EDGEFIELD, SC — Since 1980, the Utah Wildlife Board has designated a small percentage of unique and limited-entry hunting permits as “conservation and display permits.” Funds from these permits are used for wildlife habitat research, conservation and restoration projects, raising $3.9 million this year alone.
Conservation permits are offered to conservation and sports groups who auction them off at banquets, fundraisers, and other events. These groups provide 90% of the money raised from these permit sales for research and conservation projects such as habitat enhancement, wildlife transplants, aerial surveys, and deer survival studies. Rather than being auctioned off, the exhibit permits are available through a raffle held once a year at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City. Both Utah residents and non-residents are eligible to apply for these permits.
During this year’s annual conservation permit program, the National Wild Turkey Federation purchased several of these permits. The permits will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to habitat projects throughout Utah.
Over the past two decades, conservation permits have generated more than $59 million in revenue for wildlife conservation work in Utah. Without this funding, the Department of Wildlife Resources and its partners would have had far fewer resources to complete high-priority conservation projects. Funds generated from conservation and exhibit permits have led to the improvement of thousands of acres of critical habitat, as well as the completion of significant research to support DWR’s efforts to manage animal populations more effectively.
Many of the conservation projects that are funded by these special permits are proposed for Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative. Launched in 2006 as a partnership effort of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, this program strives to improve priority watersheds across the state. In doing so, the initiative promotes healthy watersheds and biological diversity, clean and abundant water, recreational opportunities, and enhancement of wild turkey habitat. Through continued efforts, the initiative has completed 2,594 projects on 2,392,035 acres of the Utah landscape.
The ongoing Upper Provo Basin Project is a prime example of the impactful work being done across the state, with phase 6 scheduled for completion in 2023. In addition to providing benefits to wild turkeys in Utah, conservation efforts under the Watershed Restoration Initiative also align with the NWTF’s Four Shared Values.
“I’ve been a part of this program since NWTF started getting tags to sell,” said Lynn Worwood, president of the NWTF’s Utah state chapter. “Going to the assignment meeting and sitting down with all the other conservation groups in that room and spending millions of dollars on wildlife habitat is one of my favorite things to do, because I know we are shaping the future of wildlife habitat. wildlife in Utah.
The NWTF is proud to support these important conservation initiatives in Utah and is committed to promoting the conservation of wild turkeys and their habitats throughout the country. To learn more about the NWTF and its conservation efforts, read about America’s Big Six of Wildlife Conservation.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.
2023 is the 50th of the NWTFhe Anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.