Shauna Leavitt

Beaver In Utah’s Desert Rivers

Jul 7, 2020
Emma Doden


The Price and San Rafael rivers flow through some of Utah’s driest areas. Both are tributaries of the Green River. These rivers are essential to sustain the wildlife, riparian vegetation, native and endangered fish populations, and livestock that live in Utah’s eastern desert.

Beavers, native to both rivers, have far-reaching impacts on these waterways because of their ability to build dams that hold the water on the arid landscape – they are nature’s aquatic engineers. 

Finding The Black Rosy-Finch

Jun 8, 2020
Courtesy of Kim Savides

High in the snow-covered mountains of Northern Utah, Kim Savides, a graduate student in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University waits for the daily avalanche report during winter months. If favorable, she ventures out to remote bird feeders in hopes of finding black rosy-finches.

Rae Robinson stands in the wetlands at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area
Rae Robinson

The Great Salt Lake provides approximately 75% of Utah’s wetlands, and is a resting area along the Pacific- Americas flyway.   Migratory birds rely on the lake as a stopping spot for rest and nutrition which they obtain from the variety of native plant communities.  These communities are at constant risk from the invasive reed Phragmites australis which is taking over native wetland plant communities.

A family enjoying the Logan River
Frank Howe


In 2011, extensive flooding in Cache Valley caused widespread damage to both buildings and land along the Logan River.  This led to the formation of the Logan River Task Force; this group of Utah State University scientists and other experts in riparian and river restoration worked with Logan City and Bio-West, Inc. (a local consulting firm) to develop a long-term restoration plan that prevented flooding while balancing both social and ecological values of the river.  


Logan River’s Evolving Geomorphology

Mar 4, 2020


Logan River’s geomorphology, or landform, has changed very little over the past 150 years in the mountain canyons.  But where the river leaves the mountains and drops down onto Cache Valley’s floor, its geomorphology has changed dramatically.

Diane Renkin / NPS

Logan River ecology is about connections between highlands and lowlands, water and land, life in and around the river, and resources that support that life. 

H.G. Hutteballe / Darrin Smith Photo Collection

Over 15,000 years ago, the glacially fed Logan River was flowing into Lake Bonneville which covered most of the NW quadrant of the state and completely filled Utah’s Cache Valley.  

'Cougars In Utah' on Wild About Utah

Oct 11, 2019
David Stoner

Cougars are more widely distributed in Utah than many residents realize.  These shy cats are found across the state.  They roam from the high Uinta Mountains to the dry southern deserts.

Katie Creighton / UDWR

Just outside Moab between the cold, fast-flowing water of the Colorado River and the slow, warmer waters of the Matheson Wetland Preserve stands a newly constructed escape passage for larvae of the endangered razorback sucker.

Tom Becker / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Arguably the most scientifically-important (and controversial) elk herd in the world, because it has been scrutinized and studied the longest, is in Yellowstone National Park.

Winter Bird Feeding on Wild About Utah

Jan 4, 2019

This time of year, we see a cast of characters flying among the trees and bushes as they search for food and a place to nestle to conserve warmth and energy. 

Sebastian Voortman

Utah’s deep snow and hundreds of miles of publicly accessible groomed trails make snowmobiling an ideal way for individuals and families to experience the state’s backcountry.  

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.

Bryan Maloney

Along the bottom of the Weber River lives a genetically-distinct fish called the bluehead sucker. 

Its head is colored in dusty shades of blue, brown and gold.  From the gills to the tail the fish has a pattern of gold, diamond-shaped scales with dark brown borders, which grow larger and more distinct closer to the tail.