National Wild Turkey Federation

UTAH — The Utah State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has been working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) on a program that helps raise money for conservation in the state.

The three-year program, from 2006 to 2008, guarantees the Utah State Chapter will receive six big game tags (four elk and two mule deer) and 20 wild turkey conservation permits to sell at their banquets. Out of the money raised from the sale of the tags, 60 percent goes to conservation efforts in the state, 30 percent goes back to the UDWR and 10 percent goes back to the Utah State Chapter.

“We’re excited about getting this money back on the ground,” said Stan Baker, NWTF regional wildlife biologist for Utah. “These tags generate a lot of money that can be used for conservation.”

In 2006 the state chapter raised more than $91,000 from the sales of these tags. The 60 percent that goes directly into conservation efforts is spent on selected projects that must be approved by the wildlife director for UDWR and on projects already pre-approved by the director. The lists of pre-approved projects are on a database that the state chapter can visit.

“We’re able to go on the database and pick out worthwhile projects to spend money on,” said Baker. “We might spend $3,000 to $5,000 on a project, which might make up 25 to 30 percent of the funding for that particular one.”

In 2009 the UDWR will hold a lottery draft that will choose what conservation organizations will receive tags for the next three years. The draft is based on the organization’s performance from the 2006 to 2008 conservation tag sales.

To learn more about the conservation tag program, contact Stan Baker at (435) 259-0341 or stanbaker@earthlink.net.