Last week, I had a chance to drop in to the new office of Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) in Canmore, Alberta, and have a coffee with Jennifer Hoffman and Stephen Legault. We’ve supported their work in land-use planning, and in wildlife corridor development, and we had a chance to talk about the recently completed work on Highway 3 in southern Alberta. Wildlife mortality was tracked with a new app that was used by land-owners, highway maintenance workers and local volunteers to identify the precise locations for wildlife underpasses. As you can see from the photo of the underpass construction, the big horn sheep are indeed ever present at the Crows Nest Lakes site, and this project is already a huge success story.
The strength of this work is the network of commitment that was established with all the community partners: the Ministry of Transportation, the highway maintenance company (Volker Stevin), the municipality, environmental groups and landowners.
This approach means that each project and site requires a lot of leg work and each has its own dynamics, but that said, there will be a lot of carry-over from this successful project. The wildlife-tracking app for example, will be used in northern BC next.
For more information on making Highway 3 wildlife-friendly, and on Y2Y, here’s the link.