Moose fencing needs repairs, maintenance, advocate says
Cathy McCollum says sections damaged by storm Arthur still not fixed, trees should be cut back
A woman who successfully lobbied to get moose fencing along Route 7 several years ago is now calling on the provincial government to properly maintain the structures.
Cathy McCollum says several sections between Saint John and Fredericton that were damaged during post-tropical storm Arthur on July 5 still haven't been repaired, leaving drivers at risk.
"They did contact me back and they said they were going to fix it. But to me, it's an important thing … it should be fixed immediately."
Department of Transportation officials said in a statement repairs were completed in the area of the Welsford Bypass in mid-July and the department is in the process of hiring a contractor to fix any remaining damage.
The statement did not provide an estimate of when the work would be completed.
McCollum, who lives in Clarendon, says she understands storms can happen, but insists the fence damage caused by Arthur could have been avoided.
There's too many trees around the fence, and if the trees weren't there, they wouldn't have fell on the fence.- Cathy McCollum
"They're supposed to maintain the fence. And they're not maintaining the fence. That's what it boils down to," she said.
"There's too many trees around the fence, and if the trees weren't there, they wouldn't have fell on the fence."
McCollum says department officials told her the trees are grown and kept alongside the fencing for animal welfare reasons.
She says she's tired of being the voice of action when it comes to moose fencing.
"In my opinion, I shouldn't even have to be doing this," she said.
McCollum started her moose fencing campaign in 2006 after her daughter, who was a passenger in a vehicle that struck a moose, was injured.
"Hit a moose, hit a telephone pole, cut the telephone in half, landed in a marsh."
McCollum gathered more than 10,000 signatures on a petition.
Once the fence was installed along the stretch between Saint John and Fredericton in 2008, the number of vehicle-moose collisions dropped to about two per year, down from about 12.