(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation (JHWF) is introducing a new campaign to address wildlife-vehicle collisions in partnership with Grand Teton National Park.
JHWF states that at least 118 animals were hit on park roads last year, and 259 wildlife-vehicle collisions were recorded in Teton County outside of the park in 2015.
As the first step, JHWF will purchase and donate to the park two “RU2 Fast” fixed radar signs with flashing violator alerts to be placed at a targeted wildlife movement corridor. Simultaneously, JHWF will invite its supporters to match its initial $20,000 contribution as National Park Service staff and JHWF discuss an array of additional solutions appropriate to site-specific issues in the park.
Photo h/t JHWF
"When grizzly bear 399's cub was killed on a Grand Teton National Park road in June, citizens wondered aloud whether enough was being done to protect treasured wildlife. Shortly thereafter, as an extension of its existing 'Give Wildlife a Brake' partnership with the park, JHWF and the park committed to assess vigorously all additional options designed to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions on its roads," said JHWF in a release. "News of a wildlife-vehicle collision that killed a grizzly bear cub on the Togwotee Pass highway on July 20 served as a grim reminder of the challenge animals face on our roadways."
Individuals interested in addressing this issue can contribute to the campaign at jhwildlife.org/our-work/give-wildlife-a-brake. Any matching funds raised will be used for additional RU2 Fast signs and/or other on the ground solutions. As demonstrated in a similarly multi-faceted approach to reduce wildlife mortalities on WY390, an array of solutions, which might include fixed radar signs, variable digital message boards, speed limit reductions, education efforts, creative partnerships and mitigation tools may be more effective in combination than any one strategy.
"As we implement solutions with our park partners, we will also integrate county-wide efforts such as the Safe Wildlife Crossings Initiative - a collaborative of local and regional organizations - to ensure that barriers to wildlife movement throughout Jackson Hole are minimized," said JHWF.
Feature Photo Credit: Grizzly bear photo by Henry Holdsworth, Wild by Nature Gallery