When I was in Idaho we went to a living museum. At this museum there was a booth that talked about wildlife protection. I learned about how many people and animals get hurt on Idaho highways, because the animals don’t have any other way to cross. This group wanted to bring awareness to what is happening. There are multiple options on how to solve this problem. You can: build wildlife bridges and tunnels, put up signs, make ramps, etc.
They suggested that I should go to a meeting in Island Park, where the Idaho highway department planned to survey the public on what they want to do about this situation. And so I agreed to go. I did more research on it and proposed to Mom and Dad that we stay a few more days, so that I could attend this meeting.
Fortunately, the meeting building was very close to where we were staying. Inside, there were about ten display boards that talked about the current situation. The problem being talked about was that animals and people were getting hurt and killed on Idaho highways. After all my observations, I realized the debate was whether or not to do something and if so, what?
There are two sides to this predicament. One side says we shouldn’t waste our money on this project. And some feel these fences, wildlife bridges and tunnels will ruin the national parks (though if you think about it a dead animal, destroyed car, or an ambulance on the side of the road would ruin the national park feel).
Then there’s the side that wants to protect the wildlife and people period. They don’t care how much it costs. You probably guessed which side I’m on! However, it’s not that cut and dry, either. The first group may still donate to wildlife protection programs and that sort of thing. But the pro-highway protection group is extremely diverse when it comes to how to protect the wildlife.
Some say we should put up signs that warn people about animals (funny thing is research show that signs have about a 0%-5% chance of stopping wildlife wreaks), others think we should build ramps, tunnels, and bridges for the wildlife, and some says we should put fencing around the road. Everyone has their own idea of how to protect wildlife.
I analyzed the predicament and made up my mind. My idea is to do what we know will work the best, which is to put up wildlife bridges and tunnels around the state. I discovered that Idaho is one of the states, if not the only state, that doesn’t have a wildlife highway protection program. The only thing they do is post signs and we already know how well those work.
My opinion is that I don’t care how much money it costs, because human and animal life are priceless. I left a report and diagram of where I thought to put down bridges, tunnels, fencing, and ramps, got a chocolate-chip cookie and left. We have left Idaho since and are now in Flagstaff, Arizona. I recently found out that they are building wildlife crossings in Island Park.
So it looks like the meeting was a success!