The Highway 3 transportation corridor, including
land use and development adjacent to the highway, has been identified
as a major challenge to maintaining wildlife connectivity at the northern
edge of the Crown of the Continent. Highway 3 is a two-lane, east-west
highway supporting 6,000 to 9,000 vehicles per day traveling over the
Continental Divide at Crowsnest Pass in the southern Canadian Rockies.
The current rate of wildlife-vehicle collisions involving large mammals
along Highway 3 has raised concerns among agencies and the public regarding
motorist safety. Although highway segments experiencing a high number
of these collisions are predominantly found to involve deer, collisions
also occur with less common species such as elk, moose, bighorn sheep,
grizzly bear, wolf, lynx, bobcat and cougar.
To address the challenges of wildlife and
connectivity the Miistakis Institute, Western Transportation Institute
and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative instigated the Highway
3 Transportation Corridor Project. The project has three phases;
At a Crossroads Workshop in Ferine, BC January 2008
2. Highway 3 Transportation Mitigation for Wildlife
3. Highway 3 Project Outreach Activities
At a Crossroads Workshop in Fernie, B.C January 2009
Understanding wildlife use, behavior and habitat integrity
along this transportation corridor is imperative for developing mitigation
strategies to reduce transportation-wildlife conflicts and maintain habitat
connectivity. Fortunately, there have been a number of research projects
in the past decade that allow us to better understand how a variety of
different wildlife use these landscapes (i.e., bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly
bears). These include the identification of key linkages for several carnivores,
including grizzly bears, which cross Highway 3 and the railroad. However,
the studies were not developed to focus solely on the transportation corridor
and its increasing use. Nor have all of the studies been synthesized to
summarize their findings to inform local decision making. Lastly, most
conservationists, community leaders and decision makers are unaware of
the various findings and their implications for their local landscape
and the Highway 3 transportation system. Therefore, scientists, agency
personnel and conservationists gathered at a Highway 3 workshop in Fernie,
British Columbia in January 2008 to share and discuss relevant and available
knowledge on wildlife studies that may inform site-specific mitigation
of Highway 3.
One recommendation from the workshop was for a sub-set
of the attendees to complete a synthesis of the biological information
relative to Highway 3 to inform an assessment of potential transportation
mitigation sites and options.
A summary of the workshop findings and abstracts from the presentations
can be found on the report
page of this website.
Highway 3 Transportation Mitigation for Wildlife and Connectivity Assessment
A team of scientists with expertise in wildlife connectivity,
wildlife vehicle collisions along Highway 3 and wildlife transportation
mitigation strategies came together to:
The syntheses, field assessments and recommendations described
in the report reflect the best available understanding and options for direct
mitigation of highway impacts to local populations of large terrestrial
- identify mitigation sites along Highway 3 based on
wildlife connectivity and high wildlife vehicle collision zones.
- recommend a suite of mitigation strategies to facilitate
wildlife movement and reduce wildlife vehicle collisions along Highway
The report can be downloaded from the report
page of this website.
Highway 3 Project Outreach Activities
The project is currently entering into the outreach phase.
For more information on this phase please contact Dave