Record-breaking $4.8 million committed to Utah wildlife conservation projects

A Summit County conservation project received the most funding

UTAH — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) announced yesterday that  a record $4.8 million will be distributed to numerous projects aimed at conserving vital habitat and improving the overall health of wildlife populations across Utah.

The funds were committed to the projects by participating conservation groups during the annual conservation permit project funding meeting held on April 10.

According to a press release from the DWR, the funded projects will work to address the following issues:

  • Protecting and improving critical winter and summer ranges for deer and elk, particularly in sagebrush and aspen ecosystems.

  • Helping the DWR better understand movements and migration routes of big game and other species in Utah so they can build wildlife crossings and improve habitat in crucial areas.

  • Monitoring survival rates and condition of adult deer does and fawns to help the DWR better understand the status and trends in deer populations throughout Utah.

  • Increasing resistance to uncharacteristically large and severe wildfires.

  • Addressing impacts of developments (roads, fencing, etc.) on wildlife migration corridors.

The Burnt Beaver Project, Twelve-Mile Watershed Restoration Project and North Zone Aspen Restoration received the largest sum of the funds.

The Burnt Beaver Project received $287,500 in funding. This project is located in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Summit County, and is aimed at reducing the risk of severe wildfire by reducing hazardous fuel loads, improving wildlife habitat and restoring aspen trees on roughly 861 acres.

The Twelve-Mile Watershed Restoration Project, located on the Twelve-Mile Wildlife Management Area in Sanpete County, received $260,000 in funding. This project aims to improve big game summer and winter range habitats, reduce wildfire risks, stabilize the soil, and improve the water quantity and quality in an area that has experienced large mudslides.

North Zone Aspen Restoration received $160,000 in funding. Located in the Swan Flat area of the Logan Ranger District of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, this project aims to restore aspen tree communities by removing conifer trees located within the aspen stands on roughly 1,200 acres.

“We are really grateful for the support of our conservation partners who believe in wildlife conservation and want to help improve wildlife populations and habitats in Utah,” said Daniel Eddington, DWR habitat conservation coordinator.

The following groups contributed to the record-breaking funds:

  • Mule Deer Foundation

  • Utah Wild Sheep Foundation

  • National Wild Turkey Federation

  • Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

  • Safari Club International

  • Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife

  • Utah Archery Association

  • Wildlife Conservation Foundation

  • Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit Association

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