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PC: Within the remaining
35-km section of two-lane highway in the park, a nine kilometre segment is now
being upgraded to four lanes with completion expected in fall 2008.
Further twinning will occur as funding
Pique: Any additional
information people should know?
PC: Ungulate vehicle
collisions have dropped from an annual average of over 100 per year to less
than half dozen today between Castle Junction and the park’s east gate.
Approximately 65 per cent of all accidents (outside the park) involve wildlife
while in Banff National Park it is 13 per cent (slightly more than one in 10).
Highway mitigation for
wildlife may appear to be costly to motoring public and taxpayers, but with
average elk-vehicle collision costs being over $10,000, recent studies have
shown these measures pay for themselves in several years.
Back on the Sea to Sky
corridor where several wildlife crossings incorporated into the current highway
upgrades will help reduce wildlife collisions. Four underpasses are to be put
in south of Whistler in the Pinecrest area and one is already in place near the
Horseshoe Bay area. The highway will also include several small-scale culverts
to accommodate smaller critters crossing needs as well.
TONY CLEVENGER has been an
independent researcher contracted by Parks Canada since 1996 to carry out
long-term research assessing the performance of mitigation measures designed to
reduce habitat fragmentation on the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National
Park, Alberta, Canada. In September 2002, he began working for the Western
Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University, while continuing
his research in Banff and the Mountain Parks. In 2005, Tony garnered support
from Parks Canada, Montana State University, and three large North American
conservation foundations to partner in funding his long-term research until
Tony is currently a member of
the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on Effects of Highways on
Natural Communities and Ecosystems. Since 1986, he has published over 40
articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has co-authored three books
including, Road Ecology: Science and Solutions (Island Press, 2003). During the
last 9 years in Banff his research has resulted in 17 peer-reviewed