“I would encourage NCDOT to start by building in wildlife-friendly features into the upcoming replacement of bridges in the Pigeon River Gorge, and for us as citizens to advocate with our representatives for future measures to provide bears, elk, deer and other creatures safe passage over or under our ever more busy highways.”
“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.”
At least 35 bears have been struck and killed since May 2018 in the 28-mile stretch of I-40 between the Maggie Valley exit and the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee. The Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Connectivity Project, a joint effort of at least 19 governmental and nonprofit groups, is working to bring that death rate down.
In November, North Carolina voters will choose whether to add the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife to their constitution. If the amendment passes, the state will join 21 others, including all of the South save Florida, Maryland and West Virginia, in explicitly affirming this right.