Environews: Wildlife overpass for I-80

By Amy Brunvand

Thanks to citizen activism, wild animals in Utah are getting a new overpass to help them safely cross I-80 at Parley’s Summit. It’s good for the animals, but people will benefit, too.

Insurance data shows that each year about 1 in 150 Utah motorists hits a large animal such as a deer, elk or moose. An estimated 20,000 deer are hit by cars in Utah every year, and according to the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies each deer-vehicle collision costs society a total of about $8,000 for vehicle damage, insurance claims, medical bills, removal of carcasses and loss from the recreational value of deer (that would be hunting as well as tourism for the purpose of wildlife watching). Parley’s Summit lies on a major migration route for mule deer so it’s a particular problem area.

Two citizen groups, Save People, Save Wildlife and Wildlife Protection Society were active in persuading the Utah Department of Transportation to build the new wildlife bridge.
Save People, Save Wildlife: facebook.com/savepeoplesavewildlife; Wildlife Protection Society: facebook.com/ Wildlife-Protection-Society-220685314645660/?ref=ts

This article was originally published on June 1, 2017.