Wildlife Crossing scoping on the edge of Yellowstone
Our overflight examined wildlife impacts on the stretch of Highway 89 that is the northern gateway into Yellowstone National Park from Livingston. More than one million people drive HWY 89 to Yellowstone National Park every year, and it is the primary road locals use for commuting. The area is known for being one of the most beautiful in the nation and is rich in wildlife - deer, elk, moose, antelopes, bears, bighorn sheep, and countless small animals - who also utilize HWY 89, crossing it to access habitat and mates.
Half of all accidents reported on HWY 89 involve wildlife. Montana ranks second in the nation for risk of wildlife-vehicle collisions, and has the most fatalities per capita resulting from these types of collisions.
We viewed the routes taken by wildlife as they move from the mountains down through the valley, and often across the deadly obstacle of HWY 89. Our flight partners are working to create collaborative solutions to make the highway safer for wildlife and motorists. A highway assessment is underway to discover what locations in the Gardiner Basin and Paradise Valley would benefit most from mitigation projects.