By working together we can find solutions to complex natural resources challenges.
When DNR became a Department in 1967, Utah had 1 million residents. Deer hunting was at its historic peak. Water rights were obtained simply by applying for a right. Camping was usually a tent, or those newfangled camper shells on a truck. New mining claims were being filed statewide, and Utah’s rich oil and gas resource was barely being discovered. It was a simpler time, full of promise and opportunity.
Today it’s a more complex reality. Extraction permits for minerals or energy focus on responsible mining and drilling with an eye always on site restoration. Campers come with an RV that requires water, sewer and internet hookups and a place to park the trailer of ATVs being towed.
Water rights are fully appropriated. Our water storage above and below ground is being stressed. It is more important now than ever to move forward with our adjudication process. Adjudication identifies active water rights that are valid. Valid water rights are exploding in value as our State doubles in population projected over the next 40 years. Efforts must be continued to encourage water conservation and water protection by restoring healthy watersheds. Responsible water development should also continue.
We are finding solutions to combat catastrophic wildfires, invasive species, and sensitive species listings. We support proactive watershed management, which benefits grazing, wildlife, water runoff and fire prevention. We know what to do. It just takes hard work and a continued investment of all those who have the vision to keep Utah resilient and healthy in the face of increased demands and harsh natural conditions.
We will be successful because of our dedicated employees, our many engage partners, the support of elected officials and our loyal customers.Sincerely,
Brian Steed, DNR executive director