Friday, November 12, 2010

Heading over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass? Keep your eyes peeled for critters big or small

by guest blogger Meagan Mcfadden

The next time you head over I-90 Snoqualmie Pass, keep your eyes peeled for critters big or small. Your sightings can help identify where animals are trying to cross I-90.

You may be wondering how you get this information to the appropriate people. Well, it’s easy. The Western Transportation Institute and Conservation Northwest recently launched I-90 Wildlife Watch, a citizen-based monitoring program that invites you, the I-90 traveler, to report wildlife sightings along I-90 from North Bend to Easton. There is no animal too small to be counted; Wildlife Watch encourages you to log in all sightings, whether alive or dead. The website asks travelers to identify where they saw the animal.

This logging of animal sightings complements other wildlife monitoring work being conducted by us as part of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project. We plan to use the information logged by travelers and the other monitoring programs to determine which species of wildlife are trying to cross the interstate. This will allow us to determine where to build wildlife crossings as part of the project and to assess the ultimate effectiveness of the structures after they have been built.

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