Byways 101

Part 2: Intrinsic Qualities & The Byway Story

Identify And Assemble Your Resources

Conducting an inventory and assessment of your route requires some tools, references, resources and specialists who can broaden your level of expertise. This list helps you begin the process.

Maps: Your State or Indian tribe’s transportation agency should be able to assist in locating pertinent maps of your route. Property maps from your county’s tax office enable you to understand the nature of ownership of nearby property. Zoning maps, if available, provide information on current and potential uses of land within sight of the byway. U.S. Geological Survey maps show every hill, valley, stream and building in a 1:1200 scale. They’re often easily obtained at local stores that sell sporting goods, boating supplies and outdoors equipment or you can order them directly from the USGS by phone at 1-888-ASK-USGS, or visit the USGS website at

Libraries: Visit local or university libraries to research aspects of the geography, history, resources, plants and culture of the route.

Local Groups: Contact local preservation organizations or historical societies, garden clubs, recreation clubs and university departments to see if they’ve already conducted surveys or inventories.

Natural Resource Departments or Environmental Organizations: Contact your State or Indian tribe Department of Natural Resources (or equivalent) or groups like the Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land or the National Audubon Society that may have chapters or offices in your area. They may be able to provide you with helpful information on the inventory, conservation and management of natural resources along your byway.

Highway Department: Contact your State or Indian tribe’s transportation agency, which may have already conducted an inventory of some of your byway’s resources. Many have planners, environmental engineers, landscape architects and historians on staff that may be able to offer resources or information pertinent to your route.

Local Experts: Talk to long-time residents of the area. They may be familiar with the route’s history, how your byway and the surrounding land has changed over time and other significant information.

Fresh Opinions: Local residents can sometimes take for granted the structures and landscapes that they view every day. Newcomers and visitors can help point out the uniqueness of your corridor and the specific views along the way.

Professional Resources: Search online for professional resources that might be helpful to you in your inventory of archaeological, cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic intrinsic qualities along your route. Some websites to consider are listed here.

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