The 10 Country Chapter of Muley Fanatics Partners With The WYldlife Fund To Send $50,000 Gift To US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project
Organizations stand beside Game and Fish Commission to prioritize safe passages
The Muley Fanatic Foundation has enthusiastically delivered a check for $50,000 to The WYldlife Fund in order to spark fundraising efforts for the US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project. This project around Dubois from Stoney Point to Dinwoody Creek (mileposts 48-73) meets a major need in keeping our wildlife and drivers on the go.
US 26 around Dubois is one of the most dangerous highway segments in Wyoming for both motorists and wildlife in terms of wildlife-vehicle collision (WVC) risk. From 2015 through 2019, collisions with wildlife accounted for 74% of all vehicle crashes reported to law enforcement. The cost of these collisions is estimated at $791,400 annually, including property damage, accident response and cleanup costs, and the value of the wildlife killed in these collisions.
The Dubois mule deer herd is an identified priority herd in the Wyoming State Action Plan and the WVC mortality rate on US 26 has been a recognized concern for many years.
10 Country Chapter Co-chairmen Jared Oakleaf and Rowdy Anderson explain, “The US Highway 26 Wildlife Crossing Project was identified in the 2017 Wyoming Wildlife and Roadways Summit as one of the state’s top priorities. This project undoubtedly will make our roadways safer for our families and wildlife. Our chapter is proud to partner with The WYldlife Fund to route these dollars to this much needed project. We are just beginning the fundraising efforts for US 26 and we hope this gift will spark momentum for the project.”
In accepting this gift, The WYldlife Fund President Chris McBarnes expressed the Fund’s commitment to supporting Wyoming’s wildlife and promoting safety on roadways for all drivers.
“Wildlife crossings are an effective way to make a direct and positive impact on Wyoming’s wildlife. Pairing underpasses and overpasses with high fencing can reduce wildlife collisions by more than 90%. The WYldlife Fund is a vehicle to route dollars to on the ground projects which will strengthen and advance our wildlife. We applaud Muley Fanatics for their continued commitment to Wyoming’s wildlife.”
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of Transportation partnered alongside other agencies, NGOs, landowners and the Dubois community to develop a comprehensive mitigation strategy to effectively reduce wildlife vehicle collisions on US Highway 26 in the Dubois area.
“We’re excited about the mitigation strategy and are initially focusing on the construction of the comprehensive system of the over- and underpasses in that segment of the highway from milepost 58 to 64.5. Of course, contributions like this from the 10 Country Chapter of MFF get us a bit closer to project implementation and we are grateful,” said Wyoming Game and Fish Department Lander Region Wildlife Management Coordinator Daryl Lutz.
“Conservation efforts in the 21st Century are rooted in collaboration and this is a prime example of such. This project, its needs and priorities, have been well documented. We are elated to see the 10 Country Chapter is in a position to make this valuable contribution. The 10 Country Chapter and their supporters continue to raise the bar in furthering the MFF mission,” said Joshua Coursey, Muley Fanatic Foundation President/CEO.