Ask Congress: Include Wildlife Crossings in Infrastructure Bill
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We are asking the Secretary of Transportation (Elaine L. Chao) and Congress to include Wildlife Crossings in the plans to overhaul our highways and bridges. Europe has hundreds of crossing structures that have proven to be highly effective at eliminating incidents of vehicle collisions with wildlife. These crossings take the form of specially-designed bridges and underpasses for animals. When built at sites with a high volume of migration, they have been upwards of 80% effective at sparing the animal’s lives that cross over or under them.
America needs these crossings. North America has relatively few of these crossings, mainly relegated to Wyoming and Canada. Many are asking, why doesn’t the United States implement more? Studies show these crossings would save the government billions of dollars in clean-up and medical bills (the U.S. currently spends around $8 billion dollars annually). Although money will be needed to build these crossings, they pay for themselves within several years due to the shear amount of money saved by alleviated roadkill clean-up.
Crossing structures make driving safer. Hundreds of drivers and passengers are hurt or killed annually when they hit animals trying to cross the roadways. Wildlife crossings don’t only save animal lives, but human lives as well.
Crossings help with genetic diversity. In addition to animals being threatened by the habitat loss caused by our roadways (including several species being added to the endangered list because of it), they also inhibit mating. In order to keep the species healthy and thriving, genetic diversity must be met. Roadways that keep animals from being able to cross inadvertently cause inbreeding, poor immunity, and less robust genetic variance. With wildlife crossings, many species can continue to thrive and evolve.
Please sign and encourage Ms. Chao and Congress to think about the future of animal and human safety as we deal with one of our biggest infrastructure problems. The great news is that there’s already a solution: Wildlife Crossings.
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