An Idaho Fish and Game Department study focusing on roadkill incidents on US Highway 20 and State Highway 87 in Fremont County will continue, but with a slightly different mission.
The department received a $25,000 Citizen Science Grant in February to pay for volunteer mileage and fund a wildlife technician to coordinate the study through December.
One of the goals of the initial grant was to gather information for the Idaho Transportation Department as it made decisions about wildlife crossings. Since then, however, Fremont County Commissioners and citizens have made it clear they are not interested in constructing wildlife crossings there.
As a result, the grant was modified to focus on wildlife management issues for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
According to Fish and Game, the study will center on four basic issues. They are:
Inform Forest Service land-use planning, travel planning, and project specific analyses on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Contribute to the statewide IFWIS database. Facilitate community engagement locally and statewide. Refine data collection protocols for other similar studies.
The research is largely being conducted by citizen volunteers. It focuses on the two highway sections because they bisect known big game migration corridors.
The data is being stored online in the “Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System (IFWIS) database. It is used by Idaho Fish and Game to better understand big game movement throughout the state.