States Advance Legislation for Wildlife Corridors and Crossings
At least seven states are considering legislation to establish wildlife crossings and corridors. New Mexico SB 228, sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart, would require a wildlife corridor action plan to be created providing guidance for identifying, prioritizing, and maintaining areas for wildlife movement. New Hampshire SB 200, sponsored by Senator David Watters, would require the recognition and protection of wildlife corridors and habitat strongholds as a public good.
Wildlife corridors are a vital and cost-effective way to maintain resilient landscapes for fish and wildlife, to protect watersheds, and to provide outdoor recreation opportunities. Corridors are areas of habitat that connect isolated habitat and allow for ecosystem and genetic connectivity for plants and animals. They include crossings over and under highways that prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions.
- HB 2834 would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to study and develop a Wildlife Corridor and Safe Road Crossing Action Plan to implement wildlife corridors.
- SB 583 would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a study regarding potential benchmarks for designation and protection of wildlife corridors.
- HB 2331 would create a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan to assess the connections between core habitat areas, list potential projects to improve such connections, and provide an action plan to complete these projects.
- Other states bills include Wyoming and Washington.