Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service

Project Prologue

Wildlife Issues

Hunting and Fishing used to be the primary recreation activity for Utah Citizens. Schools were closed for the opening of the deer hunt, and the fishing season opener was far more important than any sporting event. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mismanagement and failure to invest in the habitats and management to sustain such herds, flocks, and fisheries resulted in dramatic declines in the ability of the land and waters to sustain healthy herds, flocks and fisheries. Shortly after taking office, the deck of cards propping up a failed wildlife management program came crashing down.¬†Nearly ten years of neglect and mismanagement resulted in a chaotic situation. ¬†The Ranchers wanted all the wildlife removed from their lands, federal land habitats were in horribly degraded conditions, deer populations were reduced by over 400,000 animals, predator populations were way out of balance with prey populations, the wildlife resources agency wanted to get out of the hunting and fishing business and become a non game agency, fish hatcheries were falling apart, pheasant stocking operations were eliminated, the legislature was cutting budgets, and sportsmen had given up hope. Governor Leavitt made several key policy, funding and management decisions, and now, Utah is considered (more…)


Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service