Message trailers arrive to reduce wildlife roadkills
by Wyoming Game and Fish Department
April 28, 2008
Motorists traveling highways in Sublette County will soon be noticing the latest effort to reduce vehicle-wildlife collisions on area roadways. Four new portable dynamic message trailers have arrived and will be placed at key wildlife crossings along highways by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to remind motorists to slow down and watch for wildlife. The message trailers will be placed in pairs both north and south of Daniel, starting along WY Highway 189/191 between the Forty Rod Road and Trappers Point and south of Daniel along WY Highway 189 near the Grindstone Butte/Ryegrass area.
Placement of the message trailers is part of ongoing cooperative effort by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Department of Transportation to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions in the Pinedale area. “We are blessed with abundant big game numbers here in Sublette County, but those animals can be dangerous when along our roadways,” says Bernie Holz, Pinedale Wildlife Supervisor for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. “Unfortunately, our highways happen to bisect migration corridors for thousands of deer, antelope, elk and moose, and a lot of these animals are killed in vehicle collisions each year.”
Holz says the highest number of animals are hit during the spring and fall migrations, which generally occur during March-May and October-December each year.
The Wyoming Department of Transportation says that Sublette County has some highest numbers of wildlife-vehicle collisions in the state.
”The beauty of these signs is that they can be moved periodically to where the problem areas are and the messages can be changed, which tend to get our attention a little better,” says Pete Hallsten, Resident Engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation. “I think we all tend to become immune to the stationary roadside signs, so these are a much more effective tool to help reduce the number of roadkills.”
The four message trailers were purchased by Ultra Petroleum as mitigation for winter drilling on big game winter range and donated to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for placement. An additional four message trailers have also been funded through the Jonah Interagency Office (JIO) and will be added to the effort later this year.
”Nobody wins in a wildlife-vehicle collision,” says Holz. “The animal usually dies and, at a minimum, the motorist is left with a hefty vehicle repair bill if not seriously injured. Hopefully, these signs will help make a difference because we have a lot big game animals moving right now.”
Photo courtesy Wyoming Game & Fish