Highway wildlife deaths could be reduced

I would like to comment on the remarks made recently Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette about the measures being taken to reduce the highway slaughter of wildlife here in Alberta.

I would like to comment on the remarks made recently Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette about the measures being taken to reduce the highway slaughter of wildlife here in Alberta.

These were mentioned in a news article in the Red Deer Advocate on March 9.

Cutting the trees back farther from roadways is a good idea.

I’m not sure which grasses could be planted along the roads to be less palatable to wildlife. Moose will eat almost any vegetation, including trees and I imagine that deer are no different.

Availability during heavy snow years is what leads to preference, and in a heavy snow year, the ditches are full of snow.

Salt licks may be a good idea, but if the highways are being salted with calcium chloride, not sodium chloride (the salt bodies use), the animals would only be attracted if they have a calcium deficiency.

If fencing to prevent animals crossing is going to be built, why not use the reflectors?

Alberta Transportation installed the reflector system along Hwy 587 in a high killing zone west of Bowden, about six years ago.

They need to maintained to be effective, and apparently, that is going to be done this spring.

But, and I’m sure this is true for the other experimental zones they installed, it appears that there were no statistics kept prior or after the installation was completed.

Did those other experimental zones fall into disrepair, as did the one on Hwy 587?

The statistics from the B.C. highways department are much more thorough and complete.

And, another note: In Arkansas, there is a program in place known as Hunting for the Hungry.

Hunters donate a portion of their animal to the program, which is then processed by various meat processing facilities.

I’m sure our food banks would welcome the protein.

Bob Robblee

Red Deer County