Busy highways can often become fatal obstacle courses that wildlife must cross during migration. In Wyoming, the Dry Piney Highway is one of the state’s hot spots for wildlife crashes, ranking third out of 42 identified within the state. The Muley Fanatic Foundation recently donated $20,500 to the WYldlife Fund to establish the Dry Piney Wildlife Crossing for safe passage. According to the Rocket Miner, 85% of the wildlife collisions in the area are due to mule deer. With approximately 26,491 big game animals (elk, moose, deer and antelope) killed across Wyoming over the last five years, this project is a critical one.
“The Dry Piney Project is only inches away from being completely funded. This project undoubtedly will make our roadways safer for our families and wildlife. We are proud to partner with the newly founded the WYldlife Fund to route these dollars to this much needed project. This project will deliver instant roadway safety, positive wildlife results and migration corridor protection,” said Mitch Kannier, chairman of the Upper Green River Chapter.
The funds will be sent to the Dry Piney Project via the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust to guarantee that additional matching funds from Wyoming can be applied for future wildlife projects.
“Wildlife crossings are an effective way to make a direct and positive impact on Wyoming’s wildlife. Pairing underpasses and overpasses with high fencing can reduce wildlife collisions by 90%. The WYldlife Fund is a vehicle to route dollars to on the ground projects which will strengthen and advance our wildlife,” said WYldlife Fund President Mike Schmid. “We are proud to partner with the Muley Fanatic Foundation and stand ready to continue our mission of collaboration with other great organizations well into the future.”
“We are proud and humbled that our donors have made this gift possible. We take stewardship of donor funds to the highest level and believe that this project will not only save wildlife but also keep our loved ones that much safer. We know that per big game collision in Wyoming there is an average of $11,600 in injury and property damage costs not to mention some that end with loss of life. All efforts to alleviate these impacts are of the utmost priority,” said Joshua Coursey, co-founder of the Muley Fanatic Foundation.
The Upper Green Chapter also donated funds to buy a brush mulching mower, which will be used by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for habitat treatments.