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People's Way Partnership

Project #: 99796  –   Updated: August 11, 2012

Project Summary

The People’s Way Project is a unique partnership between the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (WTI), the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), and Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders). US Highway 93 (US93) is a reconstructed highway that runs near Missoula to Polson, MT. It is the most extensive wildlife-sensitive highway design effort in North America, created in part to maintain wildlife habitat connectivity. It includes a diverse range of 42 wildlife crossing structures (WCSs) and 16.6 miles of wildlife fencing along this 56-mile segment of US93 on the Fl...

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Location (by county):
Missoula County (MT), Lake County (MT)

Watersheds:
Lower Flathead

Congressional Districts:
MT District 00

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Rockies

USFWS Regions:
Mountain Prairie Region

Project size:
60.07 miles

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
People's Way Partnership Yes

Full Project Description

The People’s Way Project is a unique partnership between the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University (WTI), the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), and Defenders of Wildlife (Defenders). US Highway 93 (US93) is a reconstructed highway that runs near Missoula to Polson, MT. It is the most extensive wildlife-sensitive highway design effort in North America, created in part to maintain wildlife habitat connectivity. It includes a diverse range of 42 wildlife crossing structures (WCSs) and 16.6 miles of wildlife fencing along this 56-mile segment of US93 on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The People’s Way Partnership was formed in 2010 to effectively evaluate and communicate the conservation value of these WCSs on US93. The goal of the Partnership is to simultaneously promote healthy, connected wildlife populations and a sense of stewardship among residents living near US93 through increased community awareness of the WCSs. By involving and informing communities, we aim to gain citizen, institutional, and governmental support for more sustainable highway practices throughout the Rocky Mountains and the United States.

This is the beginning of a 5-year effort to educate university and K-12 students, community groups, and transportation/natural resource professionals on the research findings from the US93 wildlife crossings. The Partnership has been providing presentations to K-12 and university classrooms for over a year, and we will continue to do so. Expected direct contact through seminars, field trips, and presentations will exceed 5,000 people in the next year. In addition, media coverage, brochures, conference presentations and web site information will penetrate well beyond local communities and tribal members.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Mitigation
Wildlife considerations in highway design reduce animal-vehicle collisions and allow wildlife to cross the highway safely

Targeted habitats:

    • Forests and Woodlands
    • Shrublands and Grasslands
    • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Education Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization


Primary Contact

Kylie Paul
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Partners

  • Western Transportation Institute
  • Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
  • Defenders of Wildlife



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