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WYDOT urges drivers to safely view wildlife

“We need citizens’ help to ensure continued safety of wildlife, bears and people passing through the area,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation area maintenance supervisor Mike Hitshew of Lander. “Please remember US 26/287 is a high-speed highway.”
Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have released...
Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have released statistics for the 2018-2019 hunting season. (Source: Pixabay)
Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 11:21 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - US 26/287 over Togwotee Pass between Dubois and Moran Junction is a beautiful drive, and with the drive comes opportunities to safely view scenery and wildlife.

“We need citizens’ help to ensure continued safety of wildlife, bears and people passing through the area,” said Wyoming Department of Transportation area maintenance supervisor Mike Hitshew of Lander. “Please remember US 26/287 is a high-speed highway.”

Citizens’ help is needed to:

  • Never approach bears: always stay at least 100 yards (300 feet) away from bears, about the length of a football field
  • Never feed, leave food for or make food accessible to bears
  • Obey traffic signs, laws and regulations
  • Drive carefully, slowly and watch for wildlife on/near highways and road shoulders
  • Report unlawful activity/dangerous situations to law enforcement.

“As bears emerge from winter hibernation and become active over the coming weeks, drivers should stay alert and use caution,” Hitshew said. “Violators can be cited and fined for harming, harassing, or feeding bears, or for creating unsafe driving conditions.”

To safeguard human and bear safety, a handful of law enforcement agencies work together every year to help manage human-bear interactions along US 26/287 on Togwotee Pass.

“WYDOT will assist with protecting motorists and wildlife in the area by using signage to safely regulate traffic on US 26/287,” Hitshew said. “The Wyoming Highway Patrol will monitor the highway to ensure compliance with state motor vehicle laws.”

Stopping along the roadside to view bears can create dangerous driving conditions. It is unlawful to stop or park along the highway except in the case of an emergency or at designated pull off areas, such as scenic overlooks.

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