Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies

Committee Chair

Len Broberg

Commitee Members

Shawn Johnson, Zack Wurtzebach


policy, wildlife crossing, wildlife-vehicle collisions, wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation, collaboration


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Education | Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy


Over the last several decades, the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions in North America has significantly increased, driving substantial loss of human life and wildlife and economic costs. The most effective wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation is wildlife crossing structures (undercrossings and overcrossings), with some studies suggesting they can reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by 97% when paired with wildlife exclusion fencing. However, cost, funding, jurisdiction, land ownership, and local support are limiting factors in constructing these crossing structures. This paper presents case studies of three crossing projects in Snoqualmie, Washington, Teton County, Wyoming, and Summit County, Colorado, to illustrate the similarities and differences in processes of each project. This paper’s research and data were collected through an extensive review of the literature and ten semi-structured interviews, which were coded for analysis. A limitation of this research is the lack of representation of stakeholders in the interviews. Nevertheless, research and data analysis show a correlation between successful crossing projects and the incorporation and use of policy, diverse funding mechanisms, education, and diverse partners. Through highlighting the projects’ similarities and differences, this paper intends to serve as a framework future crossing collaboratives can adopt to bring wildlife crossings to their communities.



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