Roads threaten our wildlife & people
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.
Every year, more than 500 animals are hit and killed on Teton County roads. Because of growing traffic congestion, our roads act like physical barriers that prevent wildlife movement and migration along important corridors. Wildlife collisions cost Wyoming tax payers $50 million each year, and 1 in 5 highway accidents involve wildlife. 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.
It doesn't have to be this way
With wildlife crossings structures, we can protect wildlife and our families by making it safe for animals to cross the road.
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.
After years of hard work from the Wildlife Crossings Coalition, Teton County adopted the Wildlife Crossings Master Plan in June 2018. This plan provides a systematic, data-driven, objective plan for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions in Jackson Hole. This plan prioritizes sites called “hot spots” and recommends mitigation measures in the form of underpasses, overpasses, and animal detection systems.
Click here to view the Teton County Wildlife Crossings Master Plan.
Over many standing-room-only town and county public meetings, the Wildlife Crossings team encouraged our local representatives to include wildlife crossings on the November 2019 Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) ballot, giving voters the opportunity to allocate community funds toward this important cause.
Throughout the summer, between knocking on doors and making phone calls, the canvassing team attempted over 4,000 voter contacts, and had over 1,100 conversations with voters.
In the end, when the results came in on November 5, 2019 – after years of work – our community passed the measure with 79% of the vote (the second highest vote “For” on a single measure!).
Thanks to our partners at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation, and all the members of the Safe Wildlife Crossings Political Action Committee for your work over many years!
We are so excited that the wildlife crossings SPET measure passed. We are working with the county and our other partners to make sure the money is spent well, and to work on short-term solutions until the crossings get built. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.