$4.2 million raised through Utah Conservation Permit Program
Last week, seven large conservation groups pledged a record $4.2 million to projects benefiting wildlife research, conservation and habitat restoration in Utah through the Utah Conservation Permit Program. The program, which began in 1980, helps raise money for conservation projects throughout the state by designating some limited entry and once-in-a-lifetime hunting permits as conservation and expo permits, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR).
“These funds and projects help improve wildlife habitat and watershed health throughout the state, leading to healthier and more abundant wildlife populations and increased opportunity for the hunting public,” said Tyler Thompson, director of Utah's Watershed Restoration Initiative Program. “These permits and funds help make these projects possible.”
For 2022, participating organizations included the Mule Deer Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Utah Archery Association and the Utah Wild Sheep Foundation.
The majority of the projects that will be funded through these special permits specifically focus on “improving watershed health and biological diversity, increasing water quality and yield, and improving opportunities for sustainable uses of natural resources,” according to the press release. In 2020-21, a record 147,215 acres were restored and improved.
Out of the 96 projects proposed, 80 will be partially or fully funded by the $4.2 million provided by the conservation organizations, including a $250,000 habitat restoration project on the south side of the Henry Mountains. Since 2001, these permits have generated over $59 million for conservation projects in Utah, which allows UDWR and its partners to complete critical wildlife conservation projects that enhance habitat and sustain wildlife in the state.