“What we did to protect animals actually protected roads,” said Vermont Agency of Natural Resources secretary Deb Markowitz at a general session at the Northeastern Transportation and Wildlife Conference this week (Sept. 21 – 24) in Burlington, Vermont. In places where culverts had been resized to allow wildlife to walk along the banks during low flow periods, the culverts have held during floods like the one caused by Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont.
A documentary on the Highway Wilding project that built wildlife passages along the TransCanada Highway in Banff National Park said that the cost of hitting a moose with a vehicle averages $30,000. Hitting a deer averages over $1,000. It doesn’t take many wildlife collisions to cost-justify a wildlife crossing, the documentary said, and some highway locations are the scene of hundreds of collisions.
Photo: Camera fail. None of my photos of Markowitz speaking even made it onto my camera’s memory card. Here’s her official portrait off the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources website.