The Oregon Wildlife Foundation is trying to get a new license plate approved by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services that would help fund projects aimed at helping wildlife safely cross state roads.
The license plate pictures a mule deer and a mountain range and reads, "watch for wildlife."
In order to be approved by the DMV, the foundation must sell at least 3,000 license plate vouchers that are redeemable when the license plate is approved. The foundation says that 300 plates have been sold during the first day of the launch.
If the plate is approved, the foundation says it will use those funds to support wildlife crossing projects in the state.
Potential projects that could be funded if the license plate is approved, the foundation wrote, "include a wildlife underpass currently being constructed on Highway 97 near the town of Gilchrist in central Oregon and the Harborton Frog Shuttle, an all-volunteer effort that helps threatened red-legged frogs migrate to and from their wetland across busy Highway 30 in Northwest Portland."
The Harborton Frog Shuttle started in January of 2014 by a group of people who noticed that hundreds of red-legged frogs were dying while trying to cross the highway to lay eggs in ponds along the Willamette River. Now, every winter during the frog breeding season, a group of volunteers stake out in the dark by the highway to routinely hand-catch the frogs and shuttle them over the highway to their breeding lands. They recorded transporting 851 frogs during the 2016-2017 winter.
"Preventing animal collisions on roadways is important to all Oregonians. The Watch for Wildlife license plate will help accomplish that," said the executive director of the foundation, Tim Greseth. "We can reduce collisions, reduce roadkill, and improve habitat connections for wildlife. It's a win-win."