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Nibley On The Path To Be Utah's First Wildlife Habitat

If you drive down Hollow Road in Nibley, Utah, you will be hard-pressed to find a yard without a sign that reads “certified wildlife habitat.” That is because Nibley City is in the process of becoming Utah’s first certified wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.

Ron Hellstern, the head of the Cache Valley Wildlife Association, said he initially became certified himself on his own two acreproperty several years ago, which was filled with weeds when he and his wife bought it 17 years ago.

“That’s a canvas on an easel waiting to see what we can do with our brush and paints,” he said.

Hellstern said he eventually discovered he could take the wildlife certification to the city level, so he began recruiting his neighbors to become accredited themselves about two years ago.

"I like to compete,” he said. “I thought, for one thing, ‘What? No one in the whole state of Utah has been certified?’ Let’s get the city that we live in and do it and be number one, so that’s what we’re going to do.”


Based on Nibley’s population, the National Wildlife Federation requires 75 private properties, along with a few schools and parks, to become certified.


“For a place to be certified, it needs to have four things: food, water, shelter, and and a place to raise young,” he said. “Then again you start thinking, well what about moose and bear and cougars and elk? Remember, wildlife is anything that can’t be domesticated.”


The certification also requires a $20 fee. In return, the participants get a sign to put in their yards that demonstrates their property is a wildlife habitat.


Hellstern said he will turn in the application for Nibley City to become certified on Sept. 28, 2015.