Development of the Wildlife Corridors Action Plan
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) has begun developing the Wildlife Corridors Action Plan (Plan) in accordance with New Mexico Senate Bill 228, the Wildlife Corridors Act (Act). The Act, signed into law by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019, directs the NMDOT and the NMDGF to develop the Plan for NMDOT roads statewide. The Plan will identify wildlife-vehicle collision hotspots that pose a risk to the traveling public, identify wildlife corridors from ecological data, and provide a list of priority projects based on the results of the Plan’s analysis. The Plan will provide information on wildlife movement with an emphasis on large mammals such as elk, deer, bear and mountain lion.
A team of national experts led by Daniel B. Stephens and Associates (DBS&A), under contract with NMDOT, is developing the Plan in partnership with NMDGF. The team is using a science-driven approach to identify areas per the Act that “pose a risk to successful wildlife migration or that pose a risk to the traveling public” and will be based on NMDOT crash data and ecological information on wildlife movements. The Plan will build on past and ongoing efforts and is intended to raise support for and consensus in the identification of priority wildlife corridors and priority projects across New Mexico. As the plan is being developed, the team will solicit input from the general public, tribal governments and interested stakeholders.