A major wildlife crossing project is now complete in Wyoming. The Dry Piney wildlife crossing project includes nine underpasses as well as 17 miles of 8’ tall fencing along U.S. Highway 189 to help mule deer, antelope and other local wildlife safely cross the busy highway, according to the Wyoming Fish and Game.
The project, which was a collaboration between the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WDOT) will hopefully result in fewer wildlife-vehicle collisions. This section of U.S. Highway 189 currently has one of the highest collision rates in the state because it cuts through the Wyoming Range, which serves as prime winter range for one of the largest western mule deer herds.
The $15.1 million Dry Piney project was funded through the federal BUILD grant, Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Wyoming Transportation Commission along with supporting donations from the public, Sublette County, conservation organizations, private donors and landowners.
Previously completed wildlife crossing projects show how much they can reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. For example, the installation of seven underpasses and 13.5 miles of 8’ fencing along Wyoming Highway 30 west of Kemmerer resulted in a 81% reduction in deer-vehicle collisions over a three-year timeframe. Another wildlife crossing project near Pinedale reduced antelope-vehicle collisions by 79%, according to Wyoming Fish and Game.
There are additional projects are in the works. Click here to view areas that have been identified as “high-collision” and may be areas for future crossings.