|Rick Larsen presents a PILT check to the county.|
Rick Larsen, supervisor for the Southeastern Region for the Divison of Wildlife Resources presented a check for the PILT payment to the Emery County Commission at their February meeting. The payment-in-lieu-of taxes check amounted to $2,700. Larsen explained these are funds generated by the sportsmen in the state of Utah for lands used by the DWR within Emery County. "We work closely with the county and appreciate the willingness to work on wildlife issues," said Larsen.
Larsen said things have been slow during the winter and they are in the middle of work plans for the next fiscal year. Law enforcement has been busy with several poaching cases, none in Emery County. Their law enforcement also assisted the Utah Highway patrol troopers just east of Green River when a convicted felon ran into the desert. TJ Robertson assisted in bringing the felon back into custody. Robertson ran into the felon and talked him into surrendering. "We have a very professional law enforcement," said Larsen.
He explained that 11 does were poached in the Gordon Creek area and the men involved have been charged with two felonies and four misdemeanor counts of wildlife destruction. In the Moab area a realtor turned in a poacher when she viewed a bobcat on the freezer. There has been some elk depradation in the lower Huntington Canyon area. These 10 cows have been harvested and donated to local churches to be distributed as needed. Larsen said the wildlife in our area are still in relatively good shape. There has been no need for any wildlife feeding. It has been bad up in North Ogden and there has been feeding of the deer in that area. Snows are about average in our area and some of the slopes are now baring to expose feed for the animals. "Most of the animals are in pretty good shape," said Larsen.
Paul Birdsey from the DWR will be working on rehabilitation at the Hatt Ranch properties for native species. He will be working on the diversion. The work will secure the native species population and the work can be used as proof of the division's efforts to forego any sensitive species or endangered species listings. "We are trying to stay on top of it," said Larsen.
Commissioner Gary Kofford wondered about any deer herd loss for this year. Larsen answered there is always some loss and they may lose more this year, but it's yet to be seen.
Commissioner Drew Sitterud said he is glad the DWR is working through the process with the county on the introduction of the river otter into Straight Canyon. Larsen said they are glad to be cooperating with the county and pointed out a reintroduction of the ferret will take place in Grand County and this will allow land uses to continue as in the past. This is an introduction into the ferrets' native habitat.