About Us

The Need for Safe Passages

What is the Issue?

Wildlife need to move about freely in order to survive. Roads cause habitat fragmentation and make it harder for wildlife to access food and water, reproduce, and migrate. In many cases wildlife must cross roads and highways to access the resources they need to survive. When this occurs, both wildlife and motorists are at risk.

 

 Safe passages aren’t just for wildlife—they benefit people, too.

The Cost of Wildlife-Highway Conflicts

Economic Impacts

 

 Cost of injuries, fatalities and property damage associated with wildlife-vehicle collisions

 Decrease in wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing opportunities in the area

Social Impacts

 

 Human fatalities and injuries

 Wildlife-vehicle collisions

 Unsafe road conditions

Ecological Impacts

 

 Loss of individual animals to a population or herd

 Habitat fragmentation

 Diminished access to habitat

Number of wildlife-vehicle accidents reported in Colorado each year

Number of wildlife-vehicle accidents with human injuries in Colorado per year

Cost (in millions) of wildlife-vehicle collisions in property damage, injuries and fatalities per year in Colorado

Estimated number of unreported wildlife related collisions in Colorado per year

I-90 Gold Creek Underpass. Photo: Washington Department of Transportation

We spend $8 billion a year running over wildlife. If we took that cost and quartered it, we could build 200 animal crossings a year, and the problem of roadkill would disappear within a generation.

-Ted Zoli

Bridge Engineer, McArthur Genius Award recipient, member of winning ARC Solutions Wildlife Crossing Design Contest

What Can Be Done?

The Solution: Safe Passages

The most effective way to create safer roads for wildlife and people is building wildlife crossing structures across roads. Structures such as overpasses and underpasses with fencing allow wildlife to get over and under roads safely so they can once again access the resources they need in order to live. In turn, this reduces wildlife related collisions, ensures healthy wildlife populations and saves taxpayer dollars.

The Cost: Safe Passages Pay for Themselves

Wildlife crossings pay for themselves over time. ARC Solutions and the Center for Large Landscape Conservation note that the costs of collisions to society often outweigh the costs of building wildlife crossing structures. Placing structures along road segments with just a few deer collisions per mile per year creates net public benefits.

 

Did You Know?

 

The 2 overpasses and 5 underpasses installed on 10 miles of State Highway 9 in Grand County just south of Kremmling have decreased wildlife-vehicle collisions with deer and elk in the area by nearly 90%.

Did You Know?

 

Each year in Colorado, there are as many mule deer killed in wildlife-vehicle collisions as are hunted.

Did You Know?

 

Each year, Colorado’s economy receives $5.1 billion from wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing.

Did You Know?

 

Across North America, wildlife crossing structures and wildlife fencing have been shown to reduce wildlife related car accidents by upwards of 95%.

Learn More About Safe Passages in Summit County

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