Publication Detail

Task 2 Report: Setting the Stage for Statewide Advance Mitigation in California


Research Report

Urban Land Use and Transportation Center

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Suggested Citation:
Sciara, Gian-Claudia, Jacquelyn Bjorkman, Jaimee Lederman, James H. Thorne, Melanie Schlotterbeck, Martin Wachs (2015) Task 2 Report: Setting the Stage for Statewide Advance Mitigation in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-15-02

When developing or improving transportation infrastructure in ways that impact ecosystems, habitats, and species, transportation agencies are obliged through compensatory mitigation to offset these impacts with the conservation and restoration of natural resources.  Traditionally, transportation agencies plan and implement such mitigation project-by-project and late in the project development cycle.  In contrast, the practice of advance mitigation aims much earlier in project development to estimate impacts from one or multiple projects, assess the mitigation required, and undertake mitigation to satisfy those requirements. 

There is wide acknowledgment that early, more comprehensive mitigation promises potential benefits, including reduced project delays and costs and improved mitigation quality.  Yet, shifting from conventional, project-by-project mitigation will require new ways of planning and funding transportation mitigation activities.  The Statewide Advance Mitigation Funding and Finance Study (SAMFFS), funded
by the California Department of Transportation, informs current understanding of advance mitigation with three pieces of research:
     1. a background report contextualizing experiences with the advance mitigation of transportation projects (Task 2, UCD-ITS-RR-15-02);

     2. a business case examining the potential costs and benefits of advance mitigation (Task 3, UCD-ITS-RR-15-03); and

     3. an analysis of how mitigation could be funded (and planned and implemented) far ahead of the typical project delivery time-line (Task 4, UCD-ITS-RR-15-04).

This Task 2 report, “Setting the Stage for Statewide Advance Mitigation in California,” provides an overview of advance mitigation; analyzes experiences with advance mitigation to date, in California and across the U.S., highlighting the financial approaches used; and discusses the current national and state policy context in which advance mitigation efforts are embedded.