Wild About Utah

Wild About Utah is a weekly nature series produced by Utah Public Radio in cooperation with Stokes Nature Center, Bridgerland Audubon Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Cache Valley Wildlife Association, Utah State University and Utah Master Naturalist Program - USU Extension. More about Wild About Utah can be found here.

Utah is a state endowed with many natural wonders from red rock formations to salt flats. And from desert wetlands to columns of mountains forming the basin and range region. When we look closer, nature is everywhere including just outside our door.

Hear the wonders of Utah: plants, animals, geologic formations; ancient, present; terrestrial, avian and aquatic. Brought to you by the Moab Area Travel Council

Ways to Connect

The Aftermath Of Wildfires on Wild About Utah

8 hours ago
U.S. Forest Service

Wildfires hit record highs this year in the Western United States.  There can be arguments blaming climate change or forest management.  Were they caused by human carelessness or natural causes such as lightning?  Take your pick.  But the results were tragic. 

Karen Mock

The rustling noise of wind blowing through aspen trees is a sweet sound for many Utahns, reminding them of home.

Exotic Invasive Species on Wild About Utah

Sep 28, 2018
nature.mdc.mo.gov

“Exotic” sounds rather alluring, but “invasive” implies something completely different and undesirable.

US FWS, Nate Rathbun

Migration has begun, or did it ever end? Even in our little N. Utah valley its happening. We normally think of migration during the great flocks of birds that pass through during swing months of fall and spring, or the deer and elk coming down for the winter, or swarms of salmon swimming to their death when spawning. But that’s only a small part of the story.

All About Honeybees on Wild About Utah

Sep 11, 2018
Mary Heers

I was a bit surprised when I met a local beekeeper who insisted she'd never eaten any honey except that produced by bees in the mountains above Cache Valley.  It made sense that the taste of honey would be determined by the flowers where the bees collected nectar and pollen. It turns out the Forest Service issues permits to local beekeepers to put hives around Tony Grove.

Joseph Wheaton

Nuisance beavers, who in recent years were viewed as pests and quickly disposed of, are now in high demand.

Incredible Hummingbirds on Wild About Utah

Aug 31, 2018
Ron Hellstern

Having witnessed people in poverty, as well as starving animals, I can never condone the fascination some Americans have with Hot Dog Eating Contests.  Yet humans are poor competitors when compared to some members of the animal kingdom.

Fire on Wild About Utah

Aug 17, 2018

The haze above Cache Valley begins to dissipate after weeks of hovering low and thick like a winter inversion, even as the Goring and Hansel Point Fires rage on just west of the Wellsville Mountains that bookend the valley. Both blazes, just two of the more than ten active fires in the state, are still less than 50% contained. Farmers and ranchers in Box Elder County are now doubling as volunteer fire crews.

Mark Mckinstry

Piute Farm's waterfall is a 25-ft high cascade that has formed along the San Juan River and spans its entire width.  The location is a remote spot in an upstream arm of Lake Powell reservoir.

Peru on Wild About Utah

Jul 20, 2018
Tony Grove in Logan Canyon
Shalayne Smith-Needham

I just returned from two weeks in the Peruvian Andes conducting fieldwork on high elevation wetlands and how they were responding to impacts from livestock grazing in a changing climate. We were in the Huascaran National Park, the highest part of the Andes with many peaks soaring above 20,000 feet. 

Shauna Leavitt

In the past decade, over 45,000 acres of land in southern Utah have had conservation treatments by removing the encroaching pinyon-juniper forest and allowing the native grasses and sagebrush to return.

Knowing Trees on Wild About Utah

Jun 29, 2018
USDA Forest Service

If you are fortunate to live, or even work, near trees enjoy the many benefits they provide.  Perhaps you learned something about them in a biology class you took long ago.  But do you know what kind of trees you are looking at now?  Consider a few basic elementary tips to help you identify what you are observing.  And please understand this will be a generalization. 

Riparian Zones on Wild About Utah

Jun 22, 2018
como.gov

Summer’s heat has turned on. It was evident in a dramatic fashion as I ran a ridge in N. Utah where the early am temps were near 70 degrees, flowers had faded, and the absence of birdsong. 

Shiras Moost Calf
Sam Robertson


In the early 1900s, moose began expanding south into Utah from Wyoming.  

 

This moose sub-species was named in honor of [Congressman] George Shiras III who explored Yellowstone in the early 1900’s and found large numbers of moose.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

As human populations increase and construction developments overtake agricultural land and wildlife habitat, some people may feel as if there is little hope for local connections to nature.  Don’t raise the white flag of surrender.  There is much you can do in your own yards to help attract wild songbirds and butterflies.

Hidden In Plain Sight on Wild About Utah

May 18, 2018
USDA

My wife and I paddled our kayak gingerly into the eaves of a limestone cliff, our eyes scanning its face for some sort of concavity or movement where there was none. “I don’t see where she could possibly be,” my wife confessed. She was right. We knew we had found the right rock, soiled as it was with bird refuse, but there was nowhere for the nest to lie it seemed. 

Spring’s Gifts on Wild About Utah

May 4, 2018
Glacier lily
US Forest Service

I doubt there was a song left unsung as I worked my way up Birch Canyon early am. Testosterone laden birds filled the morning with delight. Robins, finches, meadowlarks, song sparrows- what a marvelous symphony! I breathed deeply to fully absorb air filled with titillating odors from last night’s gentle spring rain- nature’s perfume, free and priceless.

Poetry In The Forest on Wild About Utah

Apr 25, 2018
poetry in the forest
edsitement.neh.gov

There are people who can capture beautiful scenery by painting on canvas, using film photography, and with digital technology.  And these forms of art can be visually stunning.  But there is a unique perspective of visualizing when written words are read, allowing one’s mind to see not only the exterior of a scene but the interior heart intended by the writer.

The Invasive Phragmites on Wild About Utah

Apr 20, 2018
Great Salt Lake Phragmites
Karin Kettenring

Those unfamiliar with the history of the Utah’s wetlands may see Phragmites and say, “What a beautiful, elegant plant! It looks so graceful blowing along the shore.”

However, the plant’s attractiveness and ability to absorb pollutants may not compensate for its negative impacts.

'Wilderglyphs' on Wild About Utah

Apr 4, 2018
Ice Pattern Wilderglyph
Josh Boling

Glyph: a word that might evoke images in the mind of ancient Egyptian pictures recounting the trials and triumphs of pharaohs and their people; or Native American rock art meaningfully pecked into a sandstone wall, directing desert travelers toward water. There are others, too, all around us, hiding in plain sight. They are perhaps less noticed because they are not made by humans, but instead by the elements and the wilds. I call them wilderglyphs.

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout
Shauna Leavitt

In the 1970s, many feared Utah’s native fish, the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, was extinct.

A search began and in a short time, with a sigh of relief, state managers were able to report the Bonneville cutthroat trout was still in Utah’s rivers and streams, but the sub-species was imperiled and had experienced dramatic reductions in abundance and distribution rangewide.

State Symbols on Wild About Utah

Mar 13, 2018
Topaz gemstone
US Geological Survey

Most people could probably name the state bird or the state tree, but what about the state gem? The state grass? State fruit?  Do you know why they are important to Utah?  Here are just a few of Utah’s State Symbols that you might not have known.

'Journey North' on Wild About Utah

Mar 2, 2018
Citizen-scientist in yard
USGS

To those who take personal pride in their yard, park, field, or community you could become part of an amazing network called Journey North.  This is a free, extremely easy Citizen-Science online activity that people can simply enjoy, or enter data about their own backyard and join over 80,000 other people and schools that participate regularly.

The Language Of Ravens on Wild About Utah

Feb 23, 2018
The Common Raven
National Parks Service

I was three days downriver and hadn’t seen a soul since shoving my canoe away from the boat ramp outside of town. The only sounds accompanying my solitude were the white noise of rapid water and the echoes of thoughts pin-balling around my mind—that is, until the third morning when, stooped over the small, blue roar of my cook stove, I was startled by an unfamiliar sound. 

Our Winterless Winter on Wild About Utah

Feb 20, 2018
NOAA

Our winterless winter. I’ve been in this lovely valley over 30 years and have never experienced such a balmy January, and now February. The thaw began January first and never ended. As an avid cross country skier, I fear my days of low elevation skiing have ended over a month early.

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