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Arboretum Society virtual program will take a look at wildlife crossings

Join the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society for an educational virtual program on wildlife crossings at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation recently installed new bear-crossing signs on Interstate 40 near the North Carolina line on a section often considered a death trap for wildlife.

Jeff Hunter, senior program manager with National Parks Conservation Association in Asheville, will speak on innovations to provide safe passage options for wildlife. As our world warms, wildlife populations need to expand northward. Highways are formidable barriers to this movement.

Hunter facilitates the work of nearly 20 federal, state, tribal, and non-governmental organizations collaborating to make a 28-mile stretch of I-40 near the Smokies permeable for wildlife and safer for people.

Co-sponsored by the Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and the UT Arboretum Society, registration for this free online event is required.

The format for this program will be Zoom. To register go to: You will be sent a link in your confirmation for program access.

Hunter’s work includes issues related to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

He also led the Tennessee Wild wilderness campaign focused on permanently protecting nearly 20,000 acres in the Cherokee National Forest, including 4.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

In accordance with the University of Tennessee guidelines for COVID-19 precautions, programs are currently being presented online. The UT Arboretum Society’s educational programs are not on-site activities.