Improving Infrastructure for Wildlife

TitleImproving Infrastructure for Wildlife
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsBork, K., & Rypel A. L.
JournalNatural Resources & Environment
AbstractAccording to the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) annual report card on national infrastructure, the nation's 90,000-plus large dams in the United States were built, on average, 58 years ago. [...]older infrastructure projects generally fail to include effective technology or design elements to mitigate wildlife impacts. Through a series of case studies, this article highlights potential win-win solutions that cost-effectively enhance infrastructure safety and effectiveness while also managing wildlife toward ecological resilience in an era of rapid change. Because traditional legal approaches are not well suited for forcing these changes, as this article will illustrate, the authors advocate collaborative approaches to accomplish these changes. Urbanization, road construction, and reservoirs block historical migration routes of mule deer from the Sierra Nevada down into the foothills of California's Central Valley, resulting in population declines of up to 80 percent in some cases.