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In Rural WNC, Humans Must Progress in Harmony with Wildlife

In this op-ed in Asheville, North Carolina’s Citizen Times, opinion writer Bill McGoun argues for coexistence with wildlife in the countryside, “[letting] them alone as much as possible to lead their lives while I lead mine.” McGoun cited wildlife-vehicle collisions as a major threat to both people and wildlife and says that if we are to build high-speed roads through their native habitat, we should at least give them a fighting chance at survival with underpasses, overpasses, and fencing.

On major highways, animals can be a real problem. At least 170 have been killed since 2002 on the 20-mile stretch of Interstate 40 that passes through Pigeon River Gorge. “We think there’s a lot more. I think it’s a very small portion that’s being reported,” Liz Hillard, a scientific researcher with the nonprofit Wildlands Network, told the Citizen Times’ Karen Chavez.

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