Vehicle-wildlife collisions are a growing safety concern for people, wildlife, agencies and insurance companies. In Idaho, time and money are being spent from all entities to reduce the number of collisions. Some of these efforts from around the state are listed here.
North Idaho (IDFG Region 1, ITD District 1)
- As of June 2010, An underpass on US 95 north of Couer d’Alene is designed and ready for construction. The next step is to secure funding for the project.
- University of Idaho completed studies on the use and effectiveness of wildlife underpasses and wildlife fencing in place on US 95 near Copeland, Idaho. Idaho Department of Transportation built the underpasses to aid wildlife crossings and reduce vehicle collisions.
- Idaho Fish and Game, the Nature Conservancy and others are working together to address wildlife linkage concerns in the MacArthur lake area including construction of underpasses and habitat protection on either side of the highway.
Clearwater (IDFG Region 2, ITD District 2)
- Ongoing efforts to address anadromous fish passage issues associated with highways and roads.
- 5 year monitoring program studying recreation impacts and wildlife-highway crossings between 2000 – 2006 as part of Highway 12 passing lane expansion
- Wildlife crossing detection system installed on Highway 95 north of Moscow on “Steakhouse Hill”.
- ITD has an animal sensory detection system near Moscow.
Southwest Idaho (IDFG Region 3, ITD District 3)
- Main focus is on a 20-mile section of Hwy 21 and Warm Springs Avenue. Wildlife underpass and associated fencing project are online for construction to begin June 2010. Federal stimulus dollars are funding the underpass. Federal stimulus funds and private donations will finance building the wildlife fence.
- Two road-kill tally signs were installed on Hwy 21 in January 2010 to warn and educate motorists of the danger of vehicle-wildlife collisions.
- The Boise River Wildlife Linkage Partnership, an ad-hoc group of agencies and concerned citizens, continue to work on other solutions for Hwy 21 and Warm Springs Avenue.
- Habitat protection projects along Highway 21 to insure wildlife connectivity and safe passage related to highway 21
- ITD continues to work and fish and aquatic resource passage and mitigation issues that are associated with roads and highways in Region 3. One such project is schedules for Hwy 21 at Five Mile Creek near Lowman.
Magic Valley (IDFG Region 4, ITD District 4)
- Study completed on wildlife crossing and mortalities associated with Highway 75. http://westerntransportationinstitute.org/research/roadecology/
Southeastern Idaho (IDFG Region 5, ITD District 5)
- Concerned citizens, local and state agencies are working together to find solutions to increasing vehicle-wildlife collisions in the region, particularly the Portneuf Valley and Montpelier area.
- Progress is being made on two ongoing wildlife fencing projects along Interstate-15 at Portneuf Gap and on US 30 at Fish Creek Summit.
- Temporary mobile wildlife warning signs being used as needed in various hot spots for vehicle-wildlife collisions. Unfortunately most of these have been stolen.
- Education and outreach efforts are ongoing to alert the public about vehicle-wildlife collisions and what they can do to make a difference.
Upper Snake (IDFG Region 6, ITD District 6)
- Newly funded study underway to look at Yellowstone elk, deer and moose migrations and crossing use of Highway 20. Cooperators include Idaho Department of Transportation, Idaho Fish and Game and Wildlife Conservation Society.
- ITD has replaced culverts with bridges on Targhee Creek for fish and aquatic resource passage and potentially could function as passages for deer, elk, moose and bear since they are wide and tall enough to be utilized for passage.
Salmon (IDFG Region 7, ITD District 6)
- Newly dedicated Red Rock Bighorn Sheep viewing station on US 93 is aimed at raising awareness about bighorn sheep, their habitat needs and conservation. Project was initiated out of concern over the number of collisions between vehicles and bighorn sheep on US 93.
Statewide (check with Gregg Servheen)
- Statewide highway-wildlife mortality web based database for all state and federal roads in Idaho. This is joint project between IDFG and ITD. http://fishandgame.idhao.gov/ifwis/roadkill/
- Highway-wildlife linkage information for all state and federal roads statewide that identified a total of 315 wildlife crossing areas, of which 37 have been identified as high prioirity. This is s joint project between IDFG. ITD and Federal Highway Administration. (FHWA). http://www.socialtext.net/idahohighwaywildlifelinkage/index.cgi