North Carolina wildlife faces numerous challenges as they navigate the state’s 80,000 miles of highways. To address the increasing risks to both wildlife and the traveling public, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have joined forces. A recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) solidifies their commitment to improving infrastructure and safety for wildlife on North Carolina roads.
Enhancing Data Collection and Monitoring
The MOU emphasizes the importance of data collection and monitoring of wildlife-vehicle collisions. By gathering comprehensive data, agencies can better identify areas of concern and develop effective strategies. Monitoring wildlife crossing structures and identifying new crossings will help ensure safe passage for various species.
Implementing Wildlife Mitigation Strategies
Through the collaboration between NCWRC and NCDOT, the focus is on implementing wildlife mitigation strategies. This includes the development of wildlife overpasses, underpasses, culverts, and fencing along major roadways. These measures will enable wildlife to traverse safely, reducing the risk of collisions and preserving ancient wildlife corridors.
Addressing Habitat Fragmentation
Roads are a significant cause of habitat fragmentation worldwide, disrupting wildlife corridors that have existed for millions of years. The partnership between NCWRC and NCDOT aims to counter this issue by creating safe passages for wildlife. By enhancing wildlife connectivity, North Carolina can protect its natural ecosystems and promote the well-being of both wildlife and humans.
Federal Funding and State Support
The recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has allocated $350 million for a Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, providing funding opportunities for wildlife passage projects across all 50 states. The North Carolina General Assembly is considering allocating additional resources to leverage the available federal funding within the pilot program.
A Positive Future for Wildlife and North Carolina
While the implementation of safe passages for wildlife will require long-term efforts from transportation departments, governments, and the public, the outcome is undeniably positive. Protecting wildlife from roadway collisions not only enhances infrastructure and the safety of motorists but also maintains the integrity of North Carolina’s natural ecosystems. This collaboration between the NCWRC and NCDOT, supported by federal and state initiatives, demonstrates a commitment to preserving the rich wildlife heritage of North Carolina for generations to come.
This summary article highlights the collaborative efforts between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to improve infrastructure and safety for wildlife on the state’s roadways. The partnership aims to address wildlife-vehicle collisions, habitat fragmentation, and the preservation of ancient wildlife corridors. With federal funding available through the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program and potential state support, North Carolina is taking proactive steps to create safe passages for wildlife. By doing so, the state not only protects its natural ecosystems but also ensures the safety of motorists and fosters a positive image for North Carolina. Based on the entities mentioned, here are 4-5 frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers regarding the entities in the given content:
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Tim Gestwicki?Tim Gestwicki is the CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) and chair of the Safe Passage Fund Coalition’s Steering Committee. He is involved in initiatives to protect wildlife from roadway collisions and promote wildlife-friendly approaches to state roadway infrastructure.
What is the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC)?The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is an organization that collaborates with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to improve infrastructure and safety for both wildlife and the traveling public on North Carolina roads. They work on initiatives related to data collection, monitoring of wildlife crossing structures, identification of new crossings, and wildlife mitigation strategies.
What is the Safe Passage Fund Coalition?The Safe Passage Fund Coalition is a coalition chaired by Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF). It aims to protect wildlife from roadway collisions and advocates for wildlife-friendly approaches to state roadway infrastructure. The coalition promotes initiatives such as the creation of wildlife passages, wildlife crossings, and the reduction of wildlife-vehicle collisions.
What is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law?The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a recent legislation passed by Congress. It allocates $350 million for a Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, which will fund wildlife crossing projects in all 50 states. This law recognizes the importance of wildlife passages and aims to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and promote wildlife connectivity.
What is the North Carolina General Assembly considering regarding wildlife passages?The North Carolina General Assembly is considering allocating resources to wildlife passages. These resources could be leveraged to match the available federal funding within the Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program. This potential allocation of resources demonstrates the state’s commitment to improving wildlife connectivity and reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions on North Carolina roads.