Stop Wildlife Overpasses and Tall Fencing in Island Park Petition Presented to Fremont County Commissioners
This is a copy of the petition. It is available at multiple locations in the Upper Valley. The same petition appears online, and as of today, it has 2550 signatures. It has gained nearly 300 signatures since the July 4th holiday week.
Together with the paper petitions collected to date, the county commissioners were presented nearly 3000 signatures at the Monday commissioner meeting. The petition was initiated and is sponsored by the Big Horn Hills Estates POA and the Island Par Preservation Coalition.
The petition will remain online at least through the November election to offer a way for non-voting property and home owners to participate. It was pointed out to the commissioners, that the petition gives this important segment of the Island Park Community the opportunity to participate, so that no one is disenfranchised in this county concerning this issue. Non-voting residents also have the option available to them to declare their residency here in order to vote in our elections.
If anyone is a non-voting property or home owner who opposes wildlife overpasses and miles of fencing throughout Island Park, beginning at Targhee Pass, then this is the place to record their voice. Addresses are important, people are encouraged to include their Island Park address along with their other permanent address when they sign.
The commissioners were presented with a preliminary list of 623 names that have been verified as signatories who are from Island Park, Fremont County, and/or are property owners. This list was compiled before July 2nd and is not indicative of the large July 4th holiday week increase. Many recreational user groups who contribute greatly to the economy of Island Park are also signing the petition. Their signatures are also welcomed.
The appearance before the commissioners on Monday to submit this information was intended to show the commissioners that there is overwhelming support for the strong stance they are taking opposing multiple wildlife overpasses and fencing in our jurisdiction. They were thanked for that. This report about the ongoing signature campaign also illustrates the importance of having an opportunity to have an advisory initiative on the ballot. The IPlan website clearly shows the future planning for the Fremont County segment of US Hwy 20, multiple segments of highway with proposed multiple overpass and underpass structures as well as multiple miles of wildlife fencing at specific mile post markers.
IPlan is intended to replace the current US 2- corridor Plan, so the advisory issue addresses much more than the current Targhee Pass segment of the highway. Fremont County needs an unchallengeable and official record illustrating the will and the opinion of the people who live here and who would be impacted by this structures and fencing, to stand on. Much like the advisory measure Fremont County voted on during the attempted national monument designation controversy, an advisory vote on the Hwy 20 issue will be a record elected leaders and legislators can also stand on that is representative of their constituents.
Ken also read Lt. Gov. Brad Little’s statement on the issue, which was given to us during the primary this spring.
"Every year, Idaho has a shortfall of hundreds of millions of dollars for the maintenance of Idaho’s roads and bridges. The cost of these wildlife overpasses do not seem like a wise and prudent use of precious transportation dollars.
Additionally, there are important requirements that must be met for a project of this size. ITD and other state agencies must receive buy in from local stakeholder groups and the citizens most affected by the project. This isn’t the case at this time. Infrastructure improvements should also clearly improve a community and its local economy. We must make this stretch of road safer and there are many options on the table for consideration in the coming years. I look forward to working with the residents of Fremont County to find a solution.”
This November, Brad Little is running as the Republican candidate to be the next Governor of Idaho.
An edited version of this report was also published in the Island Park News and is reprinted with permission.
Making Sense of It All
This blog will help you make sense out of all the information on the website, how it affects IP, previous articles in the IP News, our history, and how efforts continue to put IP into various forms of conservation status.