Archives: SFW News
Salt Lake City, Utah – March 18, 2012 – Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed two pieces of legislation into law that will bring millions to the rescue of struggling mule deer herds in the Beehive state.
Gov. Herbert’s official support means that Utah coyote control funding will increase by $1.25 million a year. $500,000 comes from a $5 license fee increase, and $750,000 comes from general sales tax revenue from the state of Utah. In total, now nearly $2 million annually will be invested to control coyotes and rebuild deer herds. The governor has studied the issues surrounding why Utah’s mule deer herds are struggling at near all-time lows. SFW has worked closely with the governor and wildlife officials to identify the problems and what can be done to ease pressure on deer.
“Data has shown that coyote predation is a major negative contributor to Utah’s deer survival,” according to SFW President Byron Bateman. “Our deer numbers are dwindling despite tens of millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to protect winter habitat, fence highways and improve conditions for Utah’s deer. This is some of the most important legislation related to deer management that Utah has seen in many years. We are very optimistic it will have a positive impact over time for mule deer recovery.”
The event was held at Hoyt Archery and Easton Technical new production facility in Salt Lake City. The world’s leader in Archery equipment is a strong supporter of SFW and mule deer recovery effortd. On hand at the signing event was state Senator Ralph Okerlund, state Senator David Hinkins, and House of Representative Kay McKiff, all leading legislative sponsors. SFW and the governor also thanked Senators Allen Christensen and Margaret Dayton and Representatives Mike Noel as well. Randy and Coni Brooks, major SFW sponsors, and many SFW volunteers and chapter leaders were on hand with several Hoyt employees.
The Utah Division of Wildlife will be working with sportsmen and the Department of Agriculture to get the most bang for the buck on this coyote control program. It will be centered around rural, private contractors who will be compensated on performance-based programs, and augmenting the current aerial gunning and local county coyote bounty programs.