Nearly every one of us has seen wildlife killed after trying to cross the road. Most of us know someone who has been in a wildlife-vehicle collision. And too many of us have experienced the trauma of being in one, too. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We can protect wildlife and our families by making it safe for wildlife to cross the road.
Wildlife crossings are bridges and tunnels designed to help wildlife safely cross the road. Combined with fences along roads to funnel animals to the crossings, wildlife crossings have proven to be the most effective measure to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions across America and around the world. While it’s helpful to slow down and pay attention for wildlife, the facts, data, and our own experiences in Jackson Hole, show us this just isn’t enough.
The best thing about wildlife crossings is that they work. In Wyoming, Montana, and Canada wildlife crossings have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by nearly 90 percent. The Trapper’s Point project near Pinedale, including six underpasses and two overpasses, has become world-renowned for reducing pronghorn and mule deer collisions and for protecting the “path of the pronghorn” migration route.
The Safe Wildlife Crossings campaign is a coalition effort involving a number of partner organizations and hundreds of dedicated volunteers. Over the next few years this campaign is focused on the development and adoption of a Wildlife Crossings Master Plan for Teton County. This plan will provide a systematic, data-driven objective plan for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions in Jackson Hole. Once adopted, this plan will lay the foundation for building a network of wildlife crossings in Teton County to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by ninety percent.