Last night, KSBW reported on the very exciting progress the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County is making towards creating wildlife connectivity across Highway 17.
The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County is working on purchasing 290 acres of land that straddles Laurel Curve, one of Highway 17’s most notorious turns for both motorists and wildlife. Once the land has been acquired, the plan is to instal a wildlife crossing tunnel to safely connect the habitat on each side of Highway 17. This new structure will provide two major benefits: It will allow wildlife to move around the landscape safely, and it will protect people by lowering the risk of motorists colliding with wildlife.
Across the US, there are over one million automobile collisions with deer each year, causing roughly 200 human fatalities. In fact, you are far more likely to be killed hitting a deer with your car than you are to be attacked a mountain lion. High speed collisions with wildlife don’t end well for either party involved, and creating safe ways for wildlife to cross dangerous highways, such as Highway 17, will help protect everyone.