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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Take note Southern California CalTrans--WE need that Wildlife under/overpass at the Liberty Canyon Exit on the 101 Freeway to "bust loose the pent up genetic lifeblood of the dozen Pumas that still call Los Angeles home...............Note that Washington State is in the process of creating 20(count em) wildlife under and overpasses spanning Interstate 90 that runs across the Cascade Mountains.......... The first Overpass will be located at Price Creek, just east of Keechelus Dam................. The site was picked based on topography and monitoring that found the area is a natural wildlife corridor............ Scheduled to open in 2019, the $6.2 million overpass will also be planted with native vegetation.................. Similar structures are working well on U.S. 93 through the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, where 30 species have been documented making more than 20,000 transits a year............The world's most extensive network of wildlife crossings is on the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park.............. Vehicles there used to slam into deer, elk and moose so frequently that the highway was called the "meat maker"............ With a combination of fencing and 44 crossing structures, the collision rate dropped more than 80 percent. While it can take several years for bears to get accustomed to using underpasses and overpasses, once they do, up to 20 percent of bears living around a roadway will use them, optimizing genetic viability across the system once blocked by highway traffic

read full article by clicking on link

SEATTLE — Interstate 90 is a lifeline for the Northwest, connecting people and economies across the Cascades and linking the region to the rest of the country.
For wildlife, though, it's a killer — and not just because many of them wind up squashed. Multiple lanes of pavement and high-speed traffic bisect habitat more ruthlessly than any fence, isolating populations and undermining the genetic vigor that's key to long-term survival.

In a June 2, 2015 photo, an underpass helps animals safely get past I-90 east of Snoqualmie Summit, Wash. The 150-foot-long structure is designed to provide safe passage for species ranging from black bear and cougar to deer, elk _ and even squirrels, mice and lizards. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times via AP) SEATTLE OUT; USA TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT; TELEVISION OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT TO BOTH THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER

But part of that barrier is now being lifted.

On Tuesday, the state Department of Transportation will break ground east of Snoqualmie Pass on the state's first freeway overpass for animals. The 150-foot-long structure is designed to provide safe passage for species ranging from black bear and cougar to deer, elk — and even squirrels, mice and lizards.
It's part of an ambitious project to convert a 15-mile stretch of interstate into one of the world's most wildlife-friendly highways.

"This is really a remarkable effort," said Patricia Garvey-Darda, a biologist for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. "The goal is to connect all the species and all the habitat."

When finished, the section of I-90 from Hyak to Easton will incorporate more than 20 major underpasses and overpasses engineered partly or wholly with wildlife in mind. Dozens of small culverts will also be rebuilt to allow easier passage.

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