Improving Tribal Transportation Safety and Wildlife Connectivity in the Blackfeet Nation

From 1996-2012, collisions with domestic animals were the 3rd highest cause of human fatality- and injury-related crashes in the Blackfeet Nation, while collisions with wild animals ranked as the 4th most common cause of motor vehicle crashes. The Animal-Vehicle Collision Reduction Project is being undertaken by a partnership between the Blackfeet Nation, The Center for Large Landscape Conservation, and the Western Transportation Institute with the goal of creating an Animal-Vehicle Collision Reduction Master Plan. The goal of the Plan is to pinpoint locations where mitigation efforts (e.g. underpasses, overpasses) should be implemented so that both people and animals can enjoy safe passage along and across reservation roads.

Promoting safe passage for wildlife across roads in the Blackfeet Nation is an important climate change adaptation tactic. As temperature and vegetation patterns change, wildlife will have an even greater need to move safely across vast distances to find food, water, mates, shelter, and to meet other survival needs; this includes the ability to move safely across roads. The Animal-Vehicle Collision Reduction Project seeks to promote the safety of both people and animals as the Pikuni people adapt to climate change.

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