Slow down for animals! Wildlife in Colorado just got a little extra protection thanks to the passage of HB 1238, a bill designed to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife on state highways in Colorado. Alliance grantee Western Environmental Law Center was instrumental in passing the bill.
By increasing the ability of wildlife to cross roadways, this bill protects wildlife movement corridors and increases wildlife's ability to adapt to the effects of climate change. Thanks to the bill, the Colorado Department of Transportation the authority to create up to 100 miles of special wildlife-crossing zones on roadways.
"As wildlife move in response to climate change and increasing habitat fragmentation, one of the first barriers they will confront are roads," said Monique DiGiorgio, WELC's Conservation Strategist. "HB 1238 is seminal legislation that will slow drivers down in critical movement corridors, thereby increasing driver reaction time and reducing collisions with wildlife. It is a model for the nation and WELC is thrilled to have played an instrumental role in its passage."
But part of protecting wildlife in movement corridors is making sure that drivers are alert and aware of what can be on the road. The Colorado Department of Transportation will therefore work with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the Colorado State Patrol to develop "Wildlife Crossing Zone" signs (digital rendition pictured above), similar to those signs used in school and construction zones.
Here's to slowing down for wildlife!