Wildlife in Utah face many challenges, and the newly formed Utah Wildlife Federation hopes to protect wildlife across the state.
The organization was voted in as an official affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation earlier this month. With the acceptance of Utah’s chapter as part of the national organization, all 50 states now have their own branch.
Ken Verdoia, a board member of the Utah branch, feels this is a big step in protecting wildlife across the country.
“We were the last link, and I'm so proud to be part of bringing that chain together, because that means commitment extends from the Florida Everglades, to the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, to coastal California, and here in to the Great Basin to ensure that we are connected as a nation with these important issues.” Verdoia said.
Verdoia said that the Federation hopes to bring people together to solve issues across the landscape instead of focusing on helping single species.
One of the issues they hope to explore right away is human development and its impacts on animal migration.
“One of our first involvements is to be a catalyst for the consideration of migratory patterns of wildlife in Utah and our immediate neighbor states. So that we understand the importance of development, how it can impact those migratory tracks that are really ageless, and need to be protected.” Verdoia said.
Ultimately, according to Verdoia, the Federation believes wildlife, and wildlife protection, is for everyone.
“Let's sustain it for another hundred years, strong numbers, biodiversity, great habitat, great access, great benefit for all outdoor recreationists, regardless of whether they carry a gun, or whether they carry a camera, or whether they carry a walking stick.” Verdoia said. “There's room for us all in this process.”