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Protect Yellowstone's Wildlife With A 'Buffalo Wildlife Bridge'

1,551 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

5.17% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Many of Yellowstone National Park's Central Herd of buffalo are being killed by vehicles along the 7-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 191. Take action and support construction of the 'Buffalo Wildlife Bridge!'


As humans continue to encroach on previously uninhabited areas, wildlife is increasingly in danger. This is exemplified by the tragic and frequent deaths of Yellowstone National Park's wild buffalo on U.S. Highway 191, which runs through a critical migration corridor for many species1. A staggering 70% of bison-vehicle collisions occur on this 7-mile stretch of road, which has already claimed the lives of 17 buffalo this season2. The Yellowstone bison's Central Herd is an endangered population, and it's accelerating toward extinction.

The Buffalo Field Campaign is calling for the construction of the world's first "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" at the Madison River crossing to address this urgent issue3. This bridge would safeguard America's National Mammal and allow them to safely migrate along the Madison River to their calving grounds. Experts have also recommended that safe speed limits be established on this stretch of road until the bridge is in place4.

The Montana Department of Transportation is responsible for funding wildlife-related construction projects, and the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021 has appropriated $350 million for the construction of wildlife crossings across the country over the next three years5.

With this funding available, there is no excuse for not building a "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" to protect not just buffalo, but also other species like elk, grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and coyotes.

This funding has already led to successful wildlife crossings in various parts of the United States, Canada, and other countries6. The Buffalo Field Campaign remains on call 24/7 in the winter to respond to bison sightings along Highway 191, as part of their efforts to prevent bison-vehicle collisions.

The world's first "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" would protect the Central Herd and allow them to migrate safely to their calving grounds, ultimately helping them avoid extinction. The genetic diversity of having two herds is vital. Losing the Central Herd would mean a reduced genetic diversity in bison, posing a long-term threat7. Building the "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" is an urgent issue that requires our attention.

Take action by advocating for the construction of the "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge," which will protect not just bison but other species as well. Sign the petition and make a difference!

More on this issue:

  1. Helena Dore, Bozeman Daily Chronicle (10 January 2023), "Crash that killed 13 Yellowstone bison renews push for wildlife crossings on Highway 191."
  2. Buffalo Field Campaign (4 January 2023), "13 Yellowstone Bison Killed in Collision with Semi-truck on Hwy 191."
  3. Buffalo Field Campaign (12 January 2023), "Update from the Field: BFC Leading the Charge for a Bison Wildlife Bridge on Hwy 191."
  4. Lauren Russell, Bozeman Daily Chronicle (10 February 2010), "Study finds reduced speed limits could make U.S. Highway 191 safer."
  5. Rep. Peter A DeFazio, 117th Congress (4 June 2021), "H.R.3684 - Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act."
  6. National Geographic, "Wildlife Crossings."
  7. Lindsay Martinez, The Wildlife Society (20 March 2020), "New Bison Conservation Initiative Focuses On Genetic Diversity."
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The Petition:

To United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly, and Gallatin Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson,

As wildlife is increasingly at risk due to human expansion, we are calling on you to address the tragic deaths of Yellowstone National Park's wild buffalo on U.S. Highway 191 by earmarking transportation funding for the world's first "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" at the Madison River crossing. The Yellowstone bison's Central Herd is an endangered population, and 70% of bison-vehicle collisions occur on this 7-mile stretch of road.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021 has appropriated $350 million for the construction of wildlife crossings across the country over the next three years, and the Montana Department of Transportation is responsible for funding wildlife-related construction projects. With this funding available, we urge you to take action to protect not just buffalo, but also other species like elk, grizzly bears, wolves, moose, and coyotes.

The Buffalo Field Campaign has been doing their part by warning motorists about the presence of buffalo on the road, but this is not enough. We need the National Park Service to take action and build a "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge" to protect our National Mammal and allow them to safely migrate along the Madison River to their calving grounds.

We support any action that would improve wildlife crossings along Highway 191, and urge you to apply for the funding that is available. Let us restore and protect those wildlife connections, as certain species have a tendency to migrate from winter to summer feeding grounds.

Please take action now and earmark transportation funding for the "Buffalo Wildlife Bridge."

Sincerely,

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Signatures: