Wildlife do not abide by state boundaries. For this reason, ecoregions are defined by distinctive geography, which include large areas of land or water and contain distinct assemblages of flora and fauna. It’s important to consider ecoregions when conservation planning. Wild Utah Project has a long history of ecoregional planning. Since our inception, we have worked to conserve landscape level connectivity for vital wildlife corridors. Our initial project, the Heart of the West Conservation Plan, is a blueprint for effective land conservation across the middle Rocky Mountains ecoregion. Wild Utah Project continues the work through conservation area design and conservation assessments.
Central Wasatch Environmental Dashboard
The Dashboard is a tool for decision makers to track the Central Wasatch’s environmental health and evaluate impacts in advance of future transportation planning decisions. It is the intention of the Mountain Accord that the Dashboard is a legacy project and will be updated on a regular basis. It is scientifically based, data rich, and technically credible.
The Dashboard compiles data currently collected throughout the Central Wasatch Mountains in a way that provides a picture of the complete health of the mountain range, as well as a mechanism for measuring the health moving forward. Phase II of the Dashboard includes an online platform for the public, planners, managers, and scientists interested in tracking the progress of the key ecological indicators.
Identifying Wildlife-vehicle Collision Hotspots
The state of Utah is working to make Utah roads safer for motorists by reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions and improving movement corridors for wildlife. Wildlife move across many habitats throughout the year, which requires them to cross busy streets and highways. We are supporting independent researcher, Patty Cramer, and the Utah Department of Transportation to compile and map a decade of wildlife collision and carcass data, combined with important movement corridors, to identify hot spots of wildlife-vehicle collisions. These data and mapping products will better inform a planning process by the State of Utah. Actions on the ground may include building under and overpasses for wildlife that will benefit both wildlife and motorists.