Wyoming Gov. Mead and Department of Transportation Honored by National Parks Group for Support of Wildlife Corridors

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   August 20, 2012
Contact:   Sharon Mader, Grand Teton Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 307-690-5245, smader@npca.org
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-419-3717, jbillington@npca.org


Wyoming Gov. Mead and Department of Transportation Honored by National Parks Group for Support of Wildlife Corridors

Award Recognizes State Executives Commitment to Land Connectivity, Safer Roadways

JACKSON, WY — The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has honored Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead’s leadership in addressing the issue of wildlife-vehicle collisions on Wyoming’s roads and his broader leadership on wildlife corridors with the National Parks Achievement Award. NPCA’s Sharon Mader presented the award at the Wyoming Department of Transportation office last week.

“The pronghorn, deer, elk, moose and other wild animals that call Wyoming home do not understand or avoid man-made boundaries such as roads, and wildlife crossings cause significant loss of life to both wildlife and drivers on the state’s highways,” said NPCA Grand Teton Program Manager Sharon Mader. “But, because of Gov. Mead’s leadership and the work of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, new and innovative solutions are being implemented to make our roads safer for drivers and access to habitats easier and safer for our beloved wildlife.”

In recent years, Wyoming has formalized policy that requires analysis of habitat and wildlife movement needs in all transportation activities with an eye towards human safety; built or planned passageways for wildlife along freeways; and identified areas needed to protect wildlife movements, while enhancing safety issues related to wildlife-vehicle collisions.

Of particular note, is the installation of two wildlife overpasses and six wildlife underpasses in southwest Wyoming’s Green River Valley, which are slated for completion in October.  These state of the art wildlife crossing structures will allow for safe passage of many species of wildlife.  Pronghorn, in particular, have experienced serious mortality in this area, and these efforts will allow them to successfully navigate their bi-annual journey to and from Grand Teton National Park. 

“The construction of wildlife overpasses and underpasses along Highway 191 will have real and lasting benefits for all wildlife in the Upper Green,” Mader added.  “NPCA applauds this important investment in Wyoming’s spectacular wildlife, and hopes that other western states will follow suit to safeguard wildlife movements across the region."

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