Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Authorities should consider a wildlife overpass

As this valley looks toward spending millions of dollars on highway improvements between Hailey and Ketchum, as well as upgrades to the bike path, we should be looking seriously at solving one of the ongoing problems that seems to be getting worse as time goes by. I am speaking of taking a creative approach to getting our local elk and deer herds safely across the highway north of Hailey. If the objective of the highway improvement is to facilitate the flow of traffic each morning, a solution to the animal crossing problem needs to be addressed.

One solution that has been implemented in several states in the U.S. and in Canada is animal overpasses. These bridges made to look like the natural landscape create a safe passage way for many of the local wildlife. From what I understand, animals learn very quickly to use these portals with the help of guide fencing. This solution could go a long way toward lowering the number of vehicle/animal collisions and could even save lives. If the state of Idaho will be investing millions to improve the traffic flow and safety of this corridor, now is the time to visit a solution that will be good for all concerned. 

David C. Wray


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