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Keeping It Simple: Easy Ways to Help Wildlife Along Roads

"Living snow fences" benefit both wildlife and motorists

Roads in Lewis County, New York typically get more than 300 inches of snow a year. On one stretch of New York State 177, the first winter storm of 2002 dropped 118 inches of snow within 48 hours. In severe snow conditions like these, "living snow fences" - vegetative barriers that trap blowing and drifting snow - create safer driving conditions for motorists and provide a winter food source for wildlife. At high snow-drift locations and 100 feet from the centerline, New York State Department of Transportation workers sometimes plant a natural barrier of native shrubs, grasses, and purpleosier willows. They also plant willows along waterways to create shade for fish and cover for beavers, muskrats, rabbits, rodents, birds, and deer. Prunings from the living snow fences are "recycled" to help stabilize the banks of large trout streams disturbed by construction or maintenance activities.
 
--Apr 25, 2003

John Falge, (315) 785-6446 or jfalge@dot.state.ny.us

Native vegetation creates a living snow fence in Lewis County, New York
New York State Department of Transportat photo
Native vegetation creates a living snow fence in Lewis County, New York

Along Roads - New York
Updated: 12/12/2012
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