CLLC seeks to address the intersection between the movement and migratory needs of wildlife and the transport of people, goods and services on our nation’s busy roads. Highways are one of the greatest barriers to wildlife movement throughout the Rocky Mountain West. This project seeks to take advantage of federal wildlife provisions originally enacted in 2012 and continued under the current transportation bill, known as Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act, by advocating for a series of highway mitigation projects aimed at making roads more permeable for wildlife. In partnership with ARC Solutions, CLLC is exploring opportunities to build one or more “next generation” overpasses to raise the profile of these proven solutions.
CLLC is also partnering with local stakeholders to continue a pilot citizen science project that will provide pre-construction monitoring data for purposes of assessing the effectiveness of the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s (WYDOT’s) project to widen US 89 south of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It involves six planned terrestrial animal crossings and two planned aquatic animal crossings between South Park Loop Road and Hoback Junction and is slated to break ground in 2017. Using strategically placed camera traps, CLLC and its partners have already collected tens of thousands of baseline photographic data of wildlife movement and vulnerability along US 89 at the planned wildlife crossing mitigation sites. In addition to providing baseline data to analyze each crossing structure’s effectiveness, camera images will also help inform transportation and wildlife agencies; build citizen support for the need to enhance connectivity across highways; and provide data to refine crossing design elements (fence height, small mammal crossing, seasonal use restrictions). Ultimately, the Crossroads Conservation project will help empower local communities to have a greater say in how transportation projects are designed so that wildlife crossing needs are addressed.