Utah Habitat Restoration Is Ongoing Project
Habitat restoration is the process of rejuvenating and improving a degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem to bring it back to a more natural and healthy state. This can involve a variety of activities aimed at enhancing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and overall ecological function. Habitat restoration is crucial for conserving biological diversity, restoring ecosystem services, and mitigating the impacts of human activities on the environment.
Successful habitat restoration projects often require collaboration among scientists, conservationists, government agencies, local communities, and other stakeholders. The goal is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem that closely resembles its natural state.
Habitat restoration contributes to the overall health of the planet by promoting biodiversity, improving ecosystem resilience, and providing essential ecosystem services.
A continuing habitat restoration project here in Utah has just reported on the work accomplished in the last fiscal year. Utah's Watershed Restoration Initiative works to improve and restore high-priority watersheds and habitats throughout the state. During this past fiscal year — between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 — a whopping total of 148,883 acres were improved across Utah through this unique and innovative program.
Created in 2006, this Utah Department of Natural Resources partnership based program focuses on improving watershed health and biological diversity, increasing water quality and yield, and improving opportunities for sustainable uses of natural resources, including restoring fish and wildlife habitats.
As one of the initiative's founding partners, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources plays a key role in planning, overseeing and completing regional restoration projects.
For 2022-2023, Utah's Watershed Restoration Initiative completed significant restoration work including the restoration 148,883 acres we've mentioned. 31,518 of those acres had been burned by wildfire including land burned in the Brianhead fire. Initiative work also saw the mixing and spreading of some 523,120 pounds of seed on various landscapes, including those burned by fire, across Utah.
262 miles of streams were improved this fiscal year and in all some 101 habitat restoration projects were completed.
Over $37 million of total funding was invested by more than 86 partners to pay for the different restoration projects. Part of the funding for these projects comes from the DWR Habitat Council, which is funded by a portion of revenue from the fees customers pay for licenses, permits, stamps and certificates of registration.
Other funding partners include the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, conservation groups and many other non-government organizations.
15 Country Stars Who've Never Won a Grammy, Ranked
Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes