Glacier National Park Passage Project

North America

In Glacier National Park, the mighty grizzly bear travels through the landscape, alone or with cubs, foraging for food, searching for mates, and seeking new territories. These threatened bears, along with pumas, mountain goats, and others, need protected wildlife corridors to successfully pass under the busy roads of this popular national park. GNP is dedicated to the conservation of the grizzly bears that call this park their home, and aims to find solutions through scientific research and action.

Challenges to Conservation

The expansion of human development in rural lands means more cars and more car traffic. Transportation corridors are an especially difficult wildlife problem. Bears are drawn to roads because of carcasses of elk or deer killed by cars. Grizzly bears, including mothers and cubs, are dying due to car strikes – contributing to a rising number of fatalities. Glacier National Park has created under passes to allow for wildlife to safely get around the roads, but like all conservation efforts, one solution leads to new problems that must be addressed.

Wildlife viewing is a huge visitor draw, and the wildlife underpass at Walton Goat Lick is one of the most popular areas to observe Glacier’s beautiful wildlife. Visitor congestion along the highway and on the bridge presents an unsafe environment for all. In addition to safety concerns, human presence is encroaching upon the highway wildlife crossing and the flocking tourists negatively affect the bears, causing them to  avoid their needed pathway.

Conservation Approaches

The Passage Project will provide infrastructure that will protect this vital wildlife corridor, allowing people to be inspired at a safe distance, and grizzlies to peacefully amble on. This needed wildlife fencing will be part of a larger project that includes increased and more visible highway signage, installation of barriers to prevent vehicles from stopping at either end of the bridge along the highway, educational signage, and an extension of the existing overlook trail to allow for a better view under the bridge while not interfering with the wildlife corridor. The entire project will offer a safer future for both grizzlies and grizzly-loving wildlife enthusiasts.

Glacier National Park and Oakland Zoo have joined the Zoo-Park Partnership for America’s Keystone Wildlife Project. This unique initiative involves zoos and aquariums working with National Parks National Wildlife Refuges, and National Forests and Grasslands in restoring sustainable habitats and wildlife populations across the country.

This partnership will bring together the work of the park to conserve and protect grizzlies and the mission of Oakland Zoo to do the same.

Oakland Zoo Takes Action...

Quarters for Conservation

Oakland Zoo has selected Glacier National Park Grizzly Passage Project as a 2021 Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) featured project and beneficiary.Oakland Zoo raises funds for conservation through attendance tickets and membership fees. Visitors get to vote for a partner at our Q4C Kiosks during each visit with a token given with their entrance ticket.

Project Sponsorship

Oakland Zoo proudly supports the creation of the new infrastructure at Goat Lick overpass, as well as geofence equipment to monitor grizzly activity.

Community Engagement 

Oakland Zoo shares conservation issues facing grizzlies, as well as empowering solutions through Docents and Volunteers, Teen Wild Guides, Education Programs, Events, Exhibits, Campaigns, and Media.  

Leadership Training and Staff Expertise  

Oakland Zoo provides yearly professional training for field partners and offers myriad staff skills and resources to enhance conservation efforts. 

Eco-Travel with Impact 

Oakland Zoo’s Eco-Travel Program plans to bring participants on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to take real action for wildlife at beautiful Glacier National Park starting in 2022.

Forever Homes

Oakland Zoo is committed to animal welfare and offers a Forever Home to animals in need due to injury, parental loss due to car strikes or fires, the illegal pet trade, human-wildlife conflict, or other challenges. The Oakland Zoo is now home to four beautiful rescued male brown bear cubs (2 grizzly & 2 brown bear pairs) from Alaska through Alaska Department of Fish and Game. These cubs lost their mothers when they were put down due to unfortunate and preventable wildlife habituation. Born in 2017, these bears escaped a similar fate by finding a forever home at Oakland Zoo.

...And So Can You!