Wednesday, July 19, 2023
The Honorable Peter Buttigieg
Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590-001
RE: Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program Grant (WCPP) – US93: Ninepipe and Post Creek Sections Project (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes)
Dear Secretary Buttigieg,
On behalf of the Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, I am writing to express our support of the WCPP Grant to fund a critical portion of US Highway 93 (US 93): Ninepipe and Post Creek Sections Project.
The proposal to construct a wildlife overpass across US 93 with exclusion fencing on both sides of the highway will help facilitate big game movement and migrations while keeping motorists safe. The WCPP Project would be built in conjunction with the 8 mile-long Ninepipe and Post Creek Sections to further reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions.
Efforts to restore and delist grizzlies – something we support - depend on the ability to meet recovery goals and expand populations to identified recovery zones. Vehicles remain one of the greatest sources of mortality for grizzlies. As this project lies within a crucial movement corridor for NCDE grizzly bears, it would help alleviate one of the biggest hurdles to grizzly delisting, benefiting Montanans well beyond the project area.
Our members support habitat conservation – including important movement and migration corridors – for huntable and non-game wildlife alike, and we would like to see this project move forward. We thank you for your consideration.
Aaron Agosto, Flathead Valley Board Member
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers