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New Oregon license plate ready to fund safe animal crossings

 The new license plate has been available for purchase at local DMVs since May 2022.
Oregon Wildlife Foundation
The new license plate has been available for purchase at local DMVs since May 2022.

Proceeds from a new license plate in Oregon will fund two projects meant to help wildlife make it safely across busy highways.

More than 13,000 of the plates have been sold since the new option was unveiled last May. The Oregon Wildlife Foundation says an initial disbursement from the fund will go toward a crossing for mule deer and elk across Highway 20 near Sisters. A second project will help coastal martens get across Highway 101 at a still-to-be-determined location.

Tim Greseth, the Executive Director of the OWF, said the projects were created with help from ODOT’s Wildlife Passage Program.

“We can create more opportunities for habitat connectivity in the state of Oregon," Greseth said. "Wildlife passage structures are not inexpensive, and so this is an important source of revenue.”

The Oregon Wildlife Foundation worked with the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine where to allocate the funds from the new plate.

The Oregon Wildlife Foundation said each year, almost 6,000 drivers in Oregon alone are involved in a collision with a deer, elk, bear, or other wildlife species.

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Jasmine Lewin