Action Alert: Voice Your Opinion on Utah H.B. 125

February 5, 2020 | by National Deer Alliance

Utah H.B. 125, introduced by Representative Carl Albrecht (R - Richfield), mandates that the Director of the Division of Wildlife Resources "shall take immediate action to reduce the number of predators within a management unit when the big game population is under the established herd size objective for that management unit." Predators include cougars, bears, coyotes and bobcats. 'Immediate action' means:

  • increasing take permits or tags for cougar, bear, and bobcat until the herd size objective is met;
  • allowing big game hunters to harvest predators with the appropriate permit during a big game hunting season, including issuing over-the-counter predator permits; 
  • professional trapping and predator control by the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, private contracts, and the general public, including aerial control measures; and
  • other management tools as determined by the director.

However, immediate action is not required "if the Division of Wildlife Resources proves that predators are not contributing to the big game population being under the herd size objective for the management unit."

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) outlines predator and competitor management as one of the focus areas in our strategic plan. It's not a priority because we don't appreciate predators and the role they play in wildlife management; rather, we understand that careful management of predator populations is for the greater good of entire ecosystems. Still, NDA welcomes and respects the role of state agencies in making complex, multi-layered wildlife management decisions. While NDA has not taken a formal position on H.B. 125, we do encourage you to reach out to your Representatives to voice your opinion on big game and predator management in Utah. You can do so by visiting NDA's Grassroot Advocacy Center.