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Wildlife Protection

Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

Featured Project

Donating Roadkilled Deer to Rescued White Wolves

photo of Odot, the white wolf

It's no accident the White Wolf Sanctuary near Tidewater, Oregon named one of its Arctic white wolves "Odot." For close to eight years the Oregon Department of Transportation, or ODOT, has been donating roadkilled deer (and sometimes elk) to the sanctuary--home to six white wolves that had been abused or neglected in captivity and would therefore be unable to survive in the wild. When a deer is killed on a State highway or side road within 80 miles of the sanctuary, ODOT maintenance crews contact sanctuary staff, who drive to the location and pick up the carcass. Or, if maintenance personnel discover a usable deer carcass on a State road close to the sanctuary, they pick it up and deliver it themselves. The dead deer make up about ten percent of the wolves' daily diet, and the ongoing partnership between ODOT and the White Wolf Sanctuary has inspired similar cooperative efforts between the sanctuary and other State agencies.

Jerry Stokes, (541) 543-6400 ext 5 or

Picture of various animals

Doing the right thing - simply

"Keeping it simple" is more than a concept. It's a commitment.

It means using simple solutions when simple solutions will work.

It involves going beyond "compliance" to identify easy ways of helping wildlife and fish.

It means doing the right thing just because it's the right thing to do and because one has an opportunity to do it.

"We can build bat roosts in pre-fab bridge concrete or extend the right-of-way fence to create elkproof fencing," says April Marchese, Director of FHWA's Office of Natural and Human Environment. "Simple measures like these link habitats, reduce roadkill, and save taxpayer dollars."

This website highlights more than 100 simple, successful projects from all 50 states and beyond. Each is "easy." Most are low- or no-cost. All benefit wildlife, fish, or their habitats.

Many projects were completed only once - to protect specific species in specific environmental conditions. Others have been repeated numerous times and have become "routine."

Some projects are undertaken regularly because research has proven them effective. Others are new innovations, "best practices," or state-of-the-art strategies.

Some projects - for example, modifying mowing cycles and installing oversized culverts in streams - are common to a large number of states. Others represent a simple solution to a site-specific environmental challenge.

We invite you to explore them all. We encourage you to find out for yourselves, through this website, how transportation professionals are working with others to do the right thing for wildlife and--wherever possible--to do it "simply."

Updated: 12/12/2012
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