CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has completed a mitigation strategy that aims to reduce vehicle–wildlife collisions on a deadly portion of U.S. Highway 26 near Dubois.
The stretch of U.S. Highway 26 between mileposts 48 and 73 sees an average of 28 vehicle–wildlife crashes per year reported to law enforcement. Game and Fish adds that an average of an additional 131 animal carcasses are removed from that section of the highway each year.
“The annual cost of these collisions is estimated at $791,400, including property damage, accident response, cleanup costs, and the value of the wildlife killed in the crashes,” Game and Fish said.
Game and Fish released a video on Friday that highlights recommendations included in the mitigation strategy, including recommendations to create a wildlife overpass, underpasses and fencing:
Game and Fish said that the mitigation structures it is recommending for the highway “should have a lifespan of at least 75 years and the project should pay for itself within the first 25 years.”
“Game and Fish and WYDOT are excited about the mitigation strategy and are initially focusing on the construction of the comprehensive system of the over-and underpasses in that segment of the highway from milepost 58 to 64.5,” Game and Fish Lander Region Wildlife Management Coordinator Daryl Lutz said. “A huge thank you to the 10 Country Chapter of the Muley Fanatics Foundation, other donors, and the WYldlife Fund for their support of this important project. Of course, contributions and support get us a bit closer to the implementation of this multimillion dollar project and both agencies are grateful.”
Game and Fish provides more information on the mitigation strategy for U.S. Highway 26 near Dubois online.