Elk NetworkCooperative Effort Seeks to Reduce Elk-Vehicle Collisions in California

General | September 20, 2019

Sometimes, the best way to tackle a pressing issue is to tackle it as a group. That’s exactly what is happening along California’s busy State Route 97.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation teamed up with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the University of California-Davis and other partners to try to reduce the number of elk-vehicle collisions on the busy stretch of highway.

“Caltrans is dedicated to improving the safety of California drivers, which includes being responsible when it comes to the environment,” said Caltrans Acting Director Bob Franzoia. “This can mean installing flashing warning signs and building ramps and larger culverts for safer passage over and under our roads.”

According to the California Highway Patrol, 15 people died, and 810 people were injured in 4,368 collisions with animals on state, county and local roadways throughout California between 2017 and 2018. The UC Davis Road Ecology Center estimates the total annual cost of animal-vehicle conflicts in California to be at least $307 million in 2018.

(Photo source: California Department of Fish and Wildlife)