Originally published February 4, 2007
Lives Depend On Ecopassage

Re: "Counties accept ecopassage study" (news article, Jan. 23).

The Capital Regional Transportation Planning Agency should be commended for accepting the Lake Jackson Ecopassage Project Development and Environment engineering study.

Years of study indicate that the highest known mortality rates of turtles in the world occur along this deadly section of Highway 27. Motorists who attempt to avoid an animal are at risk of accident and injury. Without safe passage, many wildlife populations in the area face uncertain futures, including a number of turtle species that, by virtue of their long lives and low rates of reproduction, are exceptionally sensitive to the loss of individuals.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of a small army of volunteers, thousands of feet of temporary fencing, and two small culverts installed when the road was built, there is still hope for wild populations in the area.

Clearly, a permanent solution is needed, and the recent decision of the CRTPA is an important step toward protecting both Lake Jackson's wildlife and motorists. We urge CRTPA to expedite this vital project; the safety of the animals and the traveling public depend on it.

Program coordinator, The Humane Society of the United States