Originally published on Wildliands Network
Legislation Will Help Protect Virginia’s Motorists as it Safeguards Wildlife Movement and Migration Corridors
Richmond, VA (Feb. 25, 2020) – The Virginia State legislature passed SB 1004 and HB 1695, making Virginia among the first states to adopt a comprehensive program to identify wildlife corridors, protect motorists from collisions with animals and address barriers to wildlife movement. The bill passed with strong bipartisan support 90-10 in the House and 22-13 in the Senate.
“Protecting pathways for both people and wildlife is paramount to a safe and healthy future for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Delegate Ken Plum, Chairman of the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. “This new legislation reinforces Virginia’s position as a leader in caring for and preserving its natural landscapes and resources.”
The legislation, introduced by Delegate David Bulova and Senator David W. Marsden, requires collaboration between state agencies such as the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to create a Wildlife Corridors Action Plan. The plan will identify wildlife corridors and existing or planned threats to wildlife movement, while also recommending priority areas for wildlife corridor projects and human safety.
Senator Marsden, sponsor of SB 1004, said: “This is the coolest bill ever. Where else can you protect wildlife habitat, reduce property damage from collisions with wildlife, save lives that are sometimes lost in these collisions, keep animals out of your backyard and your flower garden, and provide an opportunity for private groups to fund animal passage over interstates, secondaries, and any roadway that can make wildlife transit safer for all? I love this bill.”
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