Understanding wolverines helps us develop conservation strategies. Image: Steven Gnam
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U.S. Route 20

U.S. Route 20
A moose crosses US-20 in Island Park. Photo: Kim Trotter
Working to protect the people we love while preserving Idaho’s wildlife is important to Y2Y.

Increasing safety for all on Idaho's U.S. Route 20 

Roads are busy in and around Yellowstone National Park as residents, tourists and trucks travel in the region. U.S. Route 20, cutting through the northwest corner of Yellowstone and running north-south along its west border, is no exception.  

Not only is this a busy transportation corridor for drivers, it’s an important wildlife corridor, too. Animals cross US-20 often too, especially as they migrate in and out of the park and move across the regionHighways are a major barrier to the wide-ranging movements that connect individual animals with diverse habitats and mates. The deaths of grizzlies, elk, bison, moose, wolves and more have all been documented following collisions with vehicles as they attempt to cross US-20  a road that will only get wider and busier in the coming years.  

Right now, Idaho Department of Transportation is working to widen and improve US-20 from Ashton, Idaho to the Montana state lineWider roads with increased traffic and higher speeds increase wildlife-vehicle collisions. This is aopportunity for Idaho to build mitigation for wildlife into the initial planning, budgeting, and engineering process for this project from the outset. It’s also an opportunity to address this barrier for wildlife and make this highway safer for the drivers and wildlife on it. 

How we will accomplish this

Working to protect the people we love while preserving Idaho’s wildlife, an integral piece of the state’s economy and cultural identity, is important to Y2Y.  

In addition to known crossing points for moose and migrating elkwe are working with local partners to identify known hotspots for wildlife-vehicle collisions on US-20. Elsewhere in North America wildlife underpasses, overpasses, and fencing have been shown to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by 80 to 90 percent.  

Right now Y2Y is working with Idahoans as well as partners at Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Idaho Wildlife FederationTeddy Roosevelt Conservation PartnershipIdaho Fish and GameThe Nature ConservancyFuture WestWildlife Conservation Society, Caribou-Targhee National Forest and more to accomplish this.  

What Y2Y is doing

This is an opportunity to make Idaho’s roads safer not only for drivers but wildlife, too. All while preserving Island Park’s economic and cultural heritage. Let’s make our roads safer, together. 

— Kim TrotterU.S. Program Director 

Latest updates

February 2018: Currently, Idaho Transportation Department’s focus is on an expansion project for four miles of US-20 at Targhee Pass near Island Park, Idaho. This is a $22 million project slated for construction in 2021 and 2022 that includes a truck climbing lane from the junction of Highway 87 to the Montana state.

August 2017: A study team presented five alternatives to the public in August 2017.  

Here are four ways you can help

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