The Dry Piney area of US Highway 189 lies in critical winter range for the vibrant Wyoming Range Mule deer herd, which provides world-class hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. It also lies at the southern end of the “Path of the Pronghorn” a federally designated 150+ mile migration route into Grand Teton National Park.
US Highway 189 experiences some of the highest rates of mule deer-vehicle collisions in the state of Wyoming.
An average of 124.4 wildlife-vehicle collisions involving deer, moose, and pronghorn are documented annually on this stretch, actual numbers may be as much as 4 times greater due to the difficulty in reporting/locating all collisions.
From 2012 to 2017, vehicle damages and related property damage costs at Dry Piney totaled approximately $1.4 million. Additionally, the state sustained a five-year wildlife loss of around $2.1 million at this location alone.
Project work will consist of installing game-proof fencing to funnel animals to the crossing structures and installing appropriate crossing facilities for animal use between reference markers (RM) 86 and 105. To the extent possible, WYDOT has selected locations and improvements to minimize impacts outside the existing highway right-of-way.
Crossing Structures will be located according to data from field observations, Geographical Information System (GIS), other input from WGFD, Other resource agencies, and traffic and crash data gathered and analyzed by WYDOT.
The project will be located in a rural area on US 189 for approximately 19 miles between La Barge and Big Piney. Construction is slated to commence in 2022.
The WYldlife Fund has been proud to support this critical wildlife crossing project.