Driving home at night has become a dangerous task, one that I unfortunately have to subject myself to on a daily basis. After a long day, I just want to get home safely to unwind. Like most of us driving in Pennsylvania, I have slammed on my brakes while a deer jumps out in front of my car many many times.
According to a report from the Pa. Department of Transportation, there were nearly 6,000 car crashes related to deer in 2021 alone, not even including other types of wildlife. This is only amplified in the fall because deer become more active in their mating season, which in turn increases our chances of hitting them with our cars.
Now, there’s a reason for this: Wild spaces are disappearing. With every passing minute, the U.S. loses two football fields worth of forest, meadow, grassland, desert, waterfront or wetland. In Pennsylvania, this displaces the communities of deer that roam freely, forcing them out of their homes and eventually into our roads.
There is still a way to protect both our wildlife and ourselves: wildlife corridors. This is a broad term used to describe different ways in which we can connect habitats. An example specific to the deer issue previously mentioned could be highway overpasses for deer and elk that will allow them to cross without the danger of a car crash. Pennsylvania House Resolution 74 would commission a study on wildlife corridor strategies and determine if they could be effective.
We can do our part to help move this along too. I encourage everyone to reach out to your representatives and let it be known that Pennsylvania wants to preserve our natural wildlife, and protect ourselves in the process.
We can take steps to bring wildlife corridors to fruition, but it can only be done together.
Ryan Hiemenz is a lifetime Bucks County resident.