Every year, collisions between cars and wildlife on American roads cost us a staggering $8 billion. However, if you’re like me, what hurts your heart is seeing so many dead animals on the road and knowing that behind each collision a family may be burdened with serious injury or the loss of a loved one.
According to the Federal Highway Administration every year drivers hit 1 to 2 million animals on American roadways. North Dakota ranks 13th for most collisions. Sadly, this results in 200 people killed and 30,000 people injured.
Thankfully, there are solutions that can reduce this number by up to 90%. One is targeted investments in wildlife friendly infrastructure – things like wildlife crossing bridges, tunnels, and culverts – which have proven highly successful in reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. Additionally, investing in intentional wildlife corridors, like connecting forests together or removing unneeded fences, create greater safety for both humans and wildlife.
Thankfully, Senator Cramer has joined a bipartisan effort in Congress to include more wildlife crossings in the upcoming highway bill. It’s a great start, but long term to make these investments more impactful, they should also consider investing in wildlife corridors. It would save lives, money, and wildlife.
Rick Hall, Fargo