United States Program

Creating Safe Passage for People and Wildlife

Animals need to move. By doing so they shape and maintain the landscapes in which they live by transporting seeds, pollinating plants, and controlling pests. They also help shape the cultural identities of the people who live in these landscapes.

We use science such as spatial models and maps to help planners throughout the U.S. identify how and where animals move across the landscape, and how people help or hinder that movement. We apply this knowledge to support on-the-ground action, from helping wildlife safely cross roads to identifying and protecting vital ecological linkages.

In addition to this technical guidance, the Center provides policy advice and expertise. We work with national, state, and local decisionmakers and stakeholders to collaboratively develop, advance, and implement policies that protect wildlife movement, reconnect habitat, and support conservation at the landscape scale.

Creating Safe Passage for Desert Tortoises

Desert Tortoises need to move—and often cross roads—to find food, to reach water, and for other activities essential for survival. Unfortunately, this threatened species is being struck and killed by the thousands each year by motorists in the southwestern US, and their population numbers continue to decline. The Center is working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other public and private partners to minimize tortoise deaths along roadways. The initiative aims to establish standard policies and practices that can be implemented consistently across the Desert Tortoise’s four-state range, with the goal of providing safe passage for these animals across roads. Learn more

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Report Introduces New Tools to Help Slow the Loss of Sagebrush Habitat

A staggering 1.3 million acres of sagebrush habitat are being lost annually, as outlined in a new report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. Known as the Sagebrush Conservation Design, this report can be used by partners—such as government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Tribes—that are working in sagebrush country toward shared goals. By using the maps in the report to prioritize the most important places to restore sagebrush ecosystems, conservation efforts can be more effective and efficient for the greatest benefit of the people and wildlife who rely on this uniquely western ecosystem. Learn more

Blue Flowers And Sage Below Wyoming Range, Wind River Mountains.

US 191 / MT-64 Wildlife & Transportation Assessment

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is home to the largest concentration of wildlife in the lower 48 states. But as the numbers of area residents and visitors have grown, so has the incidence of wildlife-vehicle collisions. On US Highway 191 through and around Yellowstone National Park, large mammals like elk and deer are hit with increasing frequency, and rising traffic volumes make it harder for wildlife to access habitat on either side. To address these problems, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and Montana State University’s Western Transportation Institute embarked upon a two-year study to better understand wildlife movement and improve road safety along this busy route. The resulting report identifies 11 priority sites where wildlife crossings or other mitigation measures could improve the safety of travelers and wildlife. Learn more

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Blackfeet Animal-Vehicle Collision Reduction Master Plan

The first-ever reservation-wide animal-vehicle collision study in the United States was conducted by the Center in partnership with the Blackfeet Nation Fish and Wildlife Department. The completed Animal-Vehicle Collision Reduction Master Plan provides the Blackfeet Nation with a blueprint to reduce wildlife and livestock collisions on the road stretches with the highest incidence of collisions through mitigation projects proposed in the plan. Learn more

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