The objective of the I-25 Wildlife Crossing project is to reduce highway caused mortalities of wildlife, particularly mule deer, on a 15 mile stretch of I-25 (mm255-270) north of Kaycee by funneling wildlife to six different existing agricultural underpasses.
This project will improve connectivity across the interstate as well as reduce highway mortalities which could increase overall population numbers in the Upper Powder River and Pumpkin Buttes mule deer herds. Carcass counts and crash data will be used to compare conditions before and after project completion to measure success of the project. We will also confer with the Powder River Mule Deer Initiative Research project led by Hall Sawyer in cooperation with Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) to compare pre and post project data.
Fifteen miles of exclusionary fence will be constructed on both sides of Interstate 25 between mileposts 255 and 270 which will funnel wildlife into six existing structures under the interstate. The allure of this project and the reason for its relatively low overall cost is due to the use of these existing agriculture underpasses being utilized to provide safe passage for wildlife across I-25. Deer escape ramps, cattle guards and gates will also be included in construction plans to facilitate appropriate movements of big game animals into the future.
Project partnerships are already in place between Wyoming Department of Transportation, WGFD and Western Transportation Institute who have explored a variety of solutions for this stretch of highway over the past several years. As noted, a camera study has been completed in the project area and documented 15 different species of wildlife using the existing structures.