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KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Nevada Poll: Wildlife Crossings Span The Political Divide, Too

The Pequop Summit animal crossing on I-80 in northeastern Nevada
The Pequop Summit animal crossing on I-80 in northeastern Nevada

In today’s partisan political climate, one thing most Westerners seem to agree on is the need to protect wildlife corridors.

Wildlife corridors are historic wildlife migration routes. And sometimes, those routes need protecting. It could be as simple as restoring some native species, or it could involve building a grassy overpass over a busy highway.

A number of polls recently conducted across the Mountain West, including in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, suggest that the public widely supports protecting migration corridors.

And according to a new poll from The Pew Charitable Trusts, 93% of Nevada voters also want to protect wildlife migration routes.

“The findings demonstrate a remarkable bipartisan consensus on the importance on protecting wildlife corridors, and willingness to increase public funding in order to support the construction of facilities that would facilitate wildlife crossings,” said Dave Metz, president of FM3, the research firm that conducted the survey.

When it comes to the Ruby Mountains in eastern Nevada, 84% of respondents said they would support prohibiting oil and gas drilling to protect a large migrating mule deer herd.

According to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration, between 1 and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year. That kills 200 people and costs more than $8 billion in damages.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Correction: An earlier version of this story attributed the poll to the Pew Research Center. This story has been updated.

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