Organizers of a rally scheduled for noon Saturday on the south steps of the State Capitol, are hoping for a large turnout in "support of wildlife."
Don Peay, with the Sportsmen for Wildlife and Habitat Conservation, said the rally in an effort to draw legislative attention to growing concern over what sportsmen see as a "lack of concern for wildlife by our elected officials."According to Peay, Utah is near the bottom in per capita spent on wildlife in the western U.S. Colorado's budget is $57 million, Wyoming's is $30 million and Utah's is $23 million.
In the previous two sessions, legislators cut the wildlife budget to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources by $1.3 million. Despite a vote several years ago to fund a minimum of eight percent of the DWR's budget from the general fund, last year's appropriation amounted to less than one percent.
The loss of revenue has forced the DWR to cut 28 jobs and a number of wildlife programs.