SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) is releasing the Draft Wildlife Corridors Action Plan for public review.
The plan has been prepared in accordance with New Mexico Senate Bill 228, the Wildlife Corridors Act (Act).
The Act, signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019, directed the NMDOT and the NMDGF to develop the plan for NMDOT roads statewide.
The plan identifies wildlife-vehicle collision hotspots that pose a particularly high risk to the traveling public. Using ecological data and modeling, it also identifies wildlife corridors that bisect roads, and provides a list of priority projects based on the results of the plan’s analysis.
The plan focuses primarily on the movements of six large mammals: elk, deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, black bear, and mountain lion. However, other sensitive species and confounding factors were also taken into consideration when developing the priority project list.
A team of national experts led by Daniel B. Stephens and Associates (DBS&A), under contract with NMDOT, has developed the plan in partnership with NMDGF.
The DBS&A team used a science-driven approach to identify areas per the Act that “pose a risk to successful wildlife migration or that pose a risk to the traveling public” and is based on NMDOT crash data and ecological information on wildlife movements.
To provide input and support for potential actions that will increase public safety and promote wildlife habitat connectivity, they ask the public to visit the website below to access the plan, learn how to share comments, and register for an upcoming public meeting. Direct questions to NMDOT Wildlife Coordinator Matthew Haverland at 505.470.3656.
Visit them at: https://wildlifeactionplan.
Participate in a Live Virtual Meeting:
- 6 p.m. (MTD) Tuesday, Feb. 1; and
- 6 p.m. (MTD) Thursday, Feb. 3.
Share Your Comments: Jan. 12 to March 12 (Comments may be sent by mail, email or by phone)
The intent of public outreach is to raise support for and consensus in the identification of priority wildlife corridors and priority projects across New Mexico and solicit input from the public, tribal governments, and interested stakeholders. They invite the public to review the Plan within the next 60 days.