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August 17th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 32
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Emerald Lake wildlife fencing
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald Contributor photo
Wildlife fencing has begun at Emerald Lake.
ROB SCHAUFELE
Road Watch in the Pass
Highway #3 at Emerald and Crowsnest Lakes will soon be safer!! Construction has begun on the long awaited wildlife fencing at Emerald Lake. Work crews began the work on Friday and construction will continue for the next 5 – 6 weeks.

Last week materials and equipment were unloaded and a work crew began drilling. The construction involves installation of wildlife fencing at Emerald Lake and improving the screening or mesh barrier at the rock fall area near the Crowsnest Lake pullout. The wildlife fencing being constructed will span both east and west of Emerald Lake on both sides of the highway.

The fencing is designed to funnel wildlife (especially Bighorn Sheep) to go under Hwy #3 through the existing vehicle overpass, preventing animals from crossing over the roadway and lingering along the shoulders. Bighorn Sheep like to hang out in the area to forage along the shoulders and lick salt in the winter time.
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The Crowsnest and Emerald Lake areas are extremely important habitat for Bighorn Sheep. Resident Sheep are very vulnerable to wildlife vehicle collisions, and at times as much as 10% of the Crowsnest Lake herd have been killed in one season The new fencing will be constructed with “Jump Outs” which are a type of ramp that animals can walk up and jump over to get away from the highway, if they happen to get caught on the highway side of the fencing.

A huge Thank You to Alberta Transportation for commencing this construction!! This will be the first Highway/Wildlife mitigation construction of this type outside of the National Parks areas in Alberta. The next step in AT’s Wildlife/Vehicle mitigation plan is to install a Wildlife Underpass at Rock Creek. AT has also committed to looking into future Wildlife mitigation measures along Hwy #3 through the Crowsnest Pass.
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Miistakis Institute, Y2Y, Road Watch in the Pass, Western Transportation Institute, local scientists and many very concerned people from our community have been involved in many ways, all working to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions in the Crowsnest Pass. These organizations and groups have recorded data, written letters to the government, published reports and advocated for improvements for over 10 years!

The new fencing will reduce the number of animals being killed in wildlife/vehicle collisions, improve wildlife connectivity in the area, and also make Hwy #3 a lot safer for motorists travelling through the Crowsnest Lakes area.

Please keep an eye out for construction workers in the area for the next few weeks.
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August 17th ~ Vol. 85 No. 32
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