New wildlife fence to prommote safety, reduce crashes

The Associated Press
An 18-mile fence being installed along Interstate 15 between Pocatello and Inkom in southeastern Idaho will likely reduce the number of collisions with wildlife and make the route safer for motorists, officials say.

Officials with Idaho Fish and Game said that at least 100 deer are killed annually on the highway.

All but $50,000 of the $450,000 cost of the fence has been raised and work on some portions is nearly complete.

"I was able to purchase all of the wire we needed for the south side of the fence with the recent contributions," Idaho Fish and Game biologist Jim Teare told the Idaho State Journal. "All that remains to complete on the south side is to contract out the installation of the woven wire along the top of the fence."

Officials say the entire fence should be finished by fall if all the money is raised.

Sean Mottishaw, one of the project coordinators, said a fundraiser is being organized to bring in the remaining $50,000.

"As we head into the home stretch of this ongoing project, now is a great time to rally the citizens of Bannock County," Mottishaw said. "This is everyone's chance to show their support for the wildlife that is such a unique part of living in the Pocatello area. The fence that is going up will almost immediately make the roadway more safe."

Groups who have worked to improve safety on Interstate 15 include the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department, the Southeast Idaho Mule Deer Foundation, the Road Mortality Working Group, the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, and Idaho Fish and Game.

Published 6-17-2011