Wildlife Connectivity Across Utah’s Highways
The Utah Department of Transportation sponsored a workshop to identify major sections of Utah’s highways that disrupt wildlife connectivity. This workshop was attended by representatives from the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and several private consulting and conservation groups.
During the workshop, and subsequently in some of the UDWR offices, 64 separate connectivity zones were identified. These were prioritized based on professional opinions and experience of biologists who were familiar with the linkage areas. From this, it was estimated that 222 miles of Utah’s roads and freeways cross through critically important connectivity zones, 287 miles of roads cross through highly important zones, and 754 miles cross through moderate priority areas.
Examples of regional connectivity maps and tabulated descriptions are in the Appendix.