Spotted Owl photo by Ken Bevis.
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Kittitas Conservation Concerns

Northern Spotted Owl (NSO): The Spotted Owl is a shy bird, very specialized, nests in old growth forest and has a diet mainly of flying squirrels. It has decreased at the alarming rate of 40-60 percent in the past ten years, and the Teanaway area in Kittitas County is an area where the decrease is most severe. Therefore, Kittitas Audubon continues to seek further protections for the Spotted Owl at the federal level and at the Washington State level. Updated information to come.
Windfarms in Kittitas County Three windfarms have been proposed for Kittitas County. One project, planned in a migratry flyway, has been rejected by the County Planning Commission and the County Commissioners, mainly because of its proximity to many homes. The second was approved and is presently being constructed in shrub-steppe habitat in northeast Kittitas County. The third is in the hearings process and is located in the same area as the rejected project, i.e., a migratory flyway north of Ellensburg along Hwy 97.

Kittitas Audubon has opposed all three projects because of the liability likelihood to birds, bats, and habitat. No research has been done on migration of song birds, or bats. No studies were done at night. Limited point counts were performed for less than a year and migrations in spring and fall coincide with wind patterns in this area.

Kittitas Audubon supports renewable resources, but placement of 64 to 80 wind towers with blades reaching up to 410 feet (40 story buildings) into the air is the paramount issue.
I-90 Wildlfe Bridges Will wildlife crossings get pushed aside by I-90's November rockslide? Kittitas Audubon members are closely monitoring plans by the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) to put I-90 road re-construction on a fast track following a large rockslide on Nov. 6th. The slide damaged the highway through Snoqualmie Pass and restricted traffic on Washington's main east-west route for commerce and recreation.

For the past year, Kittitas Audubon and other groups in the I-90 Wildlife Coalition have worked with WSDOT to provide animal crossings when the road is widened and improved in the future. The coalition, originally the Cascade Conservation Partnership, purchased land to create large areas of wildlife habitat, and is committed to building special "bridges" where wildlife can safely cross over or under the highway allowing gene connectivity for species and preventing collisions between wild animals and motorists. For details of I-90 wildlife crossings go to The I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition.

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