Roadwatch In the Pass
Road Watch in the Pass is an innovative framework for connecting researchers, citizen volunteers and decision makers through a Community Based Monitoring Project to address wildlife-transportation issues in the Crowsnest Corridor. It enables citizens to use an interactive Web-based mapping tool to enter wildlife observations along Highway 3.
The Crowsnest corridor is a low east west corridor through the Canadian Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta, which supports a two lane highway, a railway line and five principle settlements with a population of 6,000 people. The area has faced increasing development and recreational pressure from large urban centers such as Calgary. With plans to upgrade the current highway to four lanes due to expected increases in traffic volume, information on the movement patterns of wildlife through the region is essential for the development of effective mitigation strategies to facilitate movement and reduce collisions with vehicles.
Road Watch in the Pass enables citizens to use an interactive Web-based mapping tool (please see http://www.rockies.ca/roadwatch) to enter wildlife observations along Highway 3. Created in 2004, Road Watch was developed to create a data set of where large mammals are crossing Highway 3, highlight the value of data collected by volunteers, create an environment where citizens can learn and share knowledge about local wildlife and conservation issues, and provide a replicable working model for other community based monitoring projects.
Road Watch has been successful in engaging volunteers (70 users) and generating a large dataset of wildlife observations (currently over 4,500 observations), and Road Watch data has been used in a number of land use planning processes and by local citizens to build support for protecting a wildlife movement corridor across Highway 3. In addition, the Road Watch mapping tool can be easily transported to other groups in need of a CBM. Road Watch released a community map highlighting high collision zones for different large mammal species in the region, and developed a citizen systematic driving survey using Otto Driving Companions (a GPS unit and key pad) enabling individuals to enter their sightings along the highway.
For more information on Road Watch, please visit the http://www.rockies.ca/roadwatch.
This project is funded by: Woodcock Foundation, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the TransWild Alliance.
For more information on Road Watch in the Pass visit their facebook site.
Highway Wilding Infographic