Citizen biologists monitor wildlife - dead or alive - on I-90

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. - When Byron Langley drives over the Snoqualmie Summit several times a month, he is doing more than just taking in the scenery.

"Mother nature to me is just fascinating," he said.

He's part of an expanding network of citizen biologists, seeing, noting and reporting wildlife - dead or alive.

Langley and other members of the I-90 Wildlife Watch Program are keeping their eyes peeled for animals and road kill on I-90 to help agencies learn how best to design freeways to help drivers and animals avoid each other.

Encounters on the road are sometimes fatal for people and almost always are for animals. The Washington Department of Transportation has replaced a confined concrete culvert under I-90 east of the summit with an expansive bridge that allows animals to pass freely under the busy traffic.

The I-90 Wildlife Watch Program is designed to see if it will reduce encounters on the freeway while increasing a free flow of animal traffic below.

To get the most information available, the program is recruiting I-90 regulars to add wildlife watching and reporting to the Snoqualmie Summit experience. 

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