Read TOOLS FOR CONSERVATION: Transportation Enhancements; ISTEA:93-2, October 1993.
  4. Read TOOLS FOR CONSERVATION: National Recreational Trails Fund Act; ISTEA:95-1, May 1995.
  5. Read TOOLS FOR CONSERVATION: National Scenic Byways Program ISTEA: 95-2, July 1995.
  6. Read Transportation 101, a TNC backgrounder on Surface Transportation in the United States or Why You Should Learn To Love ISTEA, October, 1993.
  7. Read "Is there a highway in your future?" for information on the new National Highway System and the highway planning process, May 24, 1995
  8. Read "Deciphering DOT or TNC Tours Transportation (Wherein we ferret out the mysteries of the U.S. Department of Transportation)."
  9. Contact your state Department of Transportation:
    • Planning and Research staff for wetlands mitigation
    • State Enhancements Administrator or Coordinator for transportation enhancements.
    • Scenic Byways program coordinator for the National Scenic Byways Program.
  10. Contact your state trails coordinator for trail funding information
  11. Call Keith Mulrooney, 703/841-7427 or Sally Grove, 301/668-8123, The Nature Conservancy Government and Community Relations Division.

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