Safe Passage 97 Update

Just north of Riverside Washington, over 300 mule deer per year are killed in vehicle strikes along a 12 mile stretch of Highway 97. Thanks in part to the Washington Chapter of BHA, that number is falling and soon to be lower yet. In 2018, the Washington Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers donated $10,000 to support the Safe Passage 97 campaign led by Conservation Northwest and the Mule Deer Foundation. Our donation helped to raise money for the first of seven wildlife undercrossings to alleviate deer-vehicle collisions along this stretch of highway. In 2020 the first undercrossing was finished at the Janis Bridge, resulting in a 91% reduction in the number of deer strikes near the bridge. Now, Conservation Northwest has secured $2.73 million in the Move Washington Forward budget so that the Washington State Department of Transportation can install another underpass, further reducing deer-vehicle collisions. While the remaining six undercrossings will all be funded by Washington State, there are still ways our chapter of BHA can help. Watch for volunteer opportunities to help maintain the existing fencing associated with the Janis Bridge undercrossing to keep thissafe passage as effective as possible.
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