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Video Conference

Highway Wildlife Crossings - State of the Practice - Research, Applications and Usage

  • Feb 18, 2014 (9:00 - 12:00 pm CT; 8:00 - 11:00 am MT)
    Video Conference (designated rooms at DOT sites)


Across the country, there is a great variance in how states address wildlife-highway crossings. Some states have a long history of addressing the issue while some states have not and are moving rapidly towards applications in their states. Utah State University has been very active in research on this topic and Montana DOT and Wyoming DOT have been very active in the actual application of numerous crossing and fencing structures.

Patricia Cramer of Utah State University will present research conducted on the status of wildlife crossing structures across the nation. She will also present the monitoring methods and outcomes of research on wildlife use of various crossing and fencing installations in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Wildlife permeability across highways will be discussed. A blueprint for recording, mapping, prioritizing, and creating wildlife crossing mitigation will be presented as well.

Pat Basting of Montana DOT-Missoula will present an overview of 2 or more projects in Western Montana covering large and small animal crossings in mountainous terrain as well as an installation in a prairie pothole inner-mountain area. Benefit cost methods used by MDT will also be presented.

John Eddins will present Wyoming’s experience with deer and pronghorn antelope crossing installations in western Wyoming. His presentation will cover the prior and post-installation benefit-cost studies covering wildlife counts, crash counts and carcass reports. His presentation will include information on maintenance policy for reporting highway carcass removal.


Patricia Cramer is a Research Assistant Professor at Utah State University. She has active research projects studying wildlife and roads in Utah, Montana, and Oregon, and has completed wildlife crossing studies for Washington State and Idaho. Dr. Cramer was co-author with John Bissonette on the National Academies' Research Project, 'Evaluation of the Use and Effectiveness of Wildlife Crossings'. This 4-year study helped us understand the state of the practice and science of mitigating roads for wildlife in North America. She is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Ecology and Transportation. She received the Denver Zoo's Conservationist Award for 2010. Her Utah study received the Federal Highway Administration 2013 Environmental Excellence Award for Research.

Pat Basting has worked as a district biologist with the Montana Department of Transportation for the past 20 years. In the mid-late 90’s he wrote and submitted the first wetland mitigation banking prospectus in Montana to the Corps of Engineers which led to the development of MDT’s Wetland Mitigation Reserve Program. He has worked on several stream and river restoration projects (5 miles), and has been involved in various aspects of stream mitigation (new to Montana – COE Stream Mitigation Requirements). When he transferred into the Missoula District (summer 2000) wildlife connectivity issues were beginning to gain momentum and recognition. Since that time he’s been heavily involved in the entire spectrum of transportation/wildlife issues working on placement, design, construction and/or monitoring of over 100 wildlife crossings in western Montana, signing and fencing, inter-acting with agency and citizen wildlife groups, sponsoring and chairing road ecology related research projects, and served as a panel member for transportation segment of the Western Governors Associations ‘Crucial Habitats and Corridors Initiative’. Co-authored a few ICOET papers one of which was a paper “Measuring the Success of Wildlife Linkage Efforts” for the 2007 ICOET Conference. Co-authored chapter in the recent book “Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife and Habitat Connectivity” Island Press – 2010.

John Eddins has worked for the Wyoming of Transportation for 25 years, the last 13 years as District Engineer in South West Wyoming. He graduated with a BS degree in civil engineering from the University of Wyoming and is a licensed professional engineer. He has been actively involved in and directed efforts on numerous highway projects to minimize wildlife vehicle collisions and to maintain wildlife connectivity. Some of the successful projects include the US 30, Nugget Canyon Underpasses and Fencing project and the US 191, Pinedale to Hoback Jct, Trappers Point Underpasses, Overpasses and Fence project. He also sponsored the research projects to monitor the effectiveness of both of the Nugget Canyon and Trappers Point projects as well as research projects to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife underpasses and animal detection and motorist warning systems.

Target Audience

This presentation is intended for a broad group of DOT members including district/regional engineering staff, bridge and geometric design staff, environmental staff and maintenance staff.

More Info

The above resource and more can be accessed by visiting the TLN Learning Management System (LMS).

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050