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Director’s Message
Michael Styler, DNR executive director

Drought continues to dominate much of the department’s focus

Despite the continuation of a worldwide pandemic and extreme drought conditions that triggered unexpected challenges, the work of managing and protecting Utah’s natural resources continues to move forward. Drought dominates much of the Department of Natural Resources’ focus, impacting every division to some degree. Divisions are working in tandem to monitor the water supply and adjust as needed, including curtailing water use, changing fishing limits and recreation guidelines, asking for the public to take “drought actions” to stretch the water supply, calling for people to use good “Fire Sense” to reduce human-caused wildfires, and much more.

Drought has provided a wake-up call to many who previously took water for granted and highlighted the need for collaboration and continued conservation as we work to manage this limited resource. The public has taken water-sacving actions, saving billions of gallons of water as many residents, businesses, and institutions embraced the “yellow is the new green” ethic and let lawns go dormant.

Wildfire conditions are a continued threat, and people are encouraged to exercise good “Fire Sense.” In 2021, human-caused starts decreased over 50%. Compared to the 2020 wildfire year, that translates into more than 500 wildfires that didn’t happen. We ask for continued vigilance.

The DNR family has grown! The Division of Parks and Recreation was separated into two divisions: State Parks and the Division of Outdoor Recreation, and the Office of Energy Development and the Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office were aligned to provide closer coordination with DNR. We look forward to continuing to integrate these groups. We recognize our role in protecting our state’s abundant natural resources and will continue to engage state, county and local officials; collaborate with community members, organizations and groups; and coordinate with our federal partners.


Brian Steed, DNR executive director