Details for a first-of-its-kind pilot program to safeguard motorists and wildlife were announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last Tuesday – and not a moment too soon! The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Project, which was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will provide $350 million in grants over five years to states and communities.
The funds will be used to construct wildlife road crossings to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions, and will also fund needed planning.
With one in five species in the U.S. at risk of extinction, the disruption of wildlife habitats is among the nation’s greatest conservation challenges. Connecting habitats by protecting wildlife movement and building highway crossing structures for wildlife enables species to migrate, access resources for survival, and better adapt to changing climates and landscapes.
This federal program will complement good work already going on around the country. Thus far, multiple states, including California, Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming have passed legislation to protect wildlife corridors and promote wildlife crossings.
All of those states and more need to be ready to propose, plan and build new wildlife crossings in order to save America’s wildlife. After all, we can’t undo the roads that we’ve built over the centuries, but we can give elk, bear, coyotes and more a safer crossing.
To learn more see our statement here.
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