Coquihalla Highway. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Coquihalla Highway. Wikimedia Commons photo.

Province to implement $1.2-million fence project to keep wildlife off Coquihalla Highway

Coquihalla Highway sees approximately 160 vehicle-wildlife collisions each year

Work begins next week on a provincial project to build almost 25 kilometres of new fencing along the Coquihalla Highway, in an effort to prevent vehicles from crashing into crossing wildlife.

The project has an estimated cost of $1.2 million, and will replace typical livestock fencing with “Wildlife-exclusion fencing,” which adds an addition 1.2 metres to the height on the fence.

“Our government is committed to a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system, as well as supporting wildlife in their natural ecosystems,” said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I am pleased to see this addition to our wildlife-exclusion system, reducing wildlife-related accidents to protect people and wildlife from harm.”

The Coquihalla Highway sees around 160 wildlife crashes each year, 75 per cent of which involve deer. The new fencing – while also being better at stopping the highway crossings of larger animals such as deer, moose and elk – will redirect animals to existing wildlife underpasses.

The Coquihalla Highway starts east of Hope and ends in northern B.C. at Highway 16, and is considered a major transit route linking the southern and northern Interiors.

The fencing will be installed on both sides of the highway south of Merritt, and add to almost 180 kilmetres of existing wildlife-exclusion fencing in place.

“This is an importation corridor not only for our community but for the entire province. I, along with my fellow council members, am proud to have this additional protection for both travellers and our native animal population in the Nicola Valley,” said Linda Brown, mayor of the City of Merritt.

“This fencing will ensure the safe movement of animals. It comes at a key time with higher numbers of guests visiting our beautiful region each year.”

Wildlife-vehicle collisions cause millions in damages and can have detremental impacts on wildlife populations, said Candace Batycki, program director of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

“Wildlife-exclusion fencing combined with road crossing infrastructure is a proven solution for people and wildlife, and we commend the ministry on expanding its exclusion-fencing system.”

The province does not expect the new installation to cause any traffic delays.

Several elk were found dead along the Trans-Canada Highway through Canmore, Alta. on Sunday, April 29, 2019. It has renewed calls for wildlife fencing through the mountain town. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Kelly Zenkewich/Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative)

RELATED: Animals involved in 11,000 vehicle collisions annually across B.C.

Coquihalla Highway

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Veteran Vernon radio announcer Frank Martina is returning to the local airwaves with his popular Saturday Classics show, which will run from 1-4 p.m. on Vernon’s new community station Valley FM, set to launch in the fall of 2021. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon radio announcer returning to airwaves

New community station Valley FM reaches deal with Frank Martina to air his Classics show

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Vernon Morning Star Boomer Talk columnist says while we must use caution while dealing with COVID-19, we must also take care of the mental health of those who must live either permanently or temporarily in our care. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal/AP file photo)
BOOMER TALK: Long term care is around the corner

Columnist recounts mother’s stay in local medical facility amid pandemic

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

Most Read