07-20-19 deer crossing

A doe leads the way for her twins as she crosses Uinta Drive in Green River near Mission at Castle Rock Rehabilitation & Assisted Living. All three made it safely across the street. They have been frequent visitors to the grounds of the facility this summer.

CHEYENNE — Nearly 6,000 big game animals like deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats die each year from collisions with vehicles on Wyoming’s highways and interstates.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, along with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, is hoping to change those statistics with the launch of a new initiative — Wildlife Crossing. The new undertaking focuses on raising funding and awareness to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Donations to the wildlife crossing initiative help pay for a variety of projects, including highway underpasses and overpasses, signage, fencing and mowing projects to make wildlife more visible. The wildlife crossing website also includes safety tips.

“Our vision for all wildlife crossing projects is to ensure wildlife are able to easily and safely cross highways in order to access important seasonal habitats,” said Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish director. “We’re partnering with the Wyoming Department of Transportation to reduce collisions and design roads with wildlife in mind.”

Wildlife Crossing comes on the heels of Gov. Mark Gordon’s executive order, “Protection of Migration Corridors” that was signed Thursday, Feb. 13.

“We’ve already seen major accomplishments with the work that’s been done so far with wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation but we still have more to do,” WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner said. “Our mission is to help keep the traveling public safe and our partnership with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is one way we can do that.”

For more information on Wildlife Crossing and how the public can support wildlife, visit https://wgfd.wyo.gov/wildlifecrossing.

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