Wyoming to spend $9.7M to protect pronghorn

Finally, it looks like a real effort to keep antelope bottlenecks west of Pinedale from closing-

Over the years, we have written about the Trapper’s Point pronghorn migration bottleneck a number of times.  There has been growing awareness that the thousands-of-year-old antelope migration from the Wyoming high desert over the Gros Ventre each year, down into Jackson Hole could easily be severed by increasing development.

I had heard something was being done.  This summer I visited Trappers Point, walked all around, took photos, but saw no changes to the situation had been made. Today the Jackson Hole News and Guide has some good news.  There will be an expansive and expensive overpass built at Trappers Point and another at a dangerous highway crossing about 5 miles to the NW, north of Daniel Junction.

Of course, these overpasses will benefit other kinds of wildlife hit on the highways in this area of increasing traffic and development from the gas fields and subdivisions.

State to spend $9.7M to protect pronghorn: Plan would build fences, highway underpasses and overpasses in Sublette County (WY). By Cory Hatch, Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Roadkill Problem on America’s Longest Main Street Studied

A lot of large wildlife is killed on U.S. 20 in Island Park, Idaho — a very long, but narrow town-

Island Park, Idaho boasts the longest main street in America. This simply means it is a small population, incorporated community hugging a federal highway for a long way through wildlife rich forest. A lot of folks on this blog are familiar with Island Park.

You don’t really appear to be in town in most of the drive. There’s just scattered sprawl amidst the trees, and few places of more development, e.g., “Last Chance.”  The highway is straight and the speed limit high,  and big animals pop out of the dense  lodgepole pine onto this heavily travelled route.

I drove through just two weeks ago. I see a major pine cutting operation is currently underway to remove the new, thick pine growth back to about 100 yards from the highway.

A detailed study of the road kill is also going on, as this article describes. Roadkill Problem on America’s Longest Main Street Studied. Discovery News.

Wildlife use of Highway 93 crossing tunnels increases

Wildlife teach their young about tunnels under U.S. 93 on the Flathead Reservation-

Cameras show wildlife use Highway 93 North overpass and tunnel. By Vince Devlin. Missoulian

Not the first time we have posted a story on these tunnels, but their use keeps growing.

Wildlife underpass to be built on Idaho 21 this summer

This is an area where many wildlife collisions occur each spring and fall.

Good news for deer and elk which cross the highway to and from winter range. I’ve had a few close calls here myself.

Wildlife underpass to be built on Idaho 21 this summer.
Idaho Statesman.

Stimulus funds for Wyoming wildlife underpasses denied by feds

Although proven to work, WY high value wildlife crossing projects failed to get funding-

Ambitious Wyo big game underpass plan takes hit. By Jeff Gearino. Casper Star Tribune Southwest Wyoming bureau

It is especially sad to see pronghorn crossing projects at Trapper’s Point near Pinedale denied. This bottleneck is a huge threat to the semi-annual, thousands-of-year-old trek of pronghorn to Jackson Hole and the Tetons from the Red Desert and back.

Udall, Salazar propose big fines for “mudbogging” on public land

Finally an effort to penalize mudbogging as a major crime-

Udall, Salazar propose big fines for big damage on federal lands. By Howard Pankratz. The Denver Post

Montana: Sled grooming to end in West Pioneers

Action was meant to protect wolverine and the wilderness quality of this wilderness study area-

The Forest Service has settled a lawsuit by Wildlands CPR of Missoula and Friends of the Bitterroot regarding the terms of the Montana Wilderness Study area act of 1977 regarding allowed uses of one of the study areas in the Act. Snowmobile grooming will end. Snowmobiles are still permitted.

Story in the Montana Standard. Sled grooming to end in West Pioneers. By Nick Gevock.