On I-25 between Kaycee and Buffalo Wyoming is the second highest in deer collisions. At least in the state. Because of this dangerous stretch of road the WGFD received two generous donations.
The first donation of $100,000 was from the Knobloch Family Foundation. The second came from the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund at a total of $125,000. As a result of these donations the WGFD will be installing wildlife crossings and fencing.
During the late summer and early fall mule deer are attracted to this area. The green grass growing on the shoulders is the culprit. The WGFD says that roughly 85% of vehicle-wildlife collisions are with mule deer. Of the average 6,000 wildlife collisions per year that adds up to 5,100 mule deer incidents. Consequently almost 4% of the state’s mule deer population is killed each year by vehicles.
Wyoming plans to coordinate between various departments to install both fencing and underpasses. As is currently stands it will be around 18-miles of improvements.
In Wyoming alone wildlife collisions equate to $24-29 million personal injury costs and $20-23 million in wildlife costs per year. It is because of numbers like this that many states are completing similar projects. Both the high fences along highways and wildlife under and over passes have drastically reduced incidents.
Last December the Utah DWR released a newsletter stating that with these improvements there is a 90% reduction in wildlife collisions. Utah currently has 60 wildlife crossings installed and made history in 1975 when the first one was installed in the U.S. Likewise, many conservation foundations are looking to create better wildlife crossings and improve habitat. You can check out a project that will be taking place soon by clicking here.
Both people and wildlife benefit from these projects. Not only are wildlife protected but people are kept safer as well.