Sunday, June 7, 2020


Moab, UT

59.4 F

    DWR’s Fowlks to lead western fish, wildlife group

    Featured Stories

    Ignoring own standards and experts, Utah commission pushes reopening

    The COVID-19 model from the CDC predicts an increase in deaths from the coronavirus from Utah in the coming weeks, and key indicators predict more hospitalizations are to come.

    Leaving Guatemala

    I selected “send me where I’m needed most,” my desire to immerse myself in another country’s culture not affixed to any location in particular.

    Widespread testing is key to Moab’s path forward

    Once a person develops symptoms of COVID-19, it has likely already been days since they started unknowingly spreading the virus. As such, local health officials want to expand testing locally for the coronavirus.

    County to diversify post-virus

    The impacts of the pandemic have renewed local leaders’ focus on a topic many have worried over for years but must now confront in much starker terms: Economic diversification.

    Arches, Canyonlands to reopen May 29

    Arches and Canyonlands national parks will partially reopen to the public at the end of the month, according to a spokesperson for the parks, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local public health authorities.

    The party is over at Imagination Station art supply store

    Cindy Sue Hunter serves a customer at her art supply store, Imagination Station, which has been reconfigured to allow shoppers to do what Hunter calls “door shopping."
    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.
    Mike Fowlks

    During the recent annual Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies conference held in Manhattan, Kansas, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Director Mike Fowlks was voted as the president of the organization, according to DWR spokesperson Faith Jolley.

    The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies was started in the 1920s as a way for the various wildlife agencies to coordinate and support one another. The organization has an annual conference each year, and at this year’s meeting, several new bylaws, a new strategic plan and the new leadership was voted on in a July 16 meeting, said Jolley.

    “It was humbling for me to see that the western directors have confidence in my ability to move WAFWA into a new direction,” Fowlks said. “I look forward to taking the governance of WAFWA to a higher level and making it a more efficient and effective organization.”

    Fowlks will serve as the president for one year until the elections take place during next year’s conference. As president, he oversees and creates new committees within the organization and nominates the chairperson for each committee, said Jolley.

    During the conference, Fowlks also became the director sponsor for the Mule Deer Working Group.

    What is the Mule Deer Working Group?

    WAFWA started the Mule Deer Working Group in 1997. It consists of mule deer and black-tailed deer biologists and experts from wildlife agencies in 19 states located in the western U.S. as well as three western Canadian provinces and two territories. Each agency has one representative in the group, and the group meets twice each year in various locations across the U.S. and Canada, said Jolley.

    What does the group do and why is it important?

    The organization was created for wildlife agencies in western North America to collaborate on the conservation and management of mule deer and black-tailed deer, said Jolley.

    “It is important for biologists to talk to each other because we all have a lot of common issues that we face in our different areas, and we often have common goals,” said Jim Heffelfinger, Mule Deer Working Group chair and Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife science coordinator. “When we start asking around to different agencies, we find out that others are frequently working to address the same issues, so by collaborating, we are more efficient and successful.”

    The group publishes informational documents and guidelines each year on mule deer management, habitat conservation, and successful management practices. Recently, the group teamed up with wildlife veterinarians to author a report about chronic wasting disease, a fatal contagious neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose, said Jolley.

    During last week’s WAFWA conference, the group announced that it will be writing a comprehensive book about mule deer, something that hasn’t happened in nearly four decades. It also worked on five new fact sheets on various topics including historical and current deer populations and determining the age of mule deer.

    “It’s a privilege to be the director sponsor of the Mule Deer Working Group because of the fantastic work that they do,” Fowlks said. “The working group’s efforts increase our collective knowledge of what mule deer need to thrive, it helps us identify threats to mule deer populations in Utah and the West, and it helps us understand how to mitigate those factors. By collaborating with other wildlife professionals, our ability to manage for healthy, robust populations of mule deer in Utah and all over the western part of North America increases.”

    As the director sponsor of the group, Fowlks will provide guidance and ensure the group is meeting the needs of the various wildlife agencies, said Jolley.

    The group is also working with several federal land management agencies to identify important winter range and migration routes for deer, so they can improve the deer’s ability to reach the critical winter and summer habitats they need, said Jolley.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    Police chief chases man behaving badly

    File photo by Carter Pape A Moab man with a history of drug...

    CFI modifies summer camp due to pandemic; won’t do overnight programs

    Canyonlands Field Institute has made the difficult decision to cancel its traditional overnight camps this summer, but is continuing to hold a new type of day camp.

    Economic injury loans in Utah reach $365.3M

    The U.S. Small Business Administration said in a statement that as of May 25, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program approved 500,074 loans nationally totaling $42.4 billion.

    Synergy donates $40K to local nonprofits

    Thatcher Vagts, president of The Synergy Company, distributes coronavirus relief checks to nonprofits. Courtesy photo The Synergy Company...

    Hwy. 191 work continues with paving, storm drain

    An excavator operator works on Highway 191 as part of a project by the Utah Department of Transportation to expand the...