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Advise on Potential Future Fences, Modification of Existing Crossing Structures…

Project #: 4WA147
Start Date: 12/22/2022
End Date: 06/30/2023
Status: Completed

US Hwy 20 between Burns and Ontario, Oregon, bisects important winter and migration habitat for mule deer. The number of collisions with mule deer has been a human safety and a conservation concern for the declining mule deer population that winters along both sides of the road adjacent to the Malheur River and further south. This report explores the potential for mitigation measures aimed at substantially reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions with large wild mammals and measures that are likely to provide substantial safe crossing opportunities for large wild mammals. The effort is specifically directed at mule deer. The road section of interest is between Juntura, Oregon and Harper, Oregon. To achieve a substantial (>80%) reduction in collisions with mule deer, the entire road section should be fenced. If these fences are tied into existing bridges and culverts, originally built for other purposes, many of the road sections between the individual crossing structures would have very low permeability for mule deer as the structures are too far apart based on the size of the winter home range of mule deer. Therefore, additional designated wildlife crossing structures are recommended. For the road sections to be 50% permeable to wintering mule deer, suitable crossing structures would have to be 1.04 mile apart.


  • Marcel Huijser
    Marcel Huijser