Dry Piney project meeting scheduled for next month

WYOMING – The Wyoming Department of Transportation announced it will hold a public meeting at Marbleton Town Hall on Sept. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. to discuss the Big Piney Wildlife Connectivity Project on U.S. Highway 189 between La Barge and Big Piney.

During that meeting, WYDOT will share information, including schedule, about the project that will cost a total $13.7 million. That will be funded by a 2019 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to construct eight underpass wildlife crossings, fencing and related improvements along the 19-mile stretch of the highway between La Barge and Big Piney.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department estimated wildlife crossings built in this certain section of U.S. Highway 189 would be used by approximately 3,000 mule deer, 300 to 500 pronghorn, 100 to 150 elk and 50 to 100 moose annually.

In addition to grant money, the Dry Piney project was supported by the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Volgenau Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Knobloch Family Foundation, the Muley Fanatic Foundation and the WYldlife Fund. Private funds were also matched by Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust. The Sublette County Board of Commissioners also supported the project with use of gravel pits adjacent to the project.

“The cost associated with building wildlife crossings can seem daunting, but Wyoming has a proven system of drawing on local support to leverage federal funds,” Chris Colligan, wildlife program coordinator for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, said.