Save People Save Wildlife

Wildlife Bridge

For a handful of years, the Utah Department of Transportation worked with the grassroots Summit County non-profit organization Save People Save Wildlife to install a bridge across I-80 at the top of Parley's Canyon.

On today's Local News Hour:

(5:00) - Summit County Manager Tom Fisher has a look back at 2020 and what's ahead for 2021.

(21:52) - Don Sargent, private planner and Chairman of the East Side Planning Commission.

(37:36) - Save People Save Wildlife member Erin Ferguson talks about the success of the wildlife bridge that was installed in November of 2019 and the next efforts underway to fence areas along I-80 and the other hot spots in Summit and Wasatch Counties.

CREDIT RENAI BODLEY MILLER / KPCW

The speed limit was lowered on a two-mile stretch of S.R. 224, near the White Barn, last October. The Utah Department of Transportation worked with the Park City mayor to address wildlife collisions on the road by lowering the speed from 55 miles per hour to 45. 

A study released from UDOT earlier this year determined that 224 by the McPolin Farm was the 5th worst spot for vehicle/wildlife collisions in the state of Utah. 

On today's Local News Hour:

(03:37) Park City Scholl District Superintendent Jill Gildea and Chief Operations officer Mike Tanner talk about the district's plans for reopening schools on August 20th.

(20:42) Executive Director of the HPCA Alison Kuhlow discusses how the car free Sunday's experience on Main Street is going.

(34:24) Erin Ferguson from Save People Save Wildlife has an update on their work to make the I-80 area near Kimball Junction safer for animals and motorists.

KPCW

KPCW has reported on the Utah Department of Transportation study highlighting SR 224 as the 5th most dangerous spot in the state for vehicle/wildlife collisions. The Park City non-profit, Save People Save Wildlife continues to advocate for mitigation efforts to protect people and wildlife along the Wasatch Back.

Lorelei Combs and Tom Farkas from Save People Save Wildlife have an update on meetings held with Park City, Summit County and UDOT. Park City Councilmember Becca Gerber has a recap of last night's meeting. Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Shellie Barrus and Consultant Alison Kuhlow talk about their visit to Washington D.C. to discuss local affordable housing needs. KPCW General Manager Renai Miller and new Development Manager John Boyack have details about the KPCW Winter Pledge Drive that starts on Monday.

Carolyn Murray-KPCW

 

The Park City based non-profit Save People Save Wildlife-SPSW organization meets with the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Park City and Summit County officials on Wednesday to talk about ways to address the dangerous frequency of the SR 224 wildlife/vehicle collisions on the stretch adjacent to the McPolin Farm.

UDWR

An elk was injured on SR 224 in the early hours of Thursday morning, the first day of the Sundance Film Festival. Sheriff’s reports indicate it happened near St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The vehicle left the scene and did not report the collision. The animal was hurt badly and was euthanized by a Utah Highway Patrol officer.

Summit County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Andrew Wright says the dispatch log shows reports of an injured elk on SR 224 near the catholic church trying to cross the highway.

Carolyn Murray

A recently completed wildlife crash study shows Summit and Wasatch Counties represent half of the top 10 hot spots in the state.

In August of 2018, the Utah Department of Transportation contracted with independent researcher Dr. Patricia Cramer who is a wildlife ecologist with expertise in transportation ecology. The scope of the study was to evaluate areas of conflict between wildlife and roadways. Her data shows the following areas are the top 5 most frequent conflicts with wildlife:

-US-40 north of Heber

-US 189 near Deer Creek State Park

         

With the Summit County Council only a few weeks away from approving their 2020 budget, the group Save People Save Wildlife is asking them to fund increased animal fencing along the highways in the Snyderville Basin.

           While the group is  asking for a significant chunk of change, they say it is worth it for the safety benefits—or to avoid the costs of not doing something to mitigate vehicle-wildlife collisions.   

UDOT recently decided to reduce the speed limit along a stretch of Highway 224.    And members of the group Save People Save Wildlife say that’s good news for the safety of both motorists and wildlife crossingthe highway.

But they want to see additional measures taken for wildlife mitigation.

UDOT recently announced they were reducing the speed  from 55 MPH to 45, on a two-mile stretch of 224, including the entryway by the McPolin Farm into Park City.

On today’s program, South Summit School District Superintendent Shad Sorenson talks about the vaping issues in his district and the start of the Gay Straight Alliance Club. Park City Councilmember Tim Henney has a recap of Tuesday's council meeting and Save People Save Wildlife members Lorelei Coombs and Erin Ferguson talk about how they think reduced speeds on SR 224 will be safer for wildlife and people as well news about their recent payment to UDOT to install more wildlife fencing.

Renai Bodley Miller / KPCW

The speed limit along a two mile stretch of Sr 224 has dropped from 55 MPH to 45 MPH. The new sign went in Tuesday. KPCW has reached out to multiple agencies to find some details about the change and what it means for enforcement efforts.

Wildlife Bridge Exceptional Success

Jun 24, 2019
Carolyn Murray

Video of a variety of animals using the wildlife bridge on I-80 at Parley’s Summit is getting lots of attention on social media. Most officials from UDOT and the DWR thought it would take several years for wildlife to adapt to using the bridge to migrate through that portion of the Wasatch Mountains. The organization Save people, Save Wildlife petitioned UDOT to build the bridge due to the frequent auto wildlife collisions occurring on that section of I-80.

Wildlife Bridge Already In Use

Jan 4, 2019
Carolyn Murray KPCW

The Interstate-80 Wildlife Bridge opened last month traversing the north and south sides of the freeway near the top of Parley’s Canyon. The organization pushing the project and convincing UDOT to fund a safe migratory option for animals is called Save People-Save Wildlife. Their work isn’t done. Carolyn Murray has this report:

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