Our partners at the Okanogan Trails Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation have helped lead the charge for wildlife undercrossings on Highway 97 in the Okanogan Valley!
Get the latest on this collaborative work in our update: http://bit.ly/SafePassage97_Nov2019
This stretch of highway has among the state’s highest rate of auto-deer collisions, presenting a huge safety hazard for drivers as well as wildlife. These accidents not only cost lives, they also cost a lot of money. Animal-vehicle crashes along Highway 97 alone cost drivers, insurers and taxpayers more than $2,275,000 annually, with an average of $6,500 per accident, including vehicle damage, Washington State Patrol and emergency medical response, and clean up.
Conservation Northwest and the Mule Deer Foundation have led a Safe Passage 97 project to improve safety for motorists and end this senseless loss of life on Highway 97 in the 12.5 miles between Tonasket and Riverside, where this busy transportation corridor cuts through the migration route of Washington’s largest herd of mule deer and divides critical habitat for Canada lynx.
This is a rare opportunity to bring about tangible solutions to protect both people and wildlife in north-central Washington. While we’ve faced challenges securing public funding and have had to move forward in phases, we’re not giving up on that goal. #SafePassage97