State agencies prevent road commission from removing roadkill

August 15, 2023

State agencies prevent road commission from removing roadkill

SCOTTVILLE — If you start to notice the smell of dead animals while driving, you can thank the State of Michigan. The Mason County Road Commission, like several other county road commissions, has changed its roadkill pickup procedures due to new state regulations. According to Mary Samuels, manager of the road commission, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources have made attempts to prosecute several county road commissions for trespassing, poaching, littering, ground and groundwater contamination because those road commissions have removed dead animals from the roadway. 

“We will only remove dead deer/animals from the roadway (traveled portion of the road) when they present a hazard to the motoring public,” Samuels said. “We may also move them when they interfere with our maintenance activities such as plowing/mowing.  We will drag them as close to a 90-degree angle as possible to the front slope of the ditch or the back slope if necessary for our maintenance activities.  Animals that die and are not a hazard to motorists and do not interfere with maintenance activities will be left where they lie.”

Samuels said anyone from the public who has concerns with the road commission leaving dead animals to rot on the side of the road should contact their elected state representatives, the DNR or EGLE. 

Sen. Jon Bumstead: 517-373-1635;

Rep. Curt Vanderwall: 517-373-1747:



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