This past Sunday, June 2 our community was reminded of an unfortunate truth: our roads are not permeable byways that animals can cross safely. We were reminded that our safety is also in question, and that while we go to and from, we are at risk of colliding with a large animal.
This recent death of a two-year-old moose near the 22/390 intersection has all of us wondering what this upcoming summer will be like. Many of us are crossing our fingers, hoping the green months do not prove to be as dire as this past winter.
But the Alliance and our partners are not just crossing our fingers. We’re taking to the rooms of decision-making to ensure a solution is realized fast and soon. A wildlife crossings funding solution through the Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET).
On June 3, a group of wildlife supporters held up creative signs in support of wildlife crossings during a town and county Joint Information Meeting about SPET. Our elected officials are working on holding a SPET election this November. To do so, they must finalize the list of what goes on the ballot in July. We sent them this comment letter with our recommendations.
Teton County engineering staff recommended a $15 million Wildlife Crossings SPET measure. A measure of this size would ensure the realization of multiple underpasses and overpasses, something we and our wildlife desperately need. On Monday, our elected representatives did not yet agree to put the full measure on the ballot. Thanks to five who did support full-funding the measure: Councilors Schechter and Stanford, Chairwoman Macker, and Commissioners Epstein and Newcomb! The others have yet to see and hear the demand for a fully-realized wildlife crossings SPET measure.
Luckily, we have one more shot to get this right – to achieve a long-term solution and avoid dire summers and fatal winters. Next week, on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm, our elected representatives will take public comment – from you. This is our last chance to come before the podium and speak for wildlife crossings. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can send in your comments with this easy email form.
Join us on Tuesday, June 11th at 6pm at Town Council Chambers (150 E. Pearl, Jackson WY 83001) to ask for a $15 million Wildlife Crossings SPET measure. We’re also holding a happy hour briefing at 4:30pm at our office . Be in touch with Ryan for more information!