(Dubois, WY) – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) invite interested citizens to attend a public meeting as the final mitigation strategy is presented concerning wildlife/vehicle collisions along U.S. 26/287 east and west of Dubois.
The public meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Headwaters Arts and Conference Center, 20 Stalnaker St., Dubois. A virtual option will be available over Zoom with preregistration required at: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BT7v34MTRemci5Z0JddEPQ
The U.S. 26/287 study area includes eight mitigation segments, east and west of Dubois.
From 2015 through 2019, wildlife/vehicle collisions accounted for 74 percent of all vehicle crashes between mileposts 48-73 on U.S. 26/287. Each year, on average, there are 28 reported wildlife-vehicle crashes reported to law enforcement and an additional 131 recorded animal carcasses removed from this section of roadway. The annual cost of these collisions is estimated at $791,400, including property damage, accident response, cleanup costs, and the value of the wildlife killed in the crashes. Consequently, this stretch of highway is one of the most dangerous and costly in the state in terms of wildlife/vehicle collision risk and has been identified as a top priority in the Wildlife and Roadways Initiative.
To evaluate the collision-reduction possibilities on this stretch of highway, Julia Kintsch from ECO-resolutions, LLC, was hired as a consultant. Kintsch has 15 years of experience helping wildlife and transportation agencies mitigate wildlife movement. Kintsch will present the final mitigation strategy developed by the project partnership, which is available for review on the project website: https://wgfd.wyo.gov/DuboisRoads
“Funding for these wildlife-crossing mitigation strategies will be actively pursued in the future,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department Lander Region Wildlife Management Coordinator Daryl Lutz. “The mitigation plan and effort in this area was launched in response to the numerous wildlife/vehicle collisions and citizen requests to address them along this stretch of highway. The mitigation strategy will be used as a basis for project fundraising and implementation.”