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Hwy. 97 deer underpass deemed success

Drop in crashes; hunters may maintain fencing

BEND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Hunters Association could start maintaining fences that prevent car-deer crashes on the highway near Bend.

The Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/2er3kQT ) that deer fences were installed along U.S. Highway 97 in 2012, along with crossings for animals and a wildlife underpass. The wildlife-related improvements made up about $1.5 million of a $16 million highway expansion project.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife currently inspects and maintains the fence, but the hunters association is considering taking over the work as a volunteer project. The association says it will discuss the possibility at one of its meetings, possibly in November, before making a final decision.

State wildlife and transportation officials say there has been about a 90 percent reduction in car-deer crashes along that stretch of highway since the project's completion.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com


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