(Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department said on Monday that vehicles collide with an average of 136 mule deer each year on a 26-mile stretch of US 26/287 near Dubois.

Those collisions cost the state an estimated $746,000 per year. Game and Fish, the Wyoming Department of Transportation “and various wildlife and community groups hope to reduce those collisions as well as impacts to other wildlife, such as bighorn sheep.”

Game and Fish and WYDOT are inviting citizens to attend a virtual meeting to discuss possible solutions to help minimize collisions on this stretch of highway.

That meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Tuesday, Dec. 8 and will be held via Zoom.

“Participants must pre-register and will be sent a confirmation email with a link and a passcode to join the meeting,” Game and Fish said. “We encourage you to join by video using the online meeting link to view the presentation.”

The stretch of US 26/287 was identified in a 2017 Wildlife and Roadways Summit as among the top ten priority areas in Wyoming needing solutions to wildlife-vehicle collisions.

“The summit kicked off the Wildlife and Roadways Initiative that Game and Fish, WYDOT, other governmental and non-governmental agencies have been working on to identify priority areas and work together to find ways to fund and implement projects that reduce wildlife/vehicle collisions, increase motorist safety, and maintain or re-establish disconnected wildlife migration routes,” Game and Fish said.

Game and Fish add that consultant Julia Kintch with ECO-resolutions LLC has been hired to help find solutions.

“Kintch has 15 years of experience helping wildlife and transportation agencies mitigate wildlife movement,” Game and Fish said. “At the Dec. 8 meeting, Kintsch will present the project partnership’s initial findings and ideas for solutions.”

“Please pre-register and plan to join the ZOOM and share your thoughts about the information gathered, what has been learned, and some potential solutions to reduce wildlife/vehicle collisions in the Dubois area. For information about the meeting or the project, please contact Game and Fish Lander Region Wildlife Coordinator Daryl Lutz at 307-335-2616.”