“This is a huge step towards increasing habitat connectivity for Oregon’s wildlife like wolves, elk, mule deer and many other species that travel long distances and cross dangerous highways in search of food, territory, mates and as they adapt to climate change. It is encouraging to see the legislature prioritizing both human and wildlife safety with this crucial funding."

Sristi Kamal, Senior Northwest Representative for Defenders of Wildlife
Portland, ORE.

In a first for the state of Oregon, state policymakers approved $7 million in funding for building and maintaining wildlife crossings in the state.

According to recent polling conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, 86% of Oregonians from across the political and geographic spectrum support constructing more wildlife crossings on our roads and highways.

“This is a huge step towards increasing habitat connectivity for Oregon’s wildlife like wolves, elk, mule deer and many other species that travel long distances and cross dangerous highways in search of food, territory, mates and as they adapt to climate change,” said Sristi Kamal, senior northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “It is encouraging to see the legislature prioritizing both human and wildlife safety with this crucial funding."

The bill also directs Oregon Department of Transportation to consult with ODFW and their statewide habitat connectivity mapping project to determine projects that would benefit from the funding.

With only 5 wildlife crossings in the state Oregon is significantly behind other states like Washington, Colorado, and Wyoming. This funding for the remainder of the biennium will help draw attention to the need and hopefully catalyze future funding as well.

Defenders of Wildlife’s Northwest Program was a key proponent of the bill and involved in negotiating its passage. 

Encouragingly, the state’s $7 million will also make Oregon competitive in accessing funding for wildlife connectivity projects allocated in the recently passed bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act. 
 

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Communications Specialist
hhammer@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295
Senior Northwest Representative

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