A new bill, introduced to the Colorado General Assembly, aims to secure funding for wildlife road crossings statewide.
Proponents of Senate Bill 22-151, claim that the crossings will help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions across the state.
"In Colorado, the Department of Transportation maintains over 23,000 miles of highway, and daily seasonal movements of wildlife create a conflict that results in nearly 4,000 vehicle crashes involving wildlife being reported to law enforcement every year," the bill reads.
"These crashes result in injuries and fatalities to humans and an estimated $80 million annually in property damage, emergency response, and medical treatment. This figure does not include the value of wildlife killed in vehicular collisions, the impact on the health of wildlife populations, or the loss and fragmentation of the vibrant habitats wildlife call home."
According to Section One of the bill, two percent of Colorado's deer population is killed by these collisions every year – the same amount as are harvested during hunting season.
Under the bill, the state treasury would be responsible for transferring $5 million to the "Colorado Wildlife Safe Passages Fund." The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) would then allocate the money to funding wildlife crossing projects.
"The department must consult with the Division of Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Wildlife and Transportation Alliance regarding the disbursement of money from the fund and must annually report on the disbursement of such money," the bill summary reads.
The full bill can be found here.
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