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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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Governor Signs Law Prioritizing Safe Wildlife Crossings in Nevada

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Monday, June 19, 2023   

Gov. Joe Lombardo has signed Assembly Bill 112 into law, which will increase the number of safe wildlife crossings in Nevada.

The measure will create a Wildlife Crossings account in the state's General Fund, and call on the departments of Transportation and Wildlife to collaboratively identify where animal crossings are needed.

Christi Cabrera-Georgeson, deputy director of the Nevada Conservation League, said the law appropriates $5 million for the account, to be used as matching money to leverage federal funding to invest in underpasses and overpasses permitting wildlife to cross roads safely. She called it a win for Nevadans and wildlife.

"In Nevada alone, we spend about $20 million every year on these collisions between wildlife and vehicles," Cabrera-Georgeson reported. "It kills wildlife, it kills and injures people. But these crossings have been shown to reduce these collisions by up to 90%, so they are incredibly effective."

She noted the bill passed the Legislature with what she called unanimous bipartisan support. Her group anticipates more safe crossings around the state, and also maintaining the ones already in place.

Cabrera-Georgeson pointed out the wildlife crossing in Elko has been very successful with mule deer and other big game. She said down south in Boulder City, a wildlife crossing helps bighorn sheep get across the road safely - and since it was installed, no bighorn sheep have been hit by cars. Cabrera-Georgeson said the law will also help create jobs in the state.

"We did see some labor groups come out and support the bill because of that," Cabrera-Georgeson acknowledged. "We do need jobs. We do need construction workers to make these crossings, and so, that it does create those construction and those labor jobs, creating these structures across the state."

She added it is not only big game benefiting from the crossings. Bobcats, foxes and coyotes also use the structures. And in Southern Nevada, culverts have even been made to keep desert tortoises safe when crossing roads.

Disclosure: The Nevada Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Climate Change/Air Quality, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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