2021 Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Summit
The 2021 Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Summit will reconvene participants from the 2017 Summit, bring in new partners and ideas, share successes and new knowledge from the last four years, and generate energy for the next phases of work towards making Wyoming’s roads safer for wildlife and travelers alike.
Apr 28, 2021 – Apr 29, 2021
08:30 AM – 12:30 PM MT
There are more than 6,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions in Wyoming every year. The result of these collisions is $50 million annually in damages. WWF is a member of the Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Initiative Implementation Team, a collaborative using proven strategies to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.
The Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Initiative Implementation Team (WWRIIT) is a collaborative effort that came from the 2017 Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Summit and is spearheaded by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).
Solutions That Work
Wildlife underpasses and overpasses, which allow animals to cross roads below or above the road surface, are highly effective at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and ensuring that animals can cross roads safely. These wildlife crossing structures consistently reduce collisions by 80-90% and create more connected habitat for the animals. Wildlife fencing is used to guide animals to the crossing structures.
There are many other potential solutions to wildlife-roadway conﬂicts, but none are as effective as crossing structures. In some places, crossing structures are not feasible.
In these spots, other measures, such as movable message signs that can be set up during peak wildlife crossing seasons, fence modiﬁcations, and alterations to roadside vegetation that make animals more visible to drivers may also be part of the solution. Drivers can also help by slowing down and watching out for wildlife in areas that have high rates of wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Benefits of Action
Installing crossing structures or other solutions at the 10 highlighted sites would be a signiﬁcant win for both human safety and wildlife conservation. It would:
- Improve roadway safety for all drivers in Wyoming
- Reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions at some of the worst collision hotspots in the state by as much as 90%.
- Save approximately $3 million per year in collision costs.
- Provide a safe way for wildlife to cross several highways that are now nearly complete barriers to animal movements.
- Maintain big game migration passages and reduce mortalities for several priority herds.
Substantial funding is needed to implement the solutions identiﬁed by the WWRIIT for the statewide priority areas. The Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are working together and collaborating between agencies and organizations to reduce wildlife and roadway conﬂicts. State and federal funding has not kept pace with Wyoming’s roadways and wildlife needs. Therefore, additional funding is needed to implement the most effective solutions, such as crossing structures.
Want to contribute to funding these important solutions created by the WWRIIT? Buy a Wyoming Conservation license plate for your vehicle!