New highway bridge will help wildlife: Roadkill avoidance tips: Save Selkirk caribou

New highway bridge will help wildlife

Conceptual drawing

A conceptual drawing of the new bridge and widened stream bed. Courtesy Washington DOT.

Coincidentally, I intended to let you know about information I recently found on how to avoid wildlife/vehicle collisions (see below) and then today discovered this bit of related and heartening news  . . .

A new bridge at Butler Creek near Goldendale, Wash., an area with a significant wildlife population, will help animals cross US 97 to reach food and habitat on either side of the highway without risking their lives. The bridge will help reduce the number of collisions by providing a channeled crossing for animals to travel underneath US 97.

The bridge also improves fish habitat in Butler Creek by eliminating a fish barrier culvert and widening the stream bed. See the rest of the story at the Washington Dept. of Transportation site as well as photos of the construction and wildlife seen in the area.

Hats off to Washington DOT for undertaking this project!

(Incidentally, on a recent Columbia Gorge hike, a friend and I saw a badger tunnel. That reminded me that the United Kingdom is also becoming sensitive to the tragedy of wildlife/vehicle collisions; along the main route between England and Scotland, badger-proof fencing and tunnels are being built to give wildlife safe passage under the highway. A dozen such “badger mitigation” schemes are under development around Britain. See Green Living London for the rest of the story.)

Also, see a previous post I wrote on wildlife/traffic collisions on I-84 in the Columbia Gorge. Unfortunately, the news is not as hopeful.

Roadkill avoidance tips from Animal People

Here are roadkill avoidance tips as they appeared at Animal People News. Be warned: the page contains some graphic photos.

Also, see more tips for avoiding wildlife collisions by Oregon State Police.

Selkirk caribou: Your comments needed

Snowmobilers and the Pacific Legal Foundation want to see the Selkirk population of woodland caribou in Washington and Idaho removed from the Endangered Species List but scientists say it’s too early. The Pacific Legal Foundation has a history of working to get several endangered species de-listed, such as the Southern Resident population of orcas.

Because of the de-listing request, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must conduct a study to determine if the animals should continue to be protected. Comments on the issue are sought until January 18. See the story in the Oregonian, as well as information from the Center for Biological Diversity and in the Federal Register, starting with the second column titled “Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service.” (It could take a moment to load.) You can comment by going to http://www.regulations.gov. However, note the following from the Federal Register:

“Submissions merely stating support for or opposition to the action under consideration without providing supporting information, although noted, will not be considered in making a determination.”

Spay or neuter your pet: It’s the humane thing to do.

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