Enjoy the Drive

By: Erica Prather, Elevation Outdoors
January 4, 2019

Download this GPS-triggered app for a detailed audio tour of the natural history of the wilds of…I-70.

What if the next time you drove I-70, you could ride with a wildlife biologist and a slam poet to make the drive more bearable? Enter the Wild I-70 Audio Tour. Produced by non-profit Rocky Mountain Wild, the audio tour utilizes hands-free, GPS-triggered technology, via the izi.travel app, to share stories relevant to what’s happening outside your windshield—from Golden to Glenwood Springs. 

Narrated by Stephen Brackett of rap group Flobots and moi, Erica Prather, the audio tour is written like Radiolab—we learn with you in the car and blend a little comedy in with some dense, scientific principles. We cover concepts like migration and why we should reintroduce the wolf to Colorado, and we share tips for holding your breath in the Eisenhower Tunnel. Even better, we introduce dating tips based on what we learn from native species of Colorado fish.  

Each segment is accompanied by a song donated by a Colorado musician who expresses a deep connection to nature. It comes as no surprise, but when creative minds need inspiration, many head for the hills, the desert, or other wildlands. These are the artists we collaborate with, and each voice you’ll hear on the Wild I-70 Audio Tour stands in solidarity with this underlying message: It is high time we live more harmoniously with wildlife in Colorado, and we can accomplish this goal via wildlife crossing structures. 

If you’ve traveled State Highway 9, north from Silverton you’ve seen some of these structures. Rocky Mountain Wild was part of a cohort that made them possible, and we would like to see I-70 looking much the same. Our biologist and citizen scientists have worked hard for over a decade, collecting data with motion-triggered cameras, to capture the scope of just how many animals are attempting—and often failing, at the cost of both human and animal life—to cross our roads. The data speaks for itself—there has been a 90 percent reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions on State Highway 9 since the structures were completed.  

Living with wildlife is a large part of the allure of calling Colorado home. The howls of a pack of coyotes, the bugle of elk during the rut, the clash of the big horn sheep—the Wild I-70 Audio Tour will bring you into their world, and help guide you to lend your voice in the pursuit of getting them safely from one side of the highway to the other. 

wildi70.org

Read it at Elevation Outdoors.

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