It’s hard to get too excited about strategic planning, but as a road map toward future goals a plan is a critical piece of work, especially when it’s for a place as important and beloved as Yellowstone National Park. Earlier this month, the park released its five strategic priorities that will guide its short- and long-term decision making. We applaud Superintendent Cam Sholly for sharing the park’s priorities so widely and transparently.
We’ve all seen too many dead animals on the side of the road. Just this past week our community witnessed two young moose that were hit and killed at the intersection of Wyoming highways 22 and 390.
In Teton County it is estimated that over 500 animals a year are killed on our roads. A history of development within wildlife habitat has left land cross-sectioned with roads, creating a danger for our wildlife and for ourselves and our families. In Wyoming, 1 in 5 collisions involve wildlife, 1 in 50 collisions with injuries involve wildlife, and 1 in 100 fatal collisions involve wildlife. These are real dangers for the safety of our highways, but the good news is they are largely preventable.
Photo Jackson Hole EcoTours
As the tranquilized moose snored away, GYC Wildlife Program Coordinator Chris Colligan supported her massive head and monitored her breathing while she was fitted with a new GPS-tracking collar. A former Wyoming Game and Fish (WGFD) employee, Chris is no stranger to working with wild animals. What is relatively new to Chris is all the progress being made to incorporate wildlife crossings on roads around the state of Wyoming and beyond.
After years of hard work and collaboration, the Wyoming Department of Transportation has finally released a license plate that benefits wildlife migrations and driver safety. The majority of the license plate fee goes directly to the Wildlife Conservation Fund to aid efforts throughout the state.
A stunning transformation is beginning to sweep over the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). For months, our great herds of elk, deer, pronghorn, moose, bison, and bighorn sheep have taken shelter in valleys, retreating from the snow covered mountains. Now, the melting snow exposes hints of green grasses as the region begins to awaken from winters slumber. This is what the herds have been waiting for.
It was a brisk spring morning, and we’d gathered to walk Wyoming’s Highway 89/191 south of Jackson to survey how many deer had been hit by cars and killed during this last hard winter. Counting dead deer along the road isn’t for everyone, but it's a critical step towards our goal: Building underpasses so that wildlife can safely cross this busy highway.