Sign warns drivers of wild horses on remote Moffat County roads | CraigDailyPress.com

Sign warns drivers of wild horses on remote Moffat County roads

Keeping drivers and horses safe is the goal of temporary lighted warning signs on Colorado 318 near Sand Wash Basin

— Drivers now have some warning that wild horses may cross Colorado Highway 318 in northwest Moffat County after three horses were killed by cars recently.

Horse advocates and the Bureau of Land Management asked the Colorado Department of Transportation for signs, and they delivered.

"I am thrilled that the Colorado Department of Transportation responded so quickly," said horse advocate Cindy Wright.

A temporary electronic sign was placed on the highway near Sand Wash Basin about 45 miles west of Craig on Feb. 13 after collisions between cars and horses the past two winters killed at least three horses.

"It was really important for CDOT to ensure those roads are safe for travelers. Horses are a lot bigger and don't move as fast as deer and elk," said Aletha Dove who has asked for two years for warning signs.

Colo. 318 travels through the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Management Area for a 10-mile stretch where horses may freely wander along or across the road.

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"We asked for the temporary signs to deal with what, so far, has been a temporary problem — horses moving south in response to heavy snow in the basin during part of the winter. It doesn’t happen every year," said David Boyd, BLM public affairs specialist.

Some feel that more could be done.

"Permanent fencing is the best solution, with cattle guards on the roads that enter the basin," said photographer Nadja Rider.

It's not clear what or whom is responsible for a more permanent solution and it will take time to work through permitting processes, CDOT spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said.

Due to the large numbers of wildlife, drivers should be alert regardless, Boyd said.

"Deer, pronghorn, elk, domestic animals and wild horses may all be on or crossing the road anytime, but especially at dawn or dusk," he said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.