This Important Montana Structure Should be Used in Other States
Montana has a rich history of wildlife. We live with them, harvest them, nurture them, protect them. They are part of our heritage. Over two decades ago I traveled to Calgary, Canada. On the way I saw my very first "animal bridge" between Calgary and Canmore. My first thought when I saw it was that Montana should have these.
Montana Has Multiple Wildlife Crossings
Fast forward to today and yes Montana has our own "animal bridge". It is working towards making Montana an even better place for wildlife. Located on Highway 93 north on Evaro Hill. This is a project that was years in the making. This isn't the only "wildlife crossing" that has been built on Highway 93. There are 29 different structures. There are five different types of structures that have been constructed.
- Over Span Bridge
- Large Underpass
- Box Culvert
- Small Culvert
Wildlife Crossings Help Both Animals and Humans in Montana
There are plenty of reasons for the crossings to be built, not just to protect the wildlife as they migrate from one place to another, but they also cut down on collisions between wildlife and vehicles. There have been studies done on the impact of the animal bridges and the crossings. You can read about the studies here.
CSKT Was also Involved
With the help of contractors from the Confederate Salish Kootenai Tribes, and Montana State University the crossings were built and are continued to be studied. There have been motion-sensor cameras set up at different locations and you can see the different types of animals that are using these crossings.
The Studies Will Continue in Montana
You can't see every type of crossing from the road as you travel Highway 93, but they are there. These crossings also don't mean that there isn't a chance you can still hit an animal. After all they are still wildlife and maybe they don't follow the rules like we would hope they would. As we get more people coming to Montana and with summer coming up, keep your eyes open and be safe on the road.