Casper-area family donates $25,000 toward wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation

November 8, 2019

A Casper-area family donated $25,000 toward wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation as a way to help keep Wyoming’s roads safer for everyone.

The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, made the tax-free donation to the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) so the department can use it for wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation work. The family is the first in Wyoming to come forward and make a donation of this type.

WYDOT has been working with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and other stakeholders to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions throughout the state. Stakeholders have identified several areas that are in need of wildlife crossings, fencing and other work.

“We wanted to make this donation because the mitigation work will be a win-win for everyone,” the Casper-area family said. “It saves the lives of both wildlife and people. You just can’t lose.”

With the increased awareness and concern regarding wildlife-vehicle collisions, and with people like the Casper-area family wanting to help with mitigation, the Wyoming Legislature created the wildlife conservation fund to accept donations. The Wyoming Legislature, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, WYDOT and WGFD were all involved in the fund’s creation.

“We want to thank this family for their donation and for helping us with this vital mission of reducing crashes,” said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner. “The people of Wyoming are always willing to help make our state an even better place to live. We are working hard to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and any help we get is greatly appreciated.” 

WYDOT Chief Engineer Shelby Carlson said the donation will help the state with its continued efforts with this important initiative. She thanked the Casper-area family for their donation.

“We are continually working to reduce wildlife-vehicle crashes in Wyoming to ensure the state’s roads remain safe for the traveling public,” Carlson said. “Although we have seen major accomplishments with work done so far with wildlife-vehicle collision mitigation, we still have more to do. Because of people like this family, we will be able to continue with and increase our efforts.”

WGFD officials said they also appreciate the commitment of people like the Casper-area family, thanking them for their generosity.

“This donation is a defining act of generosity and shows that wildlife means a lot to them,” said WGFD Commission President David Rael.

Besides helping the state with its mitigation work, the Casper-area family said they made the donation to help everyone in Wyoming.

“Wildlife is a resource that’s not easily renewable if you don’t take care of it,” the family said. “We just saw this as a wonderful opportunity to help out. We know WYDOT is struggling to fund wildlife crossing projects, so we thought let’s step up and get the ball rolling and hopefully  spur others to pitch in and help.”

Another way the state is raising funds for wildlife conservation is through the new wildlife conservation license plate. State lawmakers approved the new license plate during the 2018 legislative session and at the same time created the wildlife conservation fund.

The initial application fee for the plates is $180, of which $150 goes to a wildlife conservation fund and $30 toward the specialty plate. The fund supports wildlife conservation projects related to the transportation system such as signage, crossing structures, fences and other work.

People interested in making a donation for wildlife-vehicle crash mitigation can send their donation to WYDOT at the following address:

WYDOT Financial Services
ATTN: Wildlife Crossing Donation
5300 Bishop Blvd.
Cheyenne, WY 82009

For additional information about this news release, contact Aimee Inama, senior Public Affairs specialist, at (307) 777-4013.