Letter: Plan roads with wildlife in mind

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Whether it’s a box turtle crossing a rural road or a mama bear with cubs scampering across a four-lane highway, this time of year it’s easy to see how human development puts wildlife at risk. After reading the May 1 Mountain Xpress article by Daniel Walton, “Bear Right: Collaborative Works to Reduce I-40 Animal Deaths,” I was heartened to hear about the efforts between public and private entities that are working to preserve and create landscape connections in fragmented habitats.

Ensuring that migratory corridors exist allows animals (and plants) to safely travel along the paths they have been following for centuries. The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains are so special because of the biodiversity they hold. The National Parks Conservation Association is doing a good job shining a light on the needs of all species to be able to move about safely, and they are facilitating the efforts of multiple groups who want to protect wildlife.

Let’s not blow this. We can plan our roads and development to allow for safe passage and protect the wild populations who make these mountains their home.

— Jessie Wilder


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