The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project (SPE) is located along a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 90 that passes through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The project corridor has been identified as a critical connectivity zone for Pacific Northwest wildlife populations linking natural habitats both to the north and south of the project area. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will help alleviate the effects of increased traffic volume, a wider highway and increased traffic speed by enhancing ecological connectivity at 14 Connectivity Emphasis Areas (CEA) throughout the project area for multiple species and ecological processes.
Wildlife monitoring is needed both prior to and following the installation of project mitigation measures to ensure that efforts to enhance ecological connectivity are achieving their intended goals. WSDOT contracted with Western Transportation Institute (WTI) to conduct preconstruction baseline wildlife monitoring within the I-90 SPE project area from 2008-2012. This baseline wildlife monitoring report addresses the collection of baseline data related to monitoring objectives. These objectives include: characterizing the rate and location of wildlife-vehicle collisions, assessing the extent of sub-grade and at-grade crossings by wildlife, and assessing species occurrence within the Project Area. This report identifies survey methods and approaches, provides a review of monitoring achievements, and outlines future efforts required to ensure project success.