Protecting Wildlife and Making our Community Safer
We know you love this community as much as we do - but we’re pretty sure part of the magic you feel in this beautiful place is the honor of sharing our lives with the majestic wildlife that makes Park City so unique. Who doesn’t watch with wonder at the sight of a momma moose with her baby, a herd of elk, or a family of deer making their way through the forest?? Park City is truly a magical place.
Now - imagine driving along Interstate 80 and the last thing you remember that night is the image of a moose in your windshield – and you wake up in critical care – or worse, not at all. This all-too common occurrence is life-threatening, AND AVOIDABLE.
This is the foundation of Save People Save Wildlife—to protect people and wildlife alike.
Save People Save Wildlife (SPSW) was founded in 2015 by a group of local residents who were alarmed by the number of wildlife being hit and killed by vehicles along Interstate 80 between Parleys Summit and Kimball Junction...the gateway to Park City.
At that time, UDOT's right of way barbed wire fencing along the interstate from Summit Park through the Jeremy Ranch Exit was in disrepair and, in some cases, non-existent. There were no cattle guards at the Summit Park on or off-ramps to keep wildlife from using those ramps to access the interstate.
Because this corridor is - and always has been- a natural migratory path for wildlife, it meant that moose, deer, elk and other animals had only one option to use as their migratory path – and that was crossing the freeway and encountering oncoming vehicles traveling at rates well over 70 mph.
After countless collisions were reported between these large mammals and cars traveling at high speeds, we knew it was only a matter of time before it would result in loss of human life as well.
SPSW members were determined to advocate for safety measures along this dangerous corridor. We began meeting with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Summit County and soon learned that there is limited funding available to keep our motorists and wildlife safe. This is when we began to advocate and fundraise for money to help close the gaps in the wildlife fencing where Federal and State entities fail to adequately address.
Accomplishments: Save People Save Wildlife has engaged in extensive advocacy efforts, and an ongoing partnership with UDOT, including:
• Raised $42,000.00 from generous donors and community members for one mile of initial wildlife fencing along the Jeremy Ranch Exit, which then accelerated the following:
• Installation of the Wildlife overpass bridge at Parleys Summit; the first in Utah! Officially opened for wildlife to use in December of 2018;
• Installation of cattle guards at Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch on and off ramps;
• Continuous wildlife fencing from Parleys Summit to just east of the Jeremy Ranch Roundabouts;
• Educated thousands of community residents through media, community outreach and educational materials on the importance of coexisting with wildlife.
Continuing Efforts: Why Should I Donate to Save People Save Wildlife?
Do you, your friends or your family use Interstate 80 between Silver Creek Junction and Jeremy Ranch? If so, you may not be aware that the fencing and cattle guards END just east of Jeremy Ranch. Then the dilapidated right of way fencing resumes until just east of Silver Creek Junction. This means that there is a five mile stretch of interstate where there are gaps in the wildlife fencing. This means that wildlife will continue to walk across the freeway, into the path of speeding vehicles. Our efforts must continue so we can close these gaps in the wildlife fencing and increase the safety of motorists and wildlife.
What will Save People Save Wildlife do with your donations?
Donated funds will be used to continue our direct mitigation and advocacy efforts focused on CLOSING ALL OF THE GAPS that will ultimately keep Park City residents and visitors safe. Funds will be used for the following projects:
- Finish the wildlife fencing along I-80 between Jeremy Ranch and Kimball Junction (see estimate letter from UDOT in the Media Gallery below)
- Placement of cattle guards at Kimball Junction on and off ramps (see estimate letter from UDOT in the Media Gallery below)
-Ultimately continuing the wildlife fencing from Kimball Junction past Silver Creek Junction to meet the existing wildlife fencing and implementing cattle guards and underpasses/overpasses to allow wildlife safe passage across Interstate 80
- Community education and outreach on avoiding collisions with wildlife
- Working with local policymakers and law enforcement to encourage reporting of all wildlife-vehicle collisions and expedited attention to injured or deceased wildlife.
With your support we can continue to make the Park City-Summit County area truly safe for people and for wildlife.
Thank you from all of us at Save People Save Wildlife!