Good Morning Tennessee on Knoxville’s WATE 6 aired an interview with Safe Passage facilitator Jeff Hunter about a report released this summer that details the effects of driver activity along Interstate 40 on wildlife in the Smokies.
“From 2019 to 2021, the organization I work for, the National Parks Conservation Association, and our partners at Wildlands Network conducted intensive studies on a 28-mile corridor on Interstate 40,” began Hunter, the Southern Appalachian Director with NPCA. “That’s eight miles in Tennessee, from where the Foothills Parkway ties into the highway to the state line, and then from the North Carolina–Tennessee state line to Maggie Valley.”
Hunter said more than 100 bears were hit and killed over the course of the three-year study.
He said it’s clear, after reviewing the results, that many species of wild animals living in and around the Smokies are in need of safer ways to cross the interstate. Otherwise, portions of I-40 will become hard barriers for wildlife.
Read or watch the full interview with Hunter on Knoxville’s WATE 6 here.