JACKSON, Wyo. — Greater Yellowstone Coalition has long been a champion of wildlife and vehicle safety. For the past decade, GYC has advocated for safe wildlife crossings on Wyoming roads.
A proposal for wildlife crossing on this year’s SPET ballot is a “unique opportunity” to see some of those crossings come to fruition in Teton County. GYC is one of the founding members of Safe Wildlife Crossings Jackson Hole, a PAC that advocates for Proposition 10.
Wildlife crossings are a public safety matter, GYC says. It’s also cost-effective. Researchers have estimated that the average cost of a deer-vehicle collision is $8,190, and elk-vehicle collision is $25,319, and a moose-vehicle collision is $44,546 in U.S. dollars (2018). In Wyoming, 1 in 5 collisions involve wildlife, 1 in 50 collisions with injuries involve wildlife, and 1 in 100 fatal collisions involve wildlife.
Studies have shown that, properly sited wildlife crossing structures can pay for themselves where situated along highways that, on average, experience an average five or more collisions between motorists and deer per mile per year, two or more collisions with elk per mile per year, or one or more collisions with moose per mile per year.
In Wyoming, Montana, and Canada, wildlife crossings have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by nearly 90%.
Teton County’s Wildlife Crossings Master Plan identifies “hot spots” where wildlife and drivers are most at risk. The master plan offers a road map, now we need the funds.
Learn more about Proposition 10 here.
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