The Oregon Legislature recently passed a bill that allots $7 million for projects to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and make roads and highways safer for drivers and wildlife alike. It is now on its way to the governor’s desk.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is one several dozen conservation, hunting or other organizations that supported the bill.
Oregon recorded 6,100 wildlife-vehicle incidents in 2019 with more than twice that number likely unreported. The collisions are dangerous or deadly for both humans and wildlife. Oregon currently has five wildlife crossings, significantly fewer that other western states.
Utah recently approved $1 million to deal with the same issue.
“The estimates are that as many deer and elk are killed on the highways as on legal hunts during the year, so this is a major problem, and that doesn’t include the major damage to life and property that can happen for people when they hit animals on the highway,” Bill Christensen, retired RMEF regional director, told the Public News Service.
Congress recently allocated $350 million to fund such projects.
(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)