Wildlife

$3.4 million from hunting and fishing license sales allocated to 2023 habitat restoration projects

UTAH — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ Habitat Council has allocated $3.4 million from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses to fund selected habitat restoration projects over the next fiscal year, July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. The decision was made at a council meeting on April 19.

The funding will go toward work on 88 projects spread throughout the state, several of which are high-priority for fish and wildlife management.

“We are very appreciative of the hunters and anglers who are the backbone of wildlife conservation,” said Daniel Eddington, DWR habitat conservation coordinator. “Anyone who buys a hunting and fishing license helps fund many of the crucial habitat restoration projects that help to maintain fish and wildlife populations for future generations to enjoy. Providing the necessary habitat for these species is crucial to their survival and requires ongoing restoration efforts as climate conditions continue to shift.”

Mule Deer using WMA land during the 2023 winter season.
Mule Deer using WMA land during the 2023 winter season. Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Wildlife and waterfowl management areas will receive $635,000 in funding for maintenance and improvement projects. The Thousand Lakes habitat improvement project will go into the next phase by removing 1,220 acres of invasive pinyon and juniper trees, allowing for more beneficial plants to thrive and improving winter range habitat for elk and deer populations.

Timpanogos Wildlife Management Area.
Timpanogos Wildlife Management Area. Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

The Diamond Fork and Spanish Fork River Watershed Post Fire Restoration project will receive $134,000 toward removing debris from the 2018 wildfire so the area can be replanted with shrubs and plant seeds to improve big game habitat. Over $98,000 will go toward the Smith Family Park community pond and Green Farm Pond, helping to facilitate new fishing docks at each location.

“We are extremely grateful for other partners who help fund these projects as well, which are so critical for fish and wildlife,” Eddington said. “We wouldn’t be able to complete as many of these necessary conservation projects without these important partnerships.”

The Habitat Council has allocated over $40 million since 2006 to complete 1,418 wildlife habitat projects in Utah, leading to 322,505 acres of terrestrial habitat improvements, restoration of 1,900 miles of streams and rivers, and the acquisition of 28,358 acres of land and waterways that is now managed for fish and wildlife habitat.

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