During the annual conservation permit project funding meeting held on April 4, participating conservation groups committed $3.9 million to fund dozens of large wildlife research, conservation, and habitat restoration projects. The Utah Conservation Permit Program was established in 1980 to increase funding for conservation projects throughout Utah. The Utah Wildlife Board designates a small percentage of limited-entry and once-in-a-lifetime hunting permits as “conservation and expo permits” each year.
The proposals for the conservation projects are due in the first week of January each year. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and WRI committees decide which projects are of the highest priority after reviewing all proposals. During the annual meeting, conservation groups review and assign funds to the projects they choose. The annual funding meeting has been taking place since 2008.
Wildlife Conservation Projects
The projects that received the highest funding during the April 4 meeting were: Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative, Twelve-Mile Watershed Restoration Project, and Mahogany Ridge Bullhog Phase II. These projects will improve wildlife habitat, stabilize the soil, and improve water quantity and quality.
“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 DWR Habitat Conservation Coordinator Daniel Eddington.
Funds for these projects become available on July 1, with most of the seeding and restoration work being conducted in the fall, during prime planting season. These habitat projects typically take multiple years to plan and complete.
The Utah Department of Natural Resources partnership-based program, Watershed Restoration Initiative, focuses on improving watershed health and biological diversity, increasing water quality and yield, improving wildlife habitat, and increasing opportunities for sustainable uses of natural resources. Over 164,000 acres across Utah were improved through WRI habitat projects in 2021–22.
You can read more about these projects by clicking here. Likewise, you can read more Utah hunting news by clicking here.