Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding the facts on the overpasses and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
You are correct that there is a very low incident of overall collisions in the Targhee Pass area. In addition, the data from different sources all conflict with each other.
Looking at the efforts for public input also leads to your conclusion that ITD did very little to engage and properly include Island Park residents, nor was there full disclosure of what the Targhee Pass proposal was actually about which was for as many as three overpasses. As you point out, the exclusion of many other alternatives for reduction of collisions has been blatantly ignored, and excluded.
Like you and so many others in Island Park, there is no debate that the wildlife is loved by all, not just the Elk, but all animals who live in this blessed area. Yes, it is insulting to hear the implication that this sentiment is not held by those who oppose wildlife overpasses.
Your suggestions and ideas are worthwhile, full notification of meetings for all property owners and general public is an area ITD has failed to accomplish. Reduction of speed limits and cutting back trees are also two noteworthy alternatives supported by research and deserve stronger consideration, especially as alternatives. Also, Idaho transportation dollars are to be spent on roads and bridges and as you suggest there are many other less costly alternatives rather than building overpasses for animals as a solution.
The end of the ITD comment period is September 30, 2017. You are highly encouraged to submit your concerns and recommendations to:
There is a larger constituency in Island Park that do not support wildlife overpasses than ITD realizes. Share your comments and concerns with them and encourage them to submit comments to ITD as well.
Thank you again for your support and recognition of the facts.