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Ask Joe: Is NDOT fence a death trap for deer?

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From the Ask Joe file, a question has come up about some fencing that might be creating a hazard for wildlife.

Paul Grevich wrote in asking what can be done about the fence along I-80 in Verdi.

Paul says there's an opening right by the freeway on-ramp where the fence ends, and he's seen a number of deer killed because they end up on the freeway.

He sent in some photos, and if you look closely, you can see the fence does end and there's an opening right next to the freeway on-ramp at Gold Ranch.

So what can be done about this? I checked with NDOT since it is their property.

Meg Ragonese, the NDOT spokesperson, says this fencing is designed to control vehicle traffic. NDOT will be repaving this section of I-80 next year, and as part of that work, they will consider installing more fencing to keep deer and other animals off the freeway. So it is part of what they are looking at.

One of the challenges is the higher number of vehicle-animal collisions in rural areas like eastern Nevada, so that's where they focus most of their efforts. But it is something that is being looked at.

More fencing may sound like an easy solution, but NDOT is trying to give wildlife as much access and room to roam as possible. But in this case, it does sound like that fencing is creating a hazard for some animals and our viewer says he's seen it first hand.

So it's a balancing act. NDOT says they will be taking a closer look at this, and we will too to see what other solutions might be worth exploring. It is definitely worth following up on.

We'll see if we can get some more specific answers in the future.

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