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Group explores wildlife crossings on I-5 in Southern Oregon

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) — An environmental group wants to study the feasibility of building bridges or tunnels to help wild animals safely cross Interstate 5 in southern Oregon and along the Oregon-California border.

The Southern Oregon Wildlife Crossing Coalition says many animals are killed trying to cross the interstate and I-5 also disrupts the ecosystem by blocking access to key areas used by various species, Jefferson Public Radio reported Monday.

The group is looking at seven sites between Ashland and the California border, from a fish passage at Neil Creek to a steel culvert under the roadway or even a bridge.

The creation of the wildlife crossing is dependent on the passage of a bill before the Oregon Legislature that would set aside $7 million for such projects, the station reported.

“They don’t all have to be big. Some of them can be small," said Amy Amrhein, the volunteer coordinator for the coalition. "There are all kinds of different animals that we are looking at and want to help cross.”