Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:39 AM
I had this sent to me, so I copied it to post it here.I wish California would do the same. Folks,We are very pleased to announce that important legislation to speed Mule Deer Recovery in the state of Utah were signed into law on Saturday, March 17, 2012. I was asked to represent the supporters of Big Game Forever at the signing ceremony. Just before both bills were signed, Representative McIff talked about the sharp decline in mule deer harvest in Utah over the last 30 years. In 1983, 85,000 mule deer were harvested in Utah. Last year, just 19,000 mule deer were harvested. Now is the time to fix Utah's mule deer herd. Coyotes are a major problem. Sportsmen are the answer. These two bills provide big dollars to incentivize sportsmen to spend more time in the field doing coyote control work. At $1 Million dollars, through targeted control efforts, 20,000 coyotes can be removed at $50 per coyote. This is enough to do control efforts in every part of the state. Over the next couple of weeks, recommendations on how this program may be implemented will be distributed. To sportsmen in Utah, please provide feedback on recommendations as the state of Utah goes through the process of developing this program to control coyotes. The goal is to utilize these dollars in a manner to most effectively increase fawn survival and mule deer recovery statewide. This program should also help predation on livestock across the state.Below is an article from Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife on the signing of both SB 87 and SB 245.-- ________________________________________Salt Lake City, Utah – March 18, 2012 – Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed two pieces of legislation into law that will bring millions to the rescue of struggling mule deer herds in the Beehive state.Gov. Herbert’s official support means that Utah coyote control funding will increase by $1.25 million a year. $500,000 comes from a $5 license fee increase, and $750,000 comes from general sales tax revenue from the state of Utah. In total, now nearly $2 million annually will be invested to control coyotes and rebuild deer herds. The governor has studied the issues surrounding why Utah’s mule deer herds are struggling at near all-time lows. SFW has worked closely with the governor and wildlife officials to identify the problems and what can be done to ease pressure on deer. “Data has shown that coyote predation is a major negative contributor to Utah’s deer survival,” according to SFW President Byron Bateman. “Our deer numbers are dwindling despite tens of millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to protect winter habitat, fence highways and improve conditions for Utah’s deer. This is some of the most important legislation related to deer management that Utah has seen in many years. We are very optimistic it will have a positive impact over time for mule deer recovery.”The event was held at Hoyt Archery and Easton Technical new production facility in Salt Lake City. The world’s leader in Archery equipment is a strong supporter of SFW and mule deer recovery effortd. On hand at the signing event was state Senator Ralph Okerlund, state Senator David Hinkins, and House of Representative Kay McKiff, all leading legislative sponsors. SFW and the governor also thanked Senators Allen Christensen and Margaret Dayton and Representatives Mike Noel as well. Randy and Coni Brooks, major SFW sponsors, and many SFW volunteers and chapter leaders were on hand with several Hoyt employees.The Utah Division of Wildlife will be working with sportsmen and the Department of Agriculture to get the most bang for the buck on this coyote control program. It will be centered around rural, private contractors who will be compensated on performance-based programs, and augmenting the current aerial gunning and local county coyote bounty programs.