After we returned to our home in New York City, my 12-year-old son said, “Before this trip, I didn’t think much about roadkill. I just assumed that, where you have roads, you’re gonna have dead animals. But I learned that so many animals don’t have to die, if people care enough to give them safe ways to cross.”
While riding through Iceland, my daughter, 4 years old at the time, declared, “I’m in love with horses and Arctic terns!” I’ve found that the more time kids spend in nature, the more connected they feel to the world around them. And I hope, as they grow, my children will translate this sense of connection into caring enough to try to protect the wilderness that remains.
In Missoula, Montana, my kids and I met with officials from the Department of Transportation to share our observations and learn what the department is doing to reduce roadkill. Western Montana has an ambitious roadkill mitigation strategy and has constructed over 85 wildlife crossings. U.S. Highway 93, for example, has seen a 40 percent reduction in wildlife vehicle collision as a result of these efforts (more here). I was impressed by the Montana Department of Transportation’s efforts and think more states should emulate their approach.
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