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US 93 North post-construction wildlife-vehicle crossing monitoring on the Flathead Indian Reservation between Evaro and Polson, Montana : project summary report.
  • Published Date:
    2016-12-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-563.33 KB]


Details:
  • Alternative Title:
    US 93 North post-construction wildlife-vehicle crossing monitoring on the Flathead Indian Reservation between Evaro and Polson, Montana.
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  • Abstract:
    The researchers investigated the effectiveness of the mitigation measures in reducing collisions with large wild mammals based on crash and carcass removal data before and after highway reconstruction. The researchers also investigated wildlife use of 29 crossing structures. The research was concentrated in three main study areas (Evaro, Ravalli Curves, and Ravalli Hill) as well as three adjacent road sections that served as a control (no wildlife fence). The “before” highway crossings were estimated through monitoring of sand tracking beds adjacent to the highway. The “after” highway crossings were measured based on sand tracking beds and wildlife cameras at the wildlife crossing structures. In addition, the researchers investigated the effectiveness of wildlife guards at access roads, wildlife use of jump-outs, and the functioning of a human access point. Wildlife guards are similar to cattle guards and are intended to keep wildlife, specifically white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk, out of the fenced highway corridor. Wildlife jump-outs are earthen ramps within the fenced right-of-way. They allow wildlife caught in between the fences to walk up a slope at the fence line and then jump down to the safe side of the fence. The human access point consisted of a gap in the fence, large enough for people to walk through, but the configuration was such that the designers hypothesized that it would be a barrier to deer. Finally, the researchers evaluated whether the measures of effectiveness as agreed upon by the Montana Department of Transportation, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and the Federal Highway administration were met.
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