Bridger-Teton National Forest and WYDOT receive awards for Trappers Point wildlife connectivity project
January 22, 2012
Below are two press releases regarding awards for the Trappers Point wildlife connectivity project in progress on US 191 between Pinedale and Bondurant.
Bridger-Teton Receives National Award from Federal Highway Administration
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger Teton National Forest received the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Award in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The Bridger- Teton and five partner agencies are being recognized for their collaborative work to conserve and restore the wildlife migration corridors at Trappers Point in west central Wyoming. Other partner agencies being honored in this award are the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the Wyoming Division, FHWA. The Trappers Point Wildlife Crossings is one of ten projects nationally to receive the FHWA "Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative Award" (EEI) for 2011. The Bridger-Teton has been working to conserve the Yellowstone pronghorn migration corridor and as a consultant for the Trappers Point Wildlife Crossing structures project.
The US Forest Service’s technical and management support contributed to the development and construction of the Trappers Point Wildlife Crossing structures on US 191 near Pinedale, Wyoming. Successful migrations are necessary to maintain viable wildlife species populations and ecological functions.
"WYDOT and Wyoming Game & Fish really took on this project, and coordinated with all the other partners receiving this award. There was certain support from the Forest Service, but these two agencies truly made this project a reality," said Bridger-Teton National Forest Public Affairs Officer Mary Cernicek.
"The effort really began with former Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton and the designation of the Pronghorn Migration Corridor on the Bridger-Teton National Forest through the Forest Plan amendment," said Cernicek. "Since then, the Bridger-Teton has been fortunate to serve as a partner in support of this effort and helping to build relationships amongst the groups as the Forest doesn’t have land adjacent to the project," she said. "The Forest believes it is important to promote wildlife connectivity as a key transportation and wildlife conservation planning criteria, and this project provided us an avenue to do just that," Cernicek said.
Trappers Point is an important daily and seasonal movement and migration corridor for antelope, deer and elk as they migrate to and from the surrounding forests to the Green River Basin. Trappers Point received its name from the nineteenth century fur trappers who occasionally convened in the vicinity for celebrations. The area also historically served as a pronghorn hunting ground for thousands of years. Pronghorn move to and from Grand Teton National Park and southwest Wyoming in the longest large mammal migration in the lower 48 states.
In all the Trappers Point project that the Forest partnered on that is being recognized in this award consists of six underpasses at $500,000 each, 2 overpasses at about $2 million each, over 31-miles of fencing at $ 1.7 million, and the time and effort of employees from all the partners and their contractors.
WYDOT earns award for wildlife project
Wyoming Business Report
The Wyoming Department of Transportation is being recognized by the Federal Highway Administration for its leadership in keeping drivers safe and protecting wildlife with the $9.7 million Trappers Point Wildlife Connectivity project in Sublette County, near Pinedale.
The project consists of a series of overpasses and underpasses, and upgrading wildlife fences along a 13-mile stretch of US Highway 189 and US 189-191.
Although statistics on the change in vehicle-wildlife accidents are not yet available for this project, a similar project on Highway 30 near Nugget Canyon in southwest Wyoming had an average of 130 mule deer killed in collisions with vehicles each year before improvements were made. Installing seven underpasses in the area, allowing wildlife to cross under the highway, resulted in an 81 percent reduction in deer-vehicle collisions.
The reduction was documented in a study published by the FHWA and WYDOT, which tracked 49,146 mule deer moving through the underpass over a three-year period.
A formal award presentation will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan 12, at Wyoming Game and Fish headquarters in Cheyenne.
Source: Wyoming Business Report, January 10, 2012 http://www.wyomingbusinessreport.com/article.asp?id=61654