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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New project to document wildlife sightings along I-90

Website will allow motorists to report wildlife observed near the interstate from North Bend to Easton

Public and private partners have launched I-90 Wildlife Watch, a citizen-based wildlife monitoring project inviting motorists to report wildlife and roadkill sightings along Interstate 90 in the Snoqualmie Pass region of Washington. "..[M]otorists will be an invaluable addition to wildlife monitoring efforts along I-90," said Paula MacKay of the Western Transportation Institute.

For more information, contact
Nov 04, 2010

SEATTLE, WA - Today, in participation with the national "Give Wildlife a Brake" week, public-private partners launched I-90 Wildlife Watch—a citizen-based wildlife monitoring project that invites motorists to report wildlife and roadkill sightings along Interstate 90 (I-90) in the Snoqualmie Pass region of Washington. Some of the species that can potentially be observed in this area include deer, elk, black bears, cougars, and smaller animals such as bobcats, coyotes, and skunks.

"Give Wildlife a Brake week recognizes the increased need for drivers to pay attention to animals on or near the road as daylight hours grow shorter," said Charlie Raines of the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition. "We are excited to launch I-90 Wildlife Watch during this week in particular to engage citizens in making the roadway safer for motorists and wildlife."

I-90 Wildlife Watch asks travelers to pay careful attention as they travel I-90 between North Bend and Easton, and to report observations of live or dead wildlife at www.i90wildlifewatch.org. The user-friendly website, designed by the Western Transportation Institute, includes an interactive map to assist people in pinpointing the location of their sightings, and a brief series of questions about animals sighted. "Based on similar programs we’ve helped launch in other regions, we know that motorists will be an invaluable addition to wildlife monitoring efforts along I-90," said Paula MacKay of the Western Transportation Institute.

The I-90 Wildlife Watch program complements other wildlife monitoring work being conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation and its partners as part of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project. Interstate 90 crosses the Cascades at Snoqualmie Pass, where traffic volumes average 28,000 vehicles per day and are increasing by ~ 2.1% per year.  While the interstate is a vital east-west transportation corridor in Washington, it also bisects a critical north-south wildlife corridor for animals moving throughout the Cascade Mountains. Through the I-90 Project, WSDOT will help re-connect the north-south wildlife corridors by constructing 24 large wildlife crossing structures along a 15-mile stretch of highway between Hyak and Easton. Structures will range in size from enlarged culverts to 150-foot-wide wildlife bridges.

"I-90 Wildlife Watch is a very timely initiative to engage motorists in reporting wildlife observations during the first year of construction associated with the I-90 Project," said Jason Smith, Environmental Manager for WSDOT South Central Region. "The information reported by motorists will complement ongoing research to determine which species of wildlife are trying to cross the highway today, and will allow us to assess the ultimate effectiveness of the crossing structures following their construction."

For more information:

I-90 Wildlife Watch

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project

Humane Society of the United States Give Wildlife a Brake Week

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