SALT LAKE CITY – The seven-member Utah Wildlife Board recently welcomed two new members, who will contribute to the approval of the laws governing hunting, fishing, and wildlife management in the state.
On June 14, the Utah Senate approved the nominations of Lenard Kent Johnson of Green River and Paula Richmond of Beaver to the Utah Wildlife Board. Both candidates were put forth by Gov. Spencer Cox. Beginning on Tuesday, August 15, they will begin a six-year term on the board. They take over from board member Karl Hirst and outgoing board chairman Kevin Albrecht, whose terms of office end on August 15.
The positions are unpaid, and members of the board do not become employees of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
During their time serving on the wildlife board, Richmond and Johnson will attend the public Wildlife Regional Advisory Council meetings in their respective regions and will also attend roughly six public wildlife board meetings in Farmington each year.
Johnson has spent 33 years working for Union Pacific Railroad as an electrical technician and signalman. He was a member of the Green River City Council for eight years, and he also works as a certified hunting guide. He also served for eight years on the Southeastern Regional Advisory Council, including two years as chair and four years as vice chair, starting in 2016.
“I have had a lifelong passion for wildlife,” Johnson said. “As a boy, I had wanted to go into wildlife management. However, my parents encouraged me into electronics, which became my career. But I have never lost my desire to be involved in wildlife management.”
“Through the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources’ public meeting process, I have been able to do that. Serving on the Regional Advisory Council in southeastern Utah has been the most enjoyable volunteer position I have ever participated in. The time spent reading and researching wildlife-related topics for meetings is enjoyable to me, and I truly love being part of that process,” Johnson said.
Richmond works as a consultant for Reed Carter Farms and Cattle LLC, and as the fundraising coordinator for numerous conservation organizations, including Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Wild Sheep Foundation, the Utah Archery Association and the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo. She has almost 20 years of experience working for numerous groups on wildlife conservation projects.
“I am an avid hunter and am very passionate about wildlife conservation,” Richmond said. “I’ve also worked closely with the ranching and farming industries and understand their role in wildlife conservation, as well. I’ve assisted the DWR biologists on various wildlife projects and have seen the importance of gathering data to make decisions in wildlife management. I’m looking forward to being even more involved with the management of wildlife in Utah through my board service.”