Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) and its U.S. Program Director, Kim Trotter, having previously created the Island Park Safe Wildlife Passage Initiative (IPSWPI) in 2016, has now created a new front group, Fremont County Citizens For Safe Highways (FCCFSH). Allegedly, this group is comprised of Fremont County citizens, when most likely a large portion is comprised of individuals who spend the summer in Island Park but are not Fremont County residents full time. This group is listed on the State of Idaho campaign finance reports as Citizens For Safe Highways but there is nothing for a scanned report. Lobbying efforts by this new group can be more easily accomplished than Y2Y because of its prohibited lobbying status, in addition to being eligible for donations.
The purpose of this group is promoting wildlife overpasses, which apparently the IPSWPI group hasn't been able to achieve. Taking a look at the FCCFSH FAQ page, it is a continuation of the misrepresentations that has been promoted by other Y2Y front groups over the last year. Here are some of those misrepresentations.
Why are driver-safe highway crossings necessary?
Sadly, wildlife-vehicle collisions have increased sharply.
Truth: Under the Research tab it is clear that Idaho deer collisions have gone down in the last two years. What type of collisions are they referring to? They have manipulated roadkill data by including small animals to embellish numbers, the actual Elk numbers are not that high. The original purpose promoted for overpasses was the poor Elk. Because those numbers DO NOT substantiate the Elk deaths, Y2Y and their front groups are now shifting, or at least trying to shift the focus to other small animals and deer. Don't fall for this ruse, the truth is still the same, Elk WVC are low, and non-existent at Targhee Pass.
Do driver-safe highway crossings work?
Across Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Canada, driver-safe wildlife crossings have PROVEN to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 90 percent.
Truth: To compare different geographical areas to Island Park is illogical, and the 90% is also an elevated percentage. It takes years to offset 20-30 million dollars of overpass costs, in addition to the massive cost of maintaining these overpasses and fencing which has never been answered as to who will pay for it. The overpasses they are referring to are in isolated, primarily flat areas with no development.
Are there cheaper alternatives? Like slower speed limits?
No. Unfortunately, alternatives like flashing lights, wildlife detections systems and highway signs are proven NOT to be adequately effective.
Truth: Studies have shown lower speed limits do reduce not only accidents but also the severity of injuries in accidents. Y2Y refuses to acknowledge this. The Fremont County Commissioners, Sheriff, and citizens have repeatedly asked the Idaho Transportation Department for a speed reduction which they consistently refuse to do. (See Speed Limits article under the Articles tab.)
Who pays for building and maintaining these structures?
Modern, driver-safe wildlife crossings typically account for 10 percent of the entire highway modernization project. They are paid for by federal fuel taxes, which are already collected for this purpose. When crossings are built with road construction, the Federal Highway Administration pays for 93% of total project costs. It’s important to understand that county taxpayers do NOT pay for these highway improvements or for maintaining them.
Truth: The Targhee Pass road upgrade is $12 million dollars, with the addition of overpasses the cost increases to 20-30 million dollars, this is not a 10% increase (See alternative 3). How does this group know the FHA pays for 93% of the total project costs? Is there something in writing that states this, especially since no final approval decision has been made by FHA on this project? Sorry, but the truth is that every taxpayer, including Fremont County citizens, pay for the astronomical costs of overpasses and the ongoing maintenance costs. County taxpayers DO pay for these highway improvements through their federal taxes. The burden for this does fall on every taxpayer, nothing is free.
Will the crossings be unsightly?
Professional engineers and landscape architects design tunnels and fencing are designed for minimal visual impact. Fencing is minimal necessary to do the job – usually about 8 feet tall and ONLY where necessary.
Truth: As reflected, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there are many who find the overpasses and associated fencing offensive to the land, in addition to the forced hazing of wildlife. There is something that could be considered cruel to force wildlife to abort their natural habitat into something a human wants them to do. As suggested by minimal visual impact, there is visual impact and fencing is necessary to force wildlife to change their path where ever a overpass is located.
Will fencing keep people off public lands or limit hunting opportunities?
No. The Forest Service, Idaho Department of Transportation and Idaho Fish and Game all agree that access to public land is paramount....
Truth: It is very well documented that traffic, recreational use, and development are a "threat" and "disturbance" to wildlife by Y2Y and other large conservation groups. By creating a false wildlife corridor via overpasses, this area will become off limits to all activity by people who currently enjoy it. While ITD and IDFG, and even the USFS make these claims now, it will change as it has in other areas where overpasses have been built, no use.
Will driver-safe wildlife crossings impact property values?
Driver-safe wildlife crossings have been built across the West and there has been no corresponding change in property values.
Truth: While these overpasses have been built in other areas, the majority of them are NOT located in developed areas, they are in isolated and flat land, and often on public land, therefore there can be no changes in property values. There is much development and recreation at Targhee Pass, which is NOT the case in their reference on property values.
Will overpasses will funnel animals for predators?
Biologists in other states say this is not a problem. Wildlife usually keep moving near narrow pinch points, preventing significant increases in predation. Studies have looked at wildlife crossings worldwide and found no significant changes in predation patterns.
Truth: Few studies have been conducted on predatory activity near wildlife overpasses (pg 283). In fact, this is how wolves take an Elk down on an overpass. Like this article points out, wolves can engage in "surplus killing" which was an attack on Elk in a feeding area. Forced into confined area by fencing, there is reason to believe wolves may learn overpasses are a feeding area, for them. Too many variables are in play to make a generalized statement about predatory activity, it hasn't been studied and geographical areas are different. In fact, wolf predatory activity is so devastating to Elk, they have to be destroyed. WVC are NOT the primary cause of Elk mortality, predatory activity is, and to build an overpass for them is illogical. Another reason Y2Y and their front groups are so desperately moving to deer and small animals.
Beware wild exaggerations and misinformation
Unfortunately, we are seeing wildly inaccurate information about the costs of the project, the extent of fencing, and other claims.
Truth: Every statement made on this website and in published articles is verified through links. As one example, false information regarding the costs of overpasses was blatantly published by a IPSWPI member in an Island Park newspaper and had to be corrected the next week with the factual cost graphs from ITD. Here are the factual costs. The data on WVC and numbers of roadkill has also been misrepresented requiring correction. All information on this website is for the very purpose of validating the truth, contrary to the claims by Y2Y, IPSWI, and now this new front group.
While this group claims "...a vocal in Island Park worked to convince the public and decision makers that wildlife crossings aren’t in Island Park’s interest, spreading fear of losing access to public lands, reduced property values, and loss of business.", the truth is many voices have written their objections to overpasses and over 3,000 have signed a petition in opposition of overpasses in Island Park. That is a far greater number than "one" voice. Plus, overpasses do lead to loss of public access, reduced property values, and loss of business because of the eventual "protected" status that eventually comes with migratory corridor designations. All of this is validated documentation on this website.
Also missing within this new group is the fact that overpasses are used for the purposes of connectivity. To be fully transparent, it would behoove them to bring this aspect to their argument. In spite of repeated requests, spokespersons for Y2Y, and Kim Totter, have repeatedly failed to address this. Overpasses are only used for their connectivity agenda, by having the area within the overpass declared a migration corridor for protection and land use regulation following the placement of the overpass. Y2Y understands there is opposition to this and avoids discussing it for that reason.
The truth is, there is a small number of individuals who are attached to Y2Y for overpasses, many of which who do not live full time in Island Park. They have never responded to requests for full disclosure of the connectivity agenda. Most likely, it is because they know Island Park residents would oppose this with a vengeance much like what happened with the national monument issue. Those who truly love Island Park don't want these changes.
However, it appears this group has registered as a 501(c)3, even though it cannot be found on the Idaho non-profit website, and are now soliciting money from you to promote their agenda for overpasses. This is Y2Y operating as there are restrictions on how they can lobby to influence legislation and policies. It is up to the Federal Highway Administration to make the final decision per the Environmental Assessment. The FCCFSH is using your money to influence your vote. That is why they were created.
In both Canada and the U.S., our governments are betraying citizens with their long term partnerships with Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y). Below is a document by Jody Hilty, Y2Y President and Chief Scientist, that clearly outlines how both governments have been working with Y2Y, "...driven by a group of conservationists...", "...for a vision of a protected and connected Y2Y region". These partnerships are heavily embedded and why there is no response to citizens who object in both countries.
This is a violation of the U.S. Constitution which elected officials are sworn to uphold. Our right to land use is being systematically taken from us as Y2Y implements their objectives for putting land into protective status for connectivity.
What has not been covered on the Great Northern Large Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (GNLCC) is the fact that without any congressional approval the Department of Interior (DOI) engaged the Canadian government into the same cooperatives. Canadians are experiencing the same difficulty as us with regard to their land use being restricted or banned, and it is the same non-governmental organizations (NGO) with front groups that are implementing the GNLCC agenda for connectivity. This article is intended to educate Canadians on the GNLCC, the involvement by their provincial government agencies, and also educate U.S. citizens that our government is participating in this activity with a foreign country without any congressional approval or citizen involvement. Under the Library tab, at the bottom left corner, Alberta is listed as a category with information for your area.
This article is the first in a series to alert Canadians to a scam that also involves the United States, a plot involving both our governments to place our land into large landscape conservation and take our right to use our land away from us. Sound unbelievable? Read on.
In 2010 the Obama administration, via a memorandum, directed the US Department of Interior (DOI) to create large landscape cooperatives. Twenty two cooperatives were created in the US. For purposes of this article, the focus will be on the Great Northern Large Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) and Alberta. As seen in the map below, the GNLCC stretches from Colorado into British Columbia, including western Alberta, where many aggressive land use restrictions are being sought and other agendas for connectivity.
These cooperatives are a "regional" approach to landscape conservation that ignore the boundary between our countries and jurisdictional authority. Both of our countries are under attack by the GNLCC. Meant to be an "international network", the GNLCC covers 300 million acres, a network of US federal agencies, Canadian provincial and federal governments, and conservation initiatives. Just naming a few, GNLCC members include Alberta Land Trust Alliance, Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia, Y2Y Initiative, Alberta Prairie Conservation Forum, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation. These LCCs were initiated without our knowledge, involvement, or consent and give tremendous authority to conservation initiatives. Concealed from us, this is the primary force behind our land being taken from us for use and why conservation initiatives have such influence over our governments, including Alberta. The Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC (PPPLCC) covers the southeast portion of Alberta. These partnerships are listed on the Alberta Environment and Parks website, but they don't tell you about them or what they are doing.
The players are all the same, Harvey Locke, Gary Tabor, Kim Trotter, Candace Batycki, Stephen Lagault, and others all work towards achieving GNLCC goals. In this document you will see the Government of Alberta, Environment Canada, and British Columbia are members of the GNLCC. There is also a map of the Crown of the Continent (COC) that includes the western portion of Alberta, but primarily engulfs British Columbia, and a map of connectivity targets. The Government of Alberta - Environment and Sustainable Resource Development is an active participant with the COC but when GNLCC and COC is searched on their website there is no information. They hide it from you.
Crown Managers Partnership (CMP) members include Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, US federal agencies, and ENGOs. Brad Jones, Robert Sissions, and Megan Evans represent various Canadian government agencies on the COC leadership team, and the GNLCC has funded them. They have a "Transboundary Conservation Initiative" that does not include involvement by Canadians or Americans. Alberta is in the crosshairs for their Strategic Conservation Framework. This is just one hidden group Canadians are fighting.
Basically, GNLCC believes land is "fragmented" by development, impeding the movement of wildlife. Protected areas such as national parks and wilderness areas are "isolated" from each other, meaning the land in between must be placed into forms of conservation so that there is a "link" between the protected areas for "connectivity". Unprotected areas are targeted for linkage using wildlife, habitat, aquatic, riparian, and ecological as the ruse. The British Columbia Ministry of Environment participated in a study to identify linkage areas in 2012 and 2015. As a partner, Y2Y also works to identify linkage zones. This short video explains connectivity.
To eliminate fragmentation the GNLCC and its partners target unprotected land with conservation easements, banning use such as for OHV and snowmobile users, and wildlife overpasses. They work to put land into various categories of corridors such as for wildlife and habitat. If an area can be declared a corridor (pg 11), it is then used as a basis for protection for wildlife movement. With that protection comes restrictive or banned use, and also justification for restrictive land use policies, including how a private property owner can use their land. According to Y2Y, "Areas which are identified as core and connectivity habitat, are the focus of restrictive management practices on public lands, and are the focus of land acquisition and conservation easements on private lands." While this article is about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem the same concepts apply to all GNLCC land for restrictive land use policies. Once a corridor is designated the next objective by GNLCC partners is requiring restrictive land use practices on adjacent land, including private property, attempting to extend the corridor, or procure a conservation easement. Anything goes for linkage.
Both of our governments are working on targeting species at risk, or species of greatest conservation need. The species and their habitat will be used as justification for conservation, taking more land use away from us, and affecting private land owners.
There are many initiatives working with the GNLCC which will be discussed later. But all of the objectives are the same. While distracting our attention with local issues that involve taking away our land use, behind the scenes they are diabolically plotting an agenda to put large landscapes into conservation that will take our land away from us and our ability to use it, and redesigning how we are allowed to use it, called landscape conservation design.
The SIPWO website has conducted research on this problem for a couple of years. It is time for Canada to join hands with the U.S. to fight and expose this corrupt governmental takeover of our land that erases our boundaries and sovereignty, strips us of our right to use our land, obliterates our right to representation, and in essence has created a shadow government that is in collusion with conservation initiatives. This is where the fight lies for both of us.
Much folly has been made towards those who speak about the eventual restrictive and regulatory control over private lands, or that corridors will lead to regulated land use. Here is the validation that this is the Yellowstone to Yukon agenda.
"Using appropriate techniques, computer habitat suitability model results can be an effective first step to identify core and connectivity habitats in order to direct land development, highway construction, and mitigation so that wildlife are protected as they move across the landscape to meet their daily, seasonal, and lifetime needs."
"Areas which are identified as core and connectivity habitat, are the focus of restrictive management practices on public lands, and are the focus of land acquisition and conservation easements on private lands."
Targhee Pass is an identified area with connectivity habitat, the Elk. Once they gain this objective with overpasses, a migratory Elk corridor designation will follow, and regulatory land use requirements over that area will be pursued for implementation, including all private land in and adjacent to that corridor. The facts are in their own words.
Sign the petition that you do not want wildlife overpasses in Island Park.
This is wildlife overpass construction East of Wells, Nevada. Note the environmental destruction that it takes to create these monstrosities. Also, these particular overpasses are being built in a barren, flat, uninhabited area unlike the Targhee Pass terrain that does have residential areas and businesses. Picture in your mind how much of Targhee Pass would be destroyed forever with this type of land destruction. How would this construction affect the wetlands in the area? Is that what you want?
A couple of weeks ago Patsy and I took a long (3000 miles) road trip to Denver, Colorado and then to San Ramon, California. Much of the drive was on Interstate 80. East of Wells, Nevada we encountered three wildlife overpasses and miles of tall mesh fencing. All of these crossed Interstate 80 and were in the middle of nowhere in the high desert. There were no homes in the area. The first was in a very large sage brush covered valley and was very noticeable because there was nothing else there. The second was just a few miles away in a rock canyon. This overpass certainly disturbed the view scape. The third was also just a few miles from the first and second overpasses. It was under construction. The pre-stressed concrete arches had already been placed and there was a large track hoe on the side of it moving soil around. This was causing allot of blowing dust and dirt. The wind blows in Nevada. However, the thing that stuck me most was the large staging area at each end of the overpass. These areas were being used by heavy equipment. Dump trucks were delivering soil to each end of the overpass. The natural environment was totally destroyed for well over 100 feet on each side. There were no wet lands in the area that could be destroyed or a creek that could be damaged with sediment. This is not the case at Targhee Pass on US 20 in Island Park. The potential for damage is very great, especially with heavy rains like we have encounter on the past few weeks. It could be an environmental disaster.
We encounter the last three overpasses, on the return trip, North of Wells on US 93. Again, they were in the middle of nowhere, a few miles apart, no homes present in the area, and miles of tall, mesh, wildlife fencing. Part of this area gave me an appreciation for Joe Sielinsky’s comments about the wildlife fencing in the Banff area of Canada. Where the tall fencing was close to the road, you felt like you were in prison. I hated it. It was very confining and not welcoming.
There are probably appropriate locations for wildlife overpasses, but US 20 in Island Park is not one of them. The people of Island Park should fight the desecration on our beautiful and inviting recreation area. Island Park is not a high desert, in the middle of nowhere, with no homes present. Quite the contrary.
Reprinted with permission from the IP News June 28, 2018 issue
On June 26, 2018, the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment held a hearing on Access to Public Lands: The Effects of Forest Service Road Closures. The purpose was "To examine how Forest Service policies affect access to public lands, as well as the impacts of road closures on nearby communities." They were also investigating "The trend towards road closures and restricting access to Forest Service lands impacts local governments, small-town economies, and the way of life for many Americans who live near Forest Service land." This hearing was a direct attack on the environmentalist agenda to restrict and ban all access to public land via corridors, conservation easements, OHV trail closures, and other means all leading to the death of forests. The USFS requirement for Coordination with local governments, and the failure to follow this federal requirement was also discussed. This video is over an hour but gives a factual account of how environmentalists, NGOs, and conservation initiatives such as Yellowstone to Yukon are massively contributing to the destruction of our forests.
Kim Trotter, Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Program Director, recently announced the hiring of two new employees for the purposes of advancing the Y2Y agenda in Montana and Idaho.
Nick Clarke was hired as the High Divide Project Coordinator. His duties will include:
This is the exact same agenda they pushed for in Island Park. Wildlife overpasses are the ruse for wildlife corridors, and connectivity to other protected areas. The map below covers the area Clarke has been assigned to, the High Divide Salmon-Selway-Bitterroot area. Residents in Salmon, Challis, McCall, Riggins, and Grangeville need to be ready, especially Salmon and Challis.
The second hire, Jessie Grossman, will be the Cabinet Purcell Mountain Corridor Project Coordinator. Her coverage area can be seen in the map below.
Ms. Grossman's duties will be the same as Clarke, using the bear as the excuse for connectivity. One huge threat of this agenda is the trans-boundary aspect, fully ignoring the Canadian-US border. Y2Y wants bears and other wildlife to have freedom to "roam" wherever it wants between countries, and remove whatever they think are barriers such as people, development, roads, private property, and land use. "Connecting" the Cabinet-Purcell mountains is the Y2Y objective, not understanding that this land and wildlife are already connected. The folks in Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Ponderay need to be alert to this agenda coming their way.
For both areas, look for transportation projects that propose incorporation of wildlife overpasses, out of the blue "new" local groups that support overpasses, more aggressive pushes for placing land into conservation easements, and public meetings and outreach that intend to influence your thinking that overpasses are the only solution. Don't be afraid to confront them with the real agenda, the truth behind overpasses which is corridor designation and connectivity agendas. Alert your neighbors to the same and educate them. Do not let Y2Y implement their agenda in your area.
Our friends just north of Idaho in Alberta, Canada are fighting off the same Yellowstone 2 Yukon (Y2Y agendas. Perhaps more frustrating for them is that Y2Y funding in Canada is provided by U.S. foundations and corporations!
Just as the Brainerd and Wilburforce foundations fund Y2Y activities here, they also fund the same in Canada, along with the Idaho Wolverine Foundation. Fortunately Canadians who are in the fight the same as us understand that we are against this as well. The Cabinet-Purcell mountains are the transborder target between our countries. Y2Y would love to see our border erased, our land just designated as a place where all wildlife can roam freely while forbidding our use and ability to live in those areas. No respect for sovereignty. This is another atrocious aspect to Y2Y.
Coordination is federal law that requires "federal agencies to resolve policy conflicts with State and local plans, policies, and programs for the purpose of reaching consistency." This means, before any federal activity can proceed, the agency is obligated to meet with local government representatives such as county commissioners, and ensure that whatever activity they are planning must be "consistent" with local land use policies. If not, then the activity must be revised until consistency is reached between policies. Coordination is a "government to government" relationship and these federal laws protect local authority, placing the local government on an equal, not subordinate, position with the federal government. Collaboration, cooperation, consultation, or partnering, words the federal government likes to use to give the appearance of working with local governments, is not Coordination.
Funding for the Hwy 20 road project comes from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Concerns have already been expressed regarding the lack of engagement with the public and county government on the Targhee Pass road project, including the full Hwy 20 transportation corridor. But under federal law, the FHWA, along with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), should have engaged Fremont County in coordination at the very beginning of the project.
While terms such as cooperation and consultation are used, federal law also includes explicit information on Coordination such as with the BLM (43 CFR 1610.3-1, 43 CFR 1610.3-2). The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) states in 43 US Code 1712, "...to the extent consistent with the laws governing the administration of the public lands, coordinate the land use inventory, planning, and management activities of or for such lands with the land use planning and management programs of...local governments within which the lands are located...", and "...assist in resolving, to the extent practical, inconsistencies between Federal and non-Federal Government plans, and shall provide for meaningful public involvement of State and local government officials, both elected and appointed, in the development of land use programs, land use regulations, and land use decisions for public lands...".
23 CFR 771.111 - Early Coordination, Public Involvement, and Project Development, applies to the FHWA. In section 771.107, the following three definitions apply to the Targhee Pass project:
(b) Action - A highway or transit project proposed for FHWA...funding.
(c) Administration action - The approval by FHWA...of the applicant's request for Federal funds for construction (In our case ITD applied for and received funding from FHWA).
(d) Administration - FHWA...is the designated lead agency for the proposed action (FHWA is the designated lead agency).
Aside from very clear requirements for public involvement, it also states under (h)(v)(A) that a state agency should hold a public hearing and explain, "The project's purpose, need, and consistency with the goals and objectives of any local urban planning." This was never done by ITD, nor did FHWA engage with Fremont County Commissioners for coordination on land use policies to ensure consistency of those plans with the Hwy 20 transportation project.
An example of how coordination was used in transportation is the Trans Texas Corridor transportation project, which was a plan to build a transportation network, or "supercorridor", from Mexico, through the U.S., into Canada. While this project exceeds the size of Targhee Pass, was further into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements, and involved significant private property rights, coordination was successfully used to discontinue it.
In the Trans Texas Corridor case NEPA law, 42 USC 4331 (NEPA Section 101) was cited. It partly states, "...it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to improve and ‘coordinate’ Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources...". This was not done by the FHWA and five Texas mayors, along with school districts, joined together to "...require the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) to coordinate the project with the Commission." The attorney who worked on this case was Fred Kelly Grant, who recently created the Coordination Institute. The history and an explanation of coordination is on his site.
Mr. Grant recently completed a series of five videos on coordination. Below is Video #1. Video #2, #3, #4, and #5 are each about 15 minutes. These videos give insight into his previous cases and how coordination works.
From the beginning of the studies conducted on the Hwy 20 corridor in Island Park to present, no coordination on the project has occurred between the FHWA and local governments. They too, must start over and ensure this project is consistent with land use policies of Fremont County.
There is some confusion that coordination mandates federal actions must adhere to local government land use policies, that county policies must be integrated into federal actions, or that federal actions must be integrated into county land use policies. That is not what coordination requires. Coordination requires that the federal government "shall" achieve "consistency" between federal actions and local policies.
The Targhee Pass transportation project, in its 5 alternatives, involves land and private property, with the most extensive land changes being proposed by wildlife overpasses. FHWA must come to the table with Fremont County Commissioners on coordination before proceeding any further with the Targhee Pass project.
One of the issues brought up in the scoping report comments was the relationship of the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) to the Targhee Pass transportation project. In the updated, 2018 Targhee Pass EA Scoping Report, on page 14, there is a basic summary of Department of Interior (DOI) secretarial orders (SO) that are pertinent to the existence of landscape conservation cooperatives, which includes the GNLCC. The report states, "...land use planning and landscape scale conservation/mitigation are beyond the scope of ITD’s mission...", and those SOs are "...are not germane to Federal Highway Administration procedures."
That is interesting. In a 2013 GNLCC newsletter it specifically states, "...MAP-21 is the first national transportation law to weave throughout its programs authority for state, federal and tribal managers, and researchers to reduce the number of motorist collisions with wildlife and improve connectivity among habitats disrupted by roads." The Center For Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC) even provided further clarification on this federal highway law.
Another factor that needs consideration is the relationship Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) has with the GNLCC. The EA report also states, "The Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) interest in collaborating with ITD as described in the MOU stems from IDFG’s mission to preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage the fish and wildlife populations of the state." There are actually two MOUs between ITD and IDFG, one in 2015, and the second in 2017. What the report left out was the MOUs state in the 2015 report that IDFG would be responsible for "...increasing wildlife linkage/connectivity/corridors...", and reiterated in the 2017 report, "...provide for wildlife connectivity...", "...facilitate...migration corridors for wildlife...", and "...develop...site specific information...on wildlife crossings...wildlife connectivity and wildlife crossing designs."
This is relevant because IDFG is involved with the GNLCC and its objectives for overpasses. Not only does IDFG partner with GNLCC partner Yellowstone 2 Yukon (Y2Y), IDFG has also received funding from the GNLCC for a Decision Support System project, and other projects. One project was even led by GNLCC member and IDFG employee, Gregg Servheen, the Transboundary Decision Support System to Guide and Implement Conservation, Land Use, Energy, Transportation, and Climate Change Management and Monitoring, which included connectivity.
In summary, IDFG is involved with the GNLCC, there are federal laws that require transportation projects to include wildlife mitigation, the ITD MOUs state the IDFG role is for corridors and connectivity, the GNLCC objectives include wildlife corridors and connectivity, all which makes the GNLCC very "germane" to the Targhee Pass Project.