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New Nonprofit Proposes High-Tech System to Save Wildlife on Idaho Highway 75


Idaho Highway 75 - ITD
  • ITD
  • Idaho Highway 75

Officials and residents in the Wood River Valley say they've tried several tactics to keep wildlife alive on Highway 75—in particular the stretch of road between Hailey and Ketchum. The Idaho Transportation Department reduced nighttime speed limits on sections of the highway and local school kids even proposed life-size silhouettes of elk and moose along the corridor to remind drivers that there are plenty of animals in the area—though ITD nixed that idea.

That's still not enough, say some residents who are forming a nonprofit in order to raise funds for a new wildlife-detection system. This morning's Idaho Mountain-Express reports that the initiative hopes to pay for a system that relies on buried cable and an electromagnetic field that would detect wildlife and trigger flashing signs to alert approaching drivers.

The system, built by Virginia-based Senstar Inc., isn't cheap. The signs alone cost $71,000, according to the Mountain Express. Most importantly, ITD would have to sign off on the project and private property owners would need to grant permission for the installation.  

According to ITD, as many as 15,000 drivers travel Highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum each day.