SANTA FE – The federal wildlife crossing program, the first of its kind, will boost wildlife populations and biodiversity by improving habitat connectivity so wildlife can continue to migrate, while helping prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions. The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program will provide $350 million over the next five years for Tribal Nations, states, and local communities to construct wildlife underpasses and overpasses and other structures, and conduct research to maintain wildlife movements and make highways safer.
“The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program will allow Tribal, local, state, and federal management agencies to take proactive measures to improve habitat connectivity so wildlife can survive and thrive in the face of a changing climate and increasing development,” said Jeremy Romero, regional connectivity coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation. “In addition, with over a million wildlife-vehicle collisions happening each year costing over $8 billion in damages, the program will reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and increase motorist safety. We hope this program will encourage additional collaborative efforts with Tribal Nations for cross-jurisdictional wildlife management.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made the announcement in New Mexico, where Romero showed him a proposed wildlife crossing project that will be funded by the pilot program and administered by the Pueblo of Santa Ana and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
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