Wild About Utah

Wild About Utah is a weekly nature series produced by Utah Public Radio in cooperation with Stokes Nature Center, Bridgerland Audubon Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources, Utah State University and Utah Master Naturalist Program - USU Extension. More about Wild About Utah can be found here.

Utah is a state endowed with many natural wonders from red rock formations to salt flats. And from desert wetlands to columns of mountains forming the basin and range region. When we look closer, nature is everywhere including just outside our door.

Hear the wonders of Utah: plants, animals, geologic formations; ancient, present; terrestrial, avian and aquatic. Brought to you by the Moab Area Travel Council

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Josh Boling

It took all of Frank Clark’s seven steel-ball cartridges to bring down Old Ephraim, the infamous Grizzly Bear that, for many years in the early 20th century, plagued the shepherds of the Northern Wasatch Mountains. 

Securing Utah’s Moose Population on Wild About Utah

Jul 14, 2017
Sam Robertson

Historically, the settlers and hunters of Utah didn’t find moose when they were exploring the state. It wasn’t’ until 1906-07 when the first recorded moose sighting occurred in Utah. 

Mayfly Life Cycle on Wild About Utah

Jul 10, 2017
VisualHunt.com

It’s commonly believed that mayflies live for only one day. If you visit a cold, clear river in the spring or early summer, you might see what is known as a “mayfly hatch,” when millions of delicate, glassy insects suddenly appear on the surface of the water, take to the air, and then fall into the river later that day and apparently drown.

June Fireflies on Wild About Utah

Jun 23, 2017
nature.mdc.mo.gov

Most people are fascinated by unusual displays of light.  Meteor showers, solar eclipses, and the stunning Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, are grandiose in scale and mesmerize onlookers.  But people are also enchanted with the small life-forms that create their own light.

Greater Sage-Grouse In Utah on Wild About Utah

Jun 16, 2017
Todd Black

Utah’s dry, sagebrush covered landscapes are home to one of North American’s largest grouse species, commonly known as the greater sage-grouse.

Conserving Water on Wild About Utah

Jun 9, 2017

Liquid water is essential to life as we know it on planet Earth.  With rising temperatures ahead, our water resources are critical to us all.  Whether nations contain hot-desert areas or not, the appropriate management of water is essential.  In fact, life-sustaining water is literally far more important and valuable than oil.  

Utah State University Special Collections and Archives.

 

If you’ve ever hiked or driven up Green Canyon near the City of North Logan, you’ve probably noticed the dried-up streambed. It wasn’t always dry, however. In fact, if you turn back the pages of history you’ll find water, and the story of why the stream no longer flows.

Water-Liquid Life on Wild About Utah

May 26, 2017
Cottonwoods Heights City

It’s springtime in the Rockies, and Utah’s northern rivers are engorged with liquid life - and have been for what seems like months now. After a winter of record snowfall, the spring heat and a miniature monsoon season have raised our local waters to levels not seen in decades. 

Water Week on Wild About Utah

May 12, 2017
UDOT

Utah Water Week runs from May 7th through the 13th, and is a perfect time of year for each of us to consider the importance of water in our lives. In a dry state like Utah, where irrigation is important for maintaining our crops, gardens and lawns, we tend to focus on how much water we have. It’s easy to forget that the quality of this water will actually determine how (or if) we can use it.

Bird Benefits on Wild About Utah

May 10, 2017
Ron Hellstern

Birds may not be as exciting as certain athletic events or blockbuster films, but have you ever considered the many benefits they provide to ecosystems and humans? They control insect and rodent populations; they eat weed seeds; they pollinate crops, flowers, fruits. They are a major food source, consider chickens, turkeys, game birds, water fowl, as well as their eggs. 

US FWS, Steve Hillebrand

Beginning as early as the 17th century, beavers have struggled to find safe places to build their homes. Initially, hunters trapped beaver extensively to keep up with the popular beaver fashions in Europe.Then as settlers began moving west, they considered the beavers annoying because of their tendency to cause flooding and damage trees – so the trapping continued.

Becky Yeager

It was a spectacular scene that no living person has ever witnessed.  John James Audubon said the sun would literally be blocked out for hours as the river of living creatures flew by from sunrise to sunset.  Estimates place their population up to five billion. They represented 40% of all the living Class of Aves in North America and may have been the most abundant bird species in the entire world.  They reached speeds over 60 miles per hour, and when flocks came to rest in forests their collective landings could topple large trees.  They seemed invincible.

The Passion Of Penstemaniacs on Wild About Utah

Mar 10, 2017
Dr. Tom Edwards

Penstemaniacs, the name affectionately given to members of the American Penstemon Society, will be gathering from all parts of the world to meet in Vernal, Utah, this June. 

While here, they'll be searching the Uinta Mountains for penstemons native to that area.    

Tree Talk on Wild About Utah

Mar 3, 2017
NYC Parks

The next time you take a walk in the deep woods or even a stroll through a local park, listen closely. You may hear the trees ‘whispering in the wind.’ We use this familiar phrase to describe the soothing sounds of a gentle breeze through the forest canopy; but it may delight and surprise many to know that this figure of speech is now a proven scientific fact. The trees are talking.

Wild Roots on Wild About Utah

Feb 24, 2017
plants.usda.gov

One thing I love about being a horticulturist is paying close attention and working with seasonal cycles, especially this time of year when it finally feel OK to slow down.  This is the time of year when plants put all their energy into reserve for the winter and I think this is really cool.  If you’ve never thought about it, or even if you have… imagine how vibrant the fresh, new, green leaves are in the spring, busting from the dormant branches of trees. 

Why Dippers Dip on Wild About Utah

Feb 10, 2017

Cinclus mexicanus is the only aquatic songbird found in North America, but it goes by several names—the American dipper, the water dipper, or the water ouzel. It is a grapefruit-sized bird that inhabits mountainous riparian areas. It has brownish gray plumage, stubby wings and tail, and ornithologists sometimes refer to it as “stocky,” “chunky,” and even “chubby-looking.” However, the dipper has no shortage of energy, and can be seen careening at low altitudes over mountain streambeds and crashing beak-first into fast-flowing water, always in the upstream direction.

Utah's Fish Culture on Wild About Utah

Feb 3, 2017
digitalmedia.fws.gov

On May 12, 1871, Albert Perry Rockwood, the recently appointed Territorial Fish Superintendent of Utah, arrived at Silver Creek, a small tributary of the Weber River near present-day Rockport Reservoir. After setting up camp, Rockwood went to work catching native Bonneville cutthroat trout, which he placed in crates and milk cartons and loaded on wagons bound for Salt Lake City. 

Orphaned Cub Rehabilitation on Wild About Utah

Jan 26, 2017
www.aphis.usda.gov

Sadly each year, there are orphaned bear cubs in Utah.  Some lose their mothers to forest fires, while others are orphaned by vehicle-bear collisions or other human-related conflicts.

USDA Forest Service

Pando, a sprawling aspen colony and the world’s largest discovered organism, is dying.

On the lip of Fish Lake in Central Utah, Pando germinated from a seed the size of a grain of sand thousands of years ago. Now he sprawls over a hundred acres with approximately 47,000 trunks. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On December 17th, I will join several others for an exciting day of counting bird species and numbers in our lovely, snowy valley. The numbers will be entered on a database that will be shared globally.

Chadd VanZanten

Northern Utah’s Logan River is known for its solitude and grandeur. Drive just a few miles up Logan Canyon in Cache Valley and find yourself in a wild setting on the bank of a picturesque mountain stream. It would be difficult to find a place in Utah that is more accessible and yet so peaceful.

America’s Caveat River on Wild About Utah

Nov 17, 2016
waterrights.utah.gov

I grew up in a town that had a story for nearly every run-down property in its borders. Most buildings had at least one ghost floating around its fence line, but the really haunted estate—the one where, supposedly, my great-great uncle plastered babies into the walls, where it’s said he threw his wife into the well, where the land itself swallows livestock and spits out bones, where you can still hear screams coiling up near the hackthorn bushes and willow trees—is just outside of town. Just far enough to escape the reach of the city lights, but not too far that you won’t make it back by morning. The location, more than its history, is probably the reason for the stories. If there is no journey, there is no room for stories to germinate.

Jack’s Urban Deer on Wild About Utah

Nov 10, 2016
US FWS Ryan Moehring, Photographer

As I look out my front window, 7 mule deer are cavorting, feeding, with some lying down for a mid-day siesta. With the final week of the regular season deer hunt winding down, some have taken sanctuary from the nimrods to join the urban herd.

wildlife.ohiodnr.gov

Biking daily from Smithfield Canyon to Utah State University campus, combined with an early morning run, I’m well aware of the drop in temperatures, as are those of us who find themselves outdoors on a more permanent schedule. I’m speaking of our relatives who reside in the wild- birds, trees, raccoons, and such.

Coyotes, Our Howling Dogs On Wild About Utah

Oct 10, 2016

With the big game hunting season beginning, I reflect back on my first deer hunt in Utah. Arriving from Michigan in 1971, Utah friends took me into White Pine Lake above Logan. Alone on my stand, a large animal approached. Finely in my sights, a large, gorgeous male coyote in its prime. I fired and the coyote was dead before it slumped to the ground. Like Aldo Leopold after watching the “green fire” fade from the eyes of the she-wolf he shot, I resolved never to kill another coyote.

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