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Local wildlife nonprofit asks for support after second moose killed in weeks on state Route 224

New moose silhouette at Cutter Lane and state Route 224
Erin Ferguson
Save People Save Wildlife
Reflective moose silhouette at Cutter Lane and state Route 224 installed in May 2023.

A vehicle hit and killed a moose on state Route 224 near Cutter Lane late Tuesday night, the second in the past month.

Drivers said two adolescent moose were seen near the intersection of state Route 224 and Cutter Lane Wednesday, Sept. 13, after a vehicle hit and killed what is presumed to be the mother moose hours earlier.

Reflective animal silhouette statues were installed at this intersection as a warning to drivers months ago in May.

Wednesday morning, local nonprofit Save People Save Wildlife emailed a plea asking for letters in support of wildlife safety from the community. Save People Save Wildlife President Erin Ferguson said the letters are needed to raise the issue’s priority level with the Park City and Summit County councils, High Valley Transit, Utah Department of Transportation and similar agencies.

Ferguson said the group has approached the city council a couple of times and was told wildlife safety was not one of the city's top priorities.

In an email, Park City Mayor Nann Worel said the "concern is shared by members of the Council and City staff. That said, I have spoken with individual Council members, key City staff and leadership from High Valley Transit recently regarding additional fencing or a tunnel under Hwy 224. As I shared with the leadership of Save People Save Wildlife, this is not currently a Council priority and staff is focusing their attention on current priorities. They simply do not have the bandwidth at this time to convene a working group focused on this issue."

At the council's retreat in February they set the priorities for the year, which didn't include wildlife protection. Worel said it's possible the council could change the priorities at the next year's retreat.

That’s why Ferguson says the letters are crucial now.

And residents were quick to act. She said in the first two hours, the nonprofit had received more than 30 letters.

She said by Wednesday afternoon, the group had received up to 50 emails of support.

This is the second moose hit on state Route 224 in the last few weeks. The first was killed on Aug. 15 just past the Canyons intersection. Both incidents occurred in unincorporated Summit County along state Route 224, which is controlled by UDOT.

Ferguson said the wildlife nonprofit needs a number of letters to show the importance of the safety issue. She said she trusts the community will help since it has already donated over $200,000 toward wildlife fencing.

She said the fundraising, along with the letters, show wildlife protection and connectivity are issues of importance to the Park City area.

Anyone interested in sending a letter of support can email them to savepeoplesavewildlife@gmail.com.