The DWR is proposing changes for waterfowl hunting in 2021
Photo courtesy Utah DWR
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) – The Department of Wildlife Resources in Utah recommends changes to waterfowling as well as a few other items, and asks the public for feedback after a new wildlife-related right during the 2021 legislature .
HB 295 prohibits commercial hunting guides and outfitters from using DWR’s own waterfowl management areas without a permit, according to a press release. The new law also prohibits the construction of new blinds in waterfowl management areas and empowers the Utah Wildlife Board to establish rules for the creation and management of waterfowl management areas.
Based on this law and feedback from a recent public survey, the DWR recommends the following changes to waterfowl hunting in 2021:
- Establish regulations that prohibit leadership in areas related to waterfowl management.
- Create a permit process that guides can use waterfowl management areas to access other non-PWR areas.
- Prohibition of building new permanent blinds in waterfowl management areas.
- Adding Duchesne County to Uintah County’s Sandhill Crane Hunting Area.
- Define dog uses, types of fire, including unleaded ammunition needs, and firearms use in the Utah Lake Wetland Preserve.
“These waterfowl management areas offer high quality hunting areas and we want to give the public the opportunity to take advantage of these areas,” said Blair Stringham, DWR coordinator for migratory birds. “Some of these suggestions are designed to help reduce the crowd and ensure a better experience for the public.”
During the pandemic, then-Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order that would allow all public comment meetings to be held electronically. As COVID-19 cases decrease in Utah and more meetings are held again in person, the DWR is proposing a rule change to allow flexibility in creating a new minutes for its public meetings. This change enables a hybrid approach of electronic and face-to-face meetings.
“We have seen added flexibility and efficiency from adapting the virtual meeting format over the past year, but we also recognize the importance of incorporating face-to-face presence and comments into our meetings,” said Ashley Green, assistant director, DWR. “We hope that by combining these two approaches with all of our future public meetings, we will bring more people into the public eye.”
While the new hybrid approach to public meetings is proposed, the current meetings on these proposals are only held virtually. You can view the biologists’ presentations and share your feedback on them here on the DWR website. The presentations can also be viewed on the DWR YouTube channel. However, comments can only be submitted using the forms on the website.
The public comment period for each of the five Regional Advisory Council meetings and the Utah Wildlife Board meeting opened on May 4th. Public comments submitted within the online comment deadlines set out below will be shared with members of the RAC and Wildlife Board at each meeting. While members of the public can view a livestream of each RAC meeting and the Utah Wildlife Board meeting, public comments will not be accepted during these electronic meetings.
The electronic meetings take place on the following dates and times: