Yellowstone National Park’s 2.2 million acres provide critical habitat for the largest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states. But this habitat doesn’t stop at the park borders.
Herds of elk, deer and pronghorn move in and out of Yellowstone to access seasonal ranges, and predators like wolves and grizzly bears travel great distances. These species, along with bighorn sheep, wolverines, and others, move throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—a richly biodiverse area composed of a patchwork of public and private lands.
However, directly northwest of the park, in Montana, this region is increasingly affected by growing traffic on roads and new subdivisions. As the area’s economy has expanded, so has the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions.
The US-191/MT-64 Wildlife & Transportation Assessment addresses this challenge by improving knowledge of wildlife movement and road safety along roads that connect Yellowstone National Park to the growing Montana population centers of Bozeman and Big Sky.
Goals of the Assessment:
The Assessment report and Key Findings describe 11 priority sites and recommendations to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and reconnect habitat along this gateway to Yellowstone.
Full Report: View the full report on the US-191/MT-64 Wildlife & Transportation Assessment (164 pages).
Data Portal: An accompanying data website allows citizen scientists to record sightings of live and roadkilled animals and describe important wildlife movement areas along the US-191 and Lone Mountain Trail road corridors.
Flyer: Read a 2-page description of the Assessment.
Community Information Sessions:
In October and November 2023, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation hosted a series of Community Information Sessions in Big Sky, Gallatin Gateway, and West Yellowstone, Montana. At each event, Center staff members presented key findings of the Assessment, including priority sites for mitigation, and responded to questions from community members. Representatives of the Montana Department of Transportation and Gallatin County also participated. Center staff are continuing to work with agency representatives and community members to further develop potential wildlife accommodation measures in 2024.
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The Assessment is a joint project of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute.
Big Sky Resort Area District
Moonlight Community Foundation
The Volgenau Foundation
Yellowstone Club Community Foundation
Questions about the assessment? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Banner Photo: The Gallatin River and US-191 near Big Sky, Montana – Adobe Stock; Elk photo: NPS/Jacob W. Frank