There has been an aggressive agenda and involvement with the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) by Yellowstone 2 Yukon (Y2Y) to build wildlife overpasses on Hwy 20 through all of Island Park, the most recent focus being Targhee Pass. One issue with the location of overpasses at Targhee Pass is the proximity to a residential area, and how overpasses would affect not only their view, but access, devaluation of property, and property rights. Y2Y has not given any indication of concern, or acknowledgment, regarding this issue.
Yet, Y2Y, on their own website brings forth the very reason why overpasses would not be a good decision at Targhee Pass given it's location near a residential area.
According to their own website, Y2Y states:
"Other measures, such as movable remotely-triggered wildlife signs, are effective at alerting drivers to slow down to the presence of wildlife. This measure is highly effective for roads that are lined with private dwellings and drive-ways, which makes adding fencing and crossing structures impractical. These are just a few examples of many mitigation options."
The link to this statement can be found here, however below is a picture of the web page, just in case Y2Y decides to remove it.
Other studies, including the Cramer study, have documented the same conclusion. These overpasses do not work near "human activity", Elk will not use them. If an overpass is built in Targhee Pass, and the Elk will not use them, it is a logical conclusion that efforts would soon be underway to remove all human activity in that area.
Maybe it is time Y2Y engage in a conversation about all other alternatives to reduce and prevent wildlife vehicle collisions instead of clinging to overpasses as the only option. Perhaps the reason is overpasses are just the stepping stone to connectivity and other alternatives would not support that goal. If they truly believe in a "collaborative" effort, they would engage with Island Park residents who would be the most impacted by an overpass where they live, and openly consider other alternatives as their website suggests.
Sign the Petition to stop all wildlife overpasses in Island Park on Hwy 20. If you are using a mobile device the link has not been working, please try on a PC, laptop, or iPad. It might also be affected by a weak wifi connection, try again with a stronger connection.
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.