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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Utah’s Largest-Ever Conservation Campaign

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and the Nature Conservancy yesterday launched what they call the largest land preservation and restoration campaign in state history.

The “Living Lands and Waters initiative” will raise $43 million in public and private funds for conservation projects to save Utah’s most at-risk lands and waters, according to a Nature Conservancy press release.

To date, the Conservancy has raised $24.9 million in public and private funds, leaving $18.1 million to be raised by the target date of July, 2009.

“This campaign is unique for two main reasons,” said Dave Livermore, the Conservancy’s Utah State Director. “First, after an intensive statewide study we have identified Utah’s most ecologically significant lands and waters—and developed an innovative plan to protect them. Second, with Utah’s tremendous growth, we have reached a new level of urgency. The Conservancy believes we must act quickly and decisively to save Utah’s natural heritage.”

To coincide with the launch of the campaign, the Conservancy announced the purchase of a conservation easement on the 6,700-acre Selman Ranch near Logan. Nestled in the Little Bear drainage, this ranch harbors breeding ground for the Columbian sharp-tailed grouse—a bird that has already lost more than 96 percent of its historic habitat in Utah and is in danger of being federally listed as an endangered species.

Other key projects of the Living Lands & Waters Campaign include:

Virgin River Headwaters: a conservation collaboration among 17 ranchers on 11,000 acres near Zion National Park, supporting critical habitat and a key watershed.

Boulder Creek Canyon Ranch: the protection of prime ranchland in the heart of Boulder, creating a wildlife corridor between natural protected areas.

Great Salt Lake: the Wings & Water Wetlands Education Program offers 4th grade students and teachers a new way to use the Great Salt Lake as an unforgettable outdoor classroom.

White Dome: a new 800-acre preserve in Washington County will create a community resource and save some of the world’s last remaining populations of endangered wildflowers.

Read the entire press release

Read more about the campaign

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