Wildlife crossings can restore connectivity, mimicking conditions that existed before roads fragmented the landscape. We have identified critical corridors and are in the process of developing plans to take advantage of federal infrastructure funds to finance this effort.
Interstate 90 in Montana presents a nearly impenetrable barrier for Montana’s wildlife, including the Yellowstone grizzly which, as an isolated “island” population, is at great risk of extinction. Wildlife crossing enhancements will provide a point of passage, allowing Yellowstone-area grizzlies to connect with populations to the north and improving highway safety for everyone.
The use and effectiveness of wildlife exclusion fencing is well-documented in road-ecology literature. Fencing – combined with cattle guards on roadways and landscaping (boulders, trees and shrubs) – can be used at relatively low cost to allow greater wildlife movement.
As the climate continues to warm, the ability of animals to move to better habitat and new food sources will be increasingly important to the survival of wildlife.
Save the Yellowstone Grizzly is collaborating with the Craighead Institute and Park County Environmental Council, as well as area landowners, to provide seamless wildlife movement corridors from the Greater Yellowstone to the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem through the Gallatin, Bridger, Bangtail, Little Belt, and Crazy mountains.