State starts building wildlife-friendly roads. Sheep overpasses, elk collars: Call it road ecology. By Glen Creno. The Arizona Republic.

There have been quite a few similar stories in recent years. What I’d like to see is a study (other than Banff National Park where there have been a number) showing the magnitude of these improvements overall and the degree of success.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Arizona starts building wildlife-friendly roads

  1. avatar April Clauson says:

    I think it will help, I live in AZ and I go to Payson alot. the area ‘s where they have the elk warning lights the accidents have went down 60%. The flashing warning light give the drivers a heads up to slow down for the next few miles, drivers in AZ drive very fast, too fast. and I see them driving 70-80 mph in Payson, the mountain roads here are not real winding and dangerous, so folks just drive too fast. At least with the light telling them “hey there are elk on the road” they do become more aware and slow down. The under cross they made also has helped with accidents in that area with elk, deer, coyotes all wildlife. I think we need more of this, more than what they are going to do even. And folks that are speeding when they hit an animal should be fined for it. I will be interested to see how the new stuff they plan on doing will work out. Good I hope!

  2. avatar vicki says:

    I grew up in Arizona, my g’ma had a couple restaurants in Payson. There is a small stretch of twisty windy hwy between there and Phoenix, but not much.
    You are right April, they do drive like idiots!
    I hope it helps.

  3. avatar jimbob says:

    I live in this area of Arizona, also. As far as being “wildlife friendly” I guess if you mean cutting down collisions, yes it works. However, most of these things are done with huge fences funneling the elk into very specific areas and creating very specific migration patterns. The end result for disease and forage can’t be good for the elk. They shouldn’t be called wildlife friendly, but “people friendly” would be a better name since they cut down on collisions. I bet the false migration patterns that are created actually will be more harmful to the elk populations than the few animals killed by autos. It sounds like a case of “finding fault with anything” but I bet those huge funnels around and under highways do deter migration.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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