A 2019 bill passed by the Oregon State Legislature mandates that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), in cooperation with the Department of Transportation (ODOT), write a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan to preserve long-term habitat connectivity for wildlife and provide guidance for all state agencies to develop benchmarks for the designation and protection of wildlife corridors in Oregon. Subsequently, ODFW, together with contributions from its partners, completed a modeling effort to map existing connectivity for 54 wildlife species in the state, representing a wide diversity of habitat associations, taxa, movement types, dispersal capabilities, and sensitivity to anthropogenic threats. The effort, the Oregon Connectivity Assessment and Mapping Project (OCAMP), was completed in 2022 and identified Priority Connectivity Areas for the state—an interconnected network of the parts of the landscape that have the highest overall value for facilitating wildlife movement, including areas where high-value habitat for wildlife movement intersects with roadways. Alongside completion of OCAMP, ODFW and ODOT have been working to develop a partnership to effectively address barriers to animal movement and reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions along state highways at local, regional, and statewide scales. In addition to the development of the Wildlife Corridor Action Plan, this partnership-building process has focused on 1) improving communication and understanding between agencies, 2) identifying shared priorities, 3) incorporating Priority Connectivity Areas into statewide transportation plans and ODOT planning processes, 4) addressing safety issues where collisions with large-bodied wildlife endanger motorists, 5) working closely alongside a variety of non-profit partners to generate funding and public support for construction of wildlife passage structures and other mitigation techniques.
Wildlife-Vehicle Collision Reduction