This project will provide for deer crossing the Baggs highway (789) to reduce vehicle collisions. Construction of 3-4 miles of deer proof fence to funnel a portion of a migrating deer herd to existing culvert under HWY 789 to reduce deer vehicle collissions. Installation of 6 cattleguards in current access points to prevent deer access through fences at these points. Further, the project would cover several years and work toward providing safe wildlife passage. Industry and WDOT are being approached to partner with the WGFD on this project.
Providing deer crossings of HWY 789 will reduce the incidences of vehicle and deer collisions, reducing deer mortality and damage to vehicles. The project would be done in a number of phases including providing deer-proof fencing to channel deer to an existing culvert crossing, installing double cattleguards in existing access points to HWY 789 to prevent deer crossing through the fence at these points, so the culvert crossing is used; and consideration of other wildlife friendly highway crossings (underpasses and overpasses) in coordination with WYDOT and Industry.
2009 Update: Work is moving along quickly with this portion of the project. The underpass is in place and the surrounding fence is being replaced. WGFD has hired a technician to handle any incidents that occur with the deer migration. The plan is to have 3 crossing areas. The first area was chosen from information garnered from GPS collaring. This project has participation from WGFD, Rawlins BLM FO, WYDOT, Little Snake River Conservation District and has drawn interest from Anadarko and other companies working in the area.
2010 Update: A total of 10 miles of deer proof fence (5 miles on either side of the road) and a tunnel underpass were constructed. During the fall of 2009, winter of 2009 to 2010 and spring of 2010 the newly constructed deer underpass and associated 5 miles of deer “proof” fence there were an estimated 5,423 crossings (3,927 East to West and 1,496 West to East, data up to March 29, 2010, personal communication Tom Hart, WYDOT). Deer vehicle collisions were reduced to less than 50 occurences from hundreds of deer prior to implementation of the deer proof fencing and underpass.