WILD UTAH PROJECT INSIDER SCOOP ARCHIVES

   

Insider Scoop  December 19, 2016

Season’s Greetings to Friends of the Wild Utah Project!

Because you are one of Wild Utah Project’s special friends, we are excited to bring you this periodic update about what’s happening at Wild Utah Project.  Thanks again for all your help in contributing to Wild Utah Project’s efforts to bring sound science to land and wildlife management decisions in Utah.    --The Wild Utah Project Crew: Allison, Mary, Emanuel, Amy, and Board members Lindsey, Mark, Kirsten, Scott, Ronni, and Kathy, and “emeritus extraordinaire” Jim Catlin.

The Wild Utah Project Staff wishes all of our supporters Happy Holidays and New Year!

You may notice a couple new faces in this photo!   Since our last “scoop” to you all we are thrilled to announce that we have hired Janis Chan to be our new, contracting GIS staff.  To make a long story short, Emanuel needs some help these days in the GIS lab, as his GIS services have been in great demand!  Originally from Hong Kong, Janis actually first joined the Wild Utah Project team back in 2014 as a GIS intern, through the University of Utah’s Geography Department.  Since then, Janis graduated with two B.S. degrees in Geography, and Environmental and Sustainability Studies; alongside a GIS certificate. Currently, Janis is balancing her WUP GIS contract position with a job in the commercial real estate field as a GIS Analyst. In the near future, Janis hopes to be able to pursue a Master of Science in GIS.  And, we were happy to host another GIS intern this past semester through the U’s Geography department: Vivian Chan (no relation to Janis, though they are fast friends!).  Vivian has enjoyed working with Emanuel and Wild Utah Project so much, that she has secured another internship with us for the upcoming spring semester!

Rumors abound about the Bears Ears Monument being designated before the New Year…

As most of you undoubtedly know, there has been a proposal afoot, offered by a coalition of native American tribes, local Utah Citizens and conservationists, for a new national Monument in the Cedar Mesa region of southern Utah.  Our conservation partners with Round River Conservation Studies originally worked with local tribes to include critical wildlife habitat into this proposal, which will cover up to 1.9 million acres of sagebrush, pinyon-juniper, aspen and conifer habitat that also encompasses thousands of unique archeological and cultural sites sacred to many native Americans. 

Wild Utah Project supports this Monument designation within these public lands already held in trust for the public by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service.  By promising future protection from destructive land management practices ranging from timber cutting to energy development to proliferation of ORV use, this protective designation will allow for greater wildlife habitat connectivity, as the Bears Ears mesas connect to other large blocks of federal land that offer similar high quality habitat for wildlife.  We hear that Obama may very well make the move to use the Antiquities Act to create this new Monument within the next 10-12 days.  Please take a moment (this week!) and check out the Inter-Tribal Coalition’s website if you agree with the premise of this new Monument, and would like to make your voice of support heard with the administration. 

If you have not had the chance to support Wild Utah for our 20th anniversary year, we have the perfect opportunity for you

As you may have seen, we’ve done a good job celebrating our 20th anniversary year with you all this past year, what with film festivals and public presentations and parties.  This Fall we unveiled our final 20th anniversary celebration – an on-line “Friend-raiser” called First Giving.  If you are planning to do a year-end gift to Wild Utah Project anyway, we urge you to consider giving at this site:  http://www.firstgiving.com/wildutahproject.  Here you can give directly to WUP generally, or scroll down to see the “leader-board” for our top ½ dozen Friend-raisers.  The way this campaign works is via about 20 individual First Giving pages run by our staff, Board and “star volunteers” and interns.  We are having a friendly competition to see which one of us achieves the most FirstGiving supporters….so join the fun by picking one of these many pages to give on: http://www.firstgiving.com/wildutahproject/wild-utah-project-20th-anniversary   And, thanks in advance!

Keep your eyes peeled shortly after the New Year on Wild Utah Project’s website….

One of our final pushes in 2016, also in honor of our 20th anniversary, is a much needed overhaul of our website.  We have been working with our wonderful website designer Rachel Merrill, who is designing the new Wild Utah Project website using SquareSpace.  One of the cool aspects of the new site is the direct entry into WUP’s “GIS portal,” with access to many of our GIS projects and maps on both Databasin, and our web-mapping online interface, which will include both interactive web-maps and story maps.  We are very close to seeing this site through to completion.  Watch www.wildutahproject.org after the New Year, for the big roll-out!

Thank you again for supporting the Wild Utah Project and all of our work on behalf of our natural lands and wildlife!

 

Insider Scoop October 21, 2016

Greetings to Friends of the Wild Utah Project!

Because you are one of Wild Utah Project’s special friends, we are excited to bring you this periodic update about what’s happening at Wild Utah Project.  Thanks again for all your help in contributing to Wild Utah Project’s efforts to bring sound science to land and wildlife management decisions in Utah.    --The Wild Utah Project Crew: Allison, Mary, Emanuel, Amy, and Board members Lindsey, Mark, Kirsten, Scott, Ronni, and Kathy, and “emeritus extraordinaire” Jim Catlin.

Don’t miss Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of “Spine of the Continent” discuss her newest book at Marmalade Library next Wed the 26th!

Next Wednesday Oct 26th from 7:00-9:00 pm, our friends at Torrey House Press and Utah Humanities are sponsoring a talk by Mary Ellen Hannibal at the new Marmalade branch (SLC, NW Capitol Hill, 280 W 500 N).  Her new book, “Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction.” is RIGHT up Wild Utah Project’s alley.  Its premise is that citizen science may be one of our last, best tools to fight off the threat of extinction to some of our native western species.  We hope Mary Ellen also touches on another of her titles that is very close to Wild Utah Project’s heart: “The Spine of the Continent: The Race to Save America's Last, Best Wilderness.”  This book is about the effort of Wildlands Network and the Rewilding Institute to protect the Rocky Mountain wildlands corridor between the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico and Canadian Rockies, so that our native wildlife will be preserved in spite of the effects of climate change.   As you may know, the Heart of the West Wildlands Network design (which Wild Utah Project spearheaded from 2000-2004) and the implementation of this connected network of core areas and corridors in NE Utah/middle Rockies is a key aspect of the Spine of the Continent vision. Hope to see you at the library with Mary Ellen next week!

Check out Wild Utah Project’ s new citizen science story map!

Be sure to click here for our first “story map” and share this fun and accessible interactive map with friends and family interested in learning more about Wild Utah Project. The story map highlights our Citizen Science Program – through text, photos, videography, and an interactive map with information about our projects.  It’s a sneak preview of our new website (which will have additional story maps), which we’ll be rolling out by the end of the year – in celebration of Wild Utah Project’s 20th Anniversary! 

Wild Utah and partners involved in UDOT’s revised State Transportation Improvement Program

Both wild animals and humans suffer when automobiles collide with wildlife.  Recently, along with our partners Wildlands Network and Western Wildlife Conservancy, Wild Utah Project has begun to turn our head to one of our chief problems our wildlife face: collisions with vehicles on our dizzying network of roads in Utah. The Utah Dept of Transportation (UDOT) has recently begun the process of updating its state-wide State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP. The STIP serves as UDOT’s official work plan for the development of projects through conception, environmental studies, right of way acquisition, planning and advertising for construction for all sources of federal highway funds.  We are working with a coalition of conservation organizations, both within and beyond Utah, that are currently coordinating efforts to comment on as many western state STIPs as possible.  The overriding message we are sending: Please ensure that wildlife crossing structures (i.e. wildlife overpasses and underpasses) are part of all highway projects in important movement corridors for large bodied wildlife (i.e. elk, deer and the carnivores).  We will be sure to keep you apprised of upcoming opportunities to review and comment on Utah’s draft STIP!

On that note, as we were working with our partners to recently give input on the Utah STIP, our director Allison Jones joined Kim Crumbo, western conservation director of the Wildlands Network, and Kirk Robinson, executive director of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, in writing about the problems our wildlife face on our highways and why we desperately need more of these crossing structures, in a recent editorial for the Salt Lake City Tribune.  If we and our elected officials and state and federal agencies have the will, we can proactively design highway improvement projects that avoid billions of dollars in costs, lost human lives across the country, and many thousands of wildlife fatalities.

Thank you again for supporting the Wild Utah Project and all of our work on behalf of our natural lands and wildlife!