As an appointed task force of the Natural Resources Commission, and working in conjunction with the Natural Resources Administrator, the mission of the Wildlife Passage Task Force will be:
To monitor wildlife use of the four wildlife underpasses installed by MassHighway along Route 2 in Concord. To evaluate the effectiveness of the underpasses in providing safe passage for wildlife under Route 2 and to implement measures to increase the effectiveness when possible. To recruit and manage volunteer participation in these efforts. To facilitate communication between town and state government departments pertaining to wildlife passages.
There will be a steering committee responsible for drawing up an action plan, recruiting members, and coordinating the work of the task force. Initial members of the steering committee are Ron McAdow and Lydia Rogers, co-chairs; staff of the Division of Natural Resources, Town of Concord; and, Bryan Windmiller, wildlife biologist. The task force shall have a liaison with MassHighway. The steering committee shall appoint members and advisors to the Wildlife Passage Task Force as planning and activities progress.
Develop methods, such as tracking beds and automatic photography, to identify the animals using the tunnels, frequency and timing of passage, and conditions affecting underpass use. Acquire the necessary permits for gaining access to monitoring locations. Acquire the materials and equipment needed for monitoring. Train participants in procedures for gathering data.
Document the results of monitoring. Collect data on road-killed wildlife on Route 2 near and between the tunnels. Evaluate and report to the NRC and others on the efficacy of the tunnels. As opportunities arise, change conditions, such as floor substrate, structures within tunnels or barriers that funnel wildlife toward the tunnels, and evaluate their effectiveness. Acquisition and analysis of data will be done in collaboration with other researchers.
Through periodic presentations and the publication of monitoring and research results, raise public awareness of Concord's wildlife, the effects of habitat fragmentation, and, conversely the value of restoring ecological integrity.
The Task Force will pursue funding for monitoring, research, and improvements to underpass structures, including the means to funnel wildlife toward tunnel entrances. The Wildlife Passage Task Force will partner with other organizations, such as Walden Keeping Track, Walden Woods Project, Sudbury Valley Trustees, or other interested organizations to seek grants or other funding opportunities.