News Article

Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of our Planet

By John Miles
December 26, 2022

In the 1990s I served on the Washington Forest Practices Board for nearly a decade, and time after time I heard that Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass was a serious barrier to wildlife dispersal and a danger to wildlife and drivers alike. The highway was due for an upgrade, and a campaign was launched to create crossings to alleviate the problems for wildlife moving north or south across the multilane highway bisecting excellent habitat for many species. Advocates were not optimistic because such a project would be very costly but, as Ben Goldfarb recounts as he closes this book, the crossing effort succeeded. “Conservationists campaigned for a modest gas tax hike to pay for crossings, among the only environmental campaigns ever to request more funding for construction. Soon the former foes [engineers and conservationists] were singing kumbaya, and engineers had designed more than twenty wildlife crossings in a fifteen mile stretch of highway.” The crossings are there — I saw them a few weeks ago when I drove over the pass.