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Wildlife crossing issue spawns conflict in Island Park

Dissenters were not welcome at an Island Park Chamber of Commerce Community meeting Thursday night.

The “community meeting” was called to learn more about proposed wildlife overpasses in the Targhee Pass area of US Highway 20. An advisory ballot on the issue goes to Fremont County voters November 6.

But two groups, Island Park Safe Wildlife Passages and Citizens for Safe Highways say they were told they were not welcome at the information session.

“The fact that it’s being promoted as a community meeting to the public suggests that the community is invited for civil discourse,” said Jean Bjerke, community leader for the Island Park Safe Wildlife Passages. “Obviously we were wrong to think that they were open to various opinions in the community. Our voices have been shut out of the public discussion. We want Fremont County residents to have as much information about this vote as possible.”

The two groups are advocating for safe wildlife migration as part of safe highway development. They believe that wildlife crossings can serve to protect animals and the traveling public. More information on their position is available here.

Local News 8 Anchor Karole Honas will provide an in-depth look at both sides of the wildlife crossing issue Monday, October 29 at 10 p.m.

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