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Wildlife fencing project to go ahead near Sparwood

4km of Hwy. 3 will be fenced as part of a wider project to protect people and wildlife from collisions
The wildlife fencing is designed to protect wildlife and people from collisions along the hwy, with that segment identified as a major location for collisions between traffic and large animals. (Image courtesy of Clayton Lamb)

Four km of wildlife fencing will be installed along Hwy. 3, east of Sparwood as part of a multi-phased project to keep people and wildlife safe from collisions.

The project is phase one of the ‘Reconnecting the Rockies’ project, which is a six-phase project to develop underpasses and overpasses along Hwy. 3, connected by fencing that directs wildlife to the safer crossings.

Similar projects have been shown to reduce collision with wildlife by between 80 and 90 percent, according to a release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on Wednesday August 17.

According to the release the location east of Sparwood was chosen because it covers four of the top eight locations where collisions with large wildlife occur in B.C. each year, and it has been identified as critical for wildlife connectivity.

“We’re excited about the Reconnecting the Rockies project, which will prevent hundreds of animal deaths every year, and make driving safer for thousands of people,” said Candace Batycki, B.C. program director, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a Canada-US organization working to connect the region between Yellowstone and Yukon.

“Scientists have called this the mother of all wildlife corridors in North America because keeping populations of animals like grizzly bears intact and connected is critical to species survival and overall ecosystem health,” she said.

Construction of the fencing will begin late this month (August), with Calgary-based company Wilco Contractors awarded a $644,950 contract to carry out the work. Works are expected to be completed by early fall. There will be some traffic disruptions while work is carried out, but the Hwy. will not be closed.

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