Study Lists Top Ten Montana Roadways for Animal Collisions
With deer, elk and antelope on the move, Montanans are used to seeing animal collisions and carcasses on the roadways. Recently, The Center for Large Landscape Conservation did a study to find out which 10 mile stretches of road were the most dangerous.
"The study basically looks at carcass data that was collected by the Montana Department of Transportation, along roadsides across the state of Montana, over the past five years,” Senior Policy Officer Renee Callahan said. “We focus in particular on the fall migratory months, October, November, and December and there were close to 37,000 carcasses over the five years.”
The most dangerous spot, is a roadway in Northwest Montana.
“The number 1 spot is along U.S. 93,” Callahan said. “It’s actually where the highway literally skirts to the northwest edge of Flathead Lake, so you have the lake to the east and Flathead National Forest the west. The carcass rate per mile, per year, within those zones ranged from two, where the tenth ranking spot is at Twin Bridges, to almost six carcasses per mile per year, for the number one spot along US Highway 93.”
During the study Callahan says they found 37,000 carcasses… and that that figure may be as low as just 50 percent of the actual total. Drivers in the Bitterroot should take note… Route 269 between Stevensville and Corvallis was ranked as the fifth most dangerous stretch… U.S. 93 from Corvallis down through Hamilton was ranked eighth.