Wyo4News Staff, [email protected]
BIG PINEY, WYOMING (August 13, 2020) — The Muley Fanatic Foundation has delivered a check for $20,500 to The WYldlife Fund in order to make the Dry Piney Wildlife Crossing a reality.
This project meets a major need in keeping Wyoming wildlife and drivers on the go.
It has been shown that 85% of wildlife collisions are with mule deer.
Chairman of the Upper Green River Chapter Mitch Kannier explains, “The Dry Piney Project is only inches away from being completely funded. This project undoubtedly will make our roadways safer for our families and wildlife. We are proud to partner with the newly founded The WYldlife Fund to route these dollars to this much-needed project. This project will deliver instant roadway safety, positive wildlife results, and migration corridor protection.”
There have been 26,491 big game animals killed across the state of Wyoming in the past 5 years. This includes species such as elk, moose, deer, and antelope.
Research has shown that nearly 20% of all highway crashes in Wyoming involve wildlife. The Dry Piney area is ranked 3rd out of 42 hot spots for wildlife crashes identified in the state of Wyoming.
In accepting 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.
“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 90%. The WYldlife Fund is a vehicle to route dollars to on the ground projects which will strengthen and advance our wildlife. We are proud to partner with the Muley Fanatic Foundation and stand ready to continue our mission of collaboration with other great organizations well into the future,” Schmid said.
Muley Fanatic Foundation Co-Founder Joshua Coursey stated, “We are proud and humbled that our donors have made this gift possible. We take stewardship of donor funds to the highest level and believe that this project will not only save wildlife but also keep our loved ones that much safer. We know that per big game collision in Wyoming there is an average of $11,600 in injury and property damage costs not to mention some that end with the loss of life. All efforts to alleviate these impacts are of the utmost priority.”
In addition to contributing funds to the Dry Piney Highway Project, the Upper Green Chapter and has also contributed funds for the purchase of a brush mulching mower that is being used by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for habitat treatments in the area.
“Pairing the recent mowing project which improved visibility and habitat along Highway 189 and the Dry Piney Project being just around the corner will mean improvement of Wyoming’s wildlife in a big way,” said Upper Green River Chapter Co-Chairman Zachary Key.
“We live in one of the strongest communities in the state and I am proud to be able to give back to it. We also encourage community members to purchase Wyoming Wildlife Conservation License Plates through WYDOT as these funds will help build wildlife crossings projects across Wyoming,” concluded Upper Green River Chapter Co-Chairman Ray Alexander.
The WYldlife Fund will send the gift of $20,500 to the Dry Piney Project via the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust.
This will ensure that even further matching funds from the state of Wyoming will be applied to this gift in order to complete additional wildlife initiatives in the future.