Elk NetworkRMEF Helps Secure More Utah Wildlife Crossing Funding

General | February 19, 2024

3/4/2024 update:

A delegation of RMEF representatives successfully secured $1 million in funding to bolster wildlife crossings. See more info below in the original February 19, 2024, post.


When you have a good thing going, you look to keep up the momentum. In Utah, that means banging the drum for more wildlife crossings.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation staffers and volunteers (see photo below) recently met with state government officials to build on the synergy from the 2023 success of a budget bill that allotted $20 million for wildlife crossings, also making the state eligible to receive $80 million in matching federal funds. One month later, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a funding allotment for 19 wildlife crossings in 17 states, including $5.5 million for a new wildlife underpass in southern Utah near Kanab. RMEF committed funding to help with the project.

Now, RMEF is working to secure funding to help the state underwrite wildlife crossing grants. They gathered with representatives from the Utah governor’s office, a dozen legislators and others to further the cause.

Studies show about 1,000 elk and 5,000 deer die each year on Utah’s roadways and vehicle-wildlife collisions cost Utah taxpayers almost $138 million in death, injuries and vehicle damage.

(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources/Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)