Buffalo-Kaycee I25 Wildlife Crossing Project

$10,000 Headed to Buffalo-Kaycee I25 Wildlife Crossing Project

The WYldlife Fund Announces $10,000 Gift to Kaycee-Buffalo Wildlife Crossing Project.

Gift from Williams Foundation makes safe crossings possible.

A generous gift from the Williams Foundation means another $10,000 is going to the I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo wildlife crossing project. This lower cost transportation project will save wildlife and keep our drivers on the go.

In announcing this gift, The WYldlife Fund President Mike Schmid expressed the Fund’s commitment to supporting Wyoming’s wildlife and promoting safety on roadways for all drivers.

“We thank the Williams Foundation for their generous gift and know that crossings are an effective way to make a positive and direct impact on our wildlife across Wyoming as well as keeping our drivers safe,” Schmid said.

The I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo Project, mileposts 255-270, boasts the second highest rate of collisions with deer on a Wyoming interstate. The interstate currently limits the safe movement of mule deer seeking additional habitat. This shovel-ready project will utilize exclusionary fencing to funnel wildlife to six existing crossing structures, such as underpasses, bridges and culverts. This project will also add deer ramps, gates, and cattle guards, as needed. The total project cost is estimated to be $2 million.

Statewide, over 6,000 animals like deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats die each year from collisions. This number may even be larger due to underreported crashes.

“We know 15% of all Wyoming crashes are with wildlife and that there is an average cost of $11,600 in injury and property damage per collision. The cost-effective approach of this project will save our wildlife and serve as a model for other projects like it throughout the west,” Schmid said.

The WYldlife Fund will route this generous gift by the Williams Foundation through the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund to be matched dollar for dollar. This will result in a total project gift of $20,000.


Mark Wilson

My passion for WYldlife

Be inspired. I sure am by The WYldlife Fund.

Wildlife lovers,

My passion derives from what The WYldlife Fund stands for and represents. I am proud and honored to serve on this board for a number for reasons.

First, the diversity of our board makes me proud. It takes all kinds to be creative, our diversity allows us to serve and represent ALL users of wildlife in Wyoming. Everyone has a seat at the table and all voices deserve to be heard. This mindset allows us to provide diligence and a wholistic approach towards our mission of uniting people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education. Second, the leadership of our President and Executive Director has been a driving force. We have come so far in such a short amount of and time and this is an indication that we will not fail.

I believe one day soon, we will join our fellow not for profit organizations throughout Wyoming and become a driving force and leader in advancing wildlife. The wildlife of Wyoming offers incredible opportunities for its citizens and we are working hard to do our part in helping to make this resource even better.

Lastly, The WYldlife Fund is a project driven organization and this excites me. We have issued $117,000 in grants since March of this year. We have supported critical projects such as wildlife crossings and aquatic invasive species prevention and detection measures. We are also fully supporting Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Brian Nesvik’s Inspire a Kid program. Inspire a Kid is all about getting our youth into the great outdoors to become inspired and learn valuable life lessons which will stay with them. Getting our kids unplugged from their devices and plugged into Wyoming’s beautiful wild places is incredibly important to The WYldlife Fund.

It is an exciting time for our fund. Time and pressure are required to build anything that is great and we have the team to carry out the necessary work and accomplish this goal. The enthusiasm, knowledge, and unique dynamics of our Board of Directors poises us for success.

If you haven’t heard of The WYldlife Fund, you soon will. Please contact our Executive Director to be inspired by our mission.


Mark K. Wilson

The WYldlife Fund-Charter Board Member

WY, The WYldlife Fund?

A message from Chairman of The WYldlife Fund, Mike Schmid.

I have loved critters of all shapes and sizes for as long as I can remember; except for snakes, not that I dislike them they are just a bit creepy. I mean, think about it. The snake is a critter that can move at lightning speed. The snake can swim, climb and strike with veracity. The snake can do all of this while having no arms, legs, claws, toes, hooves or any appendages whatsoever. That to me is, well, creepy.

Now, let us fast forward a few decades. I was sitting in a town meeting in La Barge, WY where then Governor Dave Freudenthal was addressing the crowd about issues of the day. When he finished speaking I asked, “What can a person like me do about any of this?” Governor Freudenthal pointed his finger at me and quickly said, “Get involved!”  I was not in the position to do anything at that moment but the impression he made stuck with me.

A few years later my management team overseeing an oilfield business I had built was thriving and steady, I felt like now was my time to get involved. The Wyoming Game & Fish Commission seat for my district was soon to be vacant and needed filled. I decided to throw my name in the hat and low and behold Governor Matt Mead decided I was a good fit. I took my commission post in March of 2017.

As a new commissioner I tried to get to every meeting and event that I possibly could throughout the 4 counties I served. I met hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers, rock climbers, mountaineers, bird watchers, photographers, dog walkers, horseback riders and every other walk of life at those meetings. They were male and female, young, old and middle aged. The one thing they all had in common was their love of Wyoming, its wild places and especially our amazing wildlife.

Everyone wanted to help in their own unique way and it became more and more apparent as I spoke with them that we needed somewhere for them to do that. Our dream was to build an organization where folks could get involved no matter what their personal beliefs were. The WYldlife Fund came to life in early 2020. It is a place for all people to come together as one to watch over, take care of and conserve our wildlife and wild places.

We plan to do this by uniting all people to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education.

As a young organization we have already put $107,750.00 right back on the ground this year alone throughout Wyoming to advance critical wildlife projects.

We would love for you to join us, get involved and give of your time or treasurers to help ensure that we leave Wyoming’s wildlife and wild places even better than we found them.

Mike Schmid
The WYldlife Fund, President