Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow is featured in a July 2021 Wyoming Wildlife Magazine article titled “Giving Back: A new initiative gives businesses benefiting from wildlife tourism a way to donate for conservation efforts” Read the article below.
The I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo Wildlife Crossing Project gains huge momentum thanks to an incredibly generous gift from the Knobloch Family Foundation!t
Gift from Knobloch Family Foundation makes safe crossings possible
Buffalo, WY – July 12, 2021 – A generous gift from the Knobloch Family Foundation means another $100,000 is going to theI-25 Kaycee to Buffalo wildlife crossing project. This lower cost transportation project will protect wildlife and keep our drivers on the go.
In announcing this gift, The WYldlife Fund Chairman Mark Wilson expressed the Fund’s commitment to supporting Wyoming’s wildlife and promoting safety on roadways for all drivers.
“We thank the Knobloch Family Foundation for their generous gift and know that crossings are an effective way to make a positive and direct impact on our wildlife as 15 % of all Wyoming crashes are with wildlife,” Wilson said.
The I-25 Kaycee to Buffalo Project, mileposts 253-270, has 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.
Statewide, over 6,000 animals like deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats die each year from collisions with vehicles. This number may even be larger due to underreported crashes.
“The I-25 crossing project is poised to be a model for transportation projects throughout Wyoming and beyond,” said Nicole Korfanta, Executive Director of the Knobloch Family Foundation. “By taking advantage of existing infrastructure, we can reduce wildlife mortality and risks to people on our busy roads, and we can do it for much less money than a traditional crossing project.”
“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,” Wilson said.
The WYldlife Fund will route this generous gift by the Knobloch Family Foundation through the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund to be matched dollar for dollar. This will result in a total project gift of $200,000. This is in addition to a previous gift from the Knobloch Family Foundation to support the project.
Bob Budd, Executive Director of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust stated, “We are really appreciative of this contribution to the Kaycee-Buffalo crossing project. Protecting deer and human life is a priority in areas where we have chronic issues with animal movement, and this project will allow safe passage for deer and people on Interstate 25. The Knobloch Family Foundation, through the WYldlife Fund, has been a stalwart advocate and catalyst here and elsewhere in Wyoming to get this work done.”
The WYldlife Fund is a 501c3 who unites peoples to advance Wyoming wildlife habitat, research, and education. The newly established Fund is a home for all lovers of wildlife and exists to inject funds on the ground to advance critical wildlife projects. You can learn more about The WYldlife Fund at https://www.thewyldlifefund.org.
For questions or interview requests, contact WYldlife Fund President Chris McBarnes at (307) 316-3863.