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State hoping to start construction of wildlife crossing south of Big Piney within calendar year

Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Brian Nesvick says the state hopes to start construction on wildlife crossing south of Big Piney within the calendar year.

He says all the funding and planning has been done for it. This is within the efforts of the Wildlife Crossing Initiative.

“This is something across the state…people are real interested in what we can do to improve both public safety and big game herds,” Nesvick said. “By providing opportunities for those animals to be able to cross the roads safely.”

He noted a lot of work has been done in western Wyoming in places like Cokeville and Pinedale. He says the budget for the work near Big Piney is $18 million.

He says people can help with the initiative by not only following the projects, but purchase wildlife conservation license plates.

“All the proceeds from the sales of those plates goes directly to wildlife crossings,” Nesvick said. “The governor (Mark Gordon) has issued a challenge across the state to sell 2,020 plates by the end of 2020.”

Nesvick says the crossing project near Big Piney will be very different from the Pinedale work.

“It will be more similar to the Nugget Canyon one,” Nesvick said. “It is a series of eight underpasses.”

He says it will also have some fencing to try and force the animals migrating across the highway to have to use the underpass. He also says it is a long stretch of road that they’re trying to address so building overpasses is just a bit too costly.

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