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Game And Fish Commits Over $1 Million To Wildlife Crossings

Max Pixels

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is committing over $1 million to work on wildlife crossings in the state. The Game and Fish Commission is responsible for creating policies, and the department is tasked with executing those policies.

Wildlife crossings are important because highways can interrupt migration corridors. Game and Fish estimates there are over 6,000 wildlife collisions each year.

Angi Bruce, deputy director of Game and Fish, said the commission asked the department to research which sites need attention first.

"The commission asked us to bring back to them a few of our top priorities projects with some more specific details to review in order to allocate the $1.25 million to a specific project," Bruce said.

The department and several other groups have been working since 2017 to identify the highest priority areas.

There are 240 sites in Wyoming that have been identified as areas that need help with wildlife crossing, Bruce said. Forty of those have been tagged as high priority.

Bruce said there are three ways to tackle wildlife crossings. Two of them involve creating safer pathways for animals to cross roads, such as installing wildlife-friendly fencing and building bridges or underpasses for wildlife.

The other puts the responsibility on drivers.

"What I mean by that is providing them education that this an area in their driving highway area that is likely to come into contact with big game, either mule deer, pronghorn, elk moose or others," Bruce said.

Bruce said this method includes changing speed limits during certain seasons and adding different kinds of signage to highways.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.

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