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, Cache Valley Wildlife Association, 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

Ways to Connect

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.

Condors In Zion National Park On Wild About Utah

Sep 23, 2016
nps.gov

Here we have Zion National Park. We’re looking up the canyon at all these beautiful, beautiful cliffs and rock structures. This is one of the reasons [why] people come, but when you talk to people who come here, even from around the world, one of the things on their list is condors. 

The Yellow-Bellied Marmot On Wild About Utah

Sep 9, 2016
nps.gov

If you have explored the mountains of Utah, you’ve inevitably heard the iconic high-pitched chirp associated with Utah’s Yellow-Bellied Marmot.

plants.usda.gov

What is it about orchids in our desert state that excites me so? Perhaps its finding them so far removed from their usual tropical biome, or their uncommon beauty. I was surprised to discover that Utah has at least 16 native species of orchids. Most occur in moist, higher elevations, but a few are found in our valley bottoms.

Hi, I’m Ann McLuckie and I work with the Division of Wildlife Resources working primarily on desert tortoises within the Red Cliff Desert Reserve. We’re going out in the field today and we’re going to do a transect. We’ve done transects since 1997 and our ultimate goal is to estimate population densities and those densities will allow us to look at how tortoises are doing and then if we get densities over time we can see are the populations increasing, decreasing, or are they stable. 

fws.gov

  Tucked into isolated pockets of the Uintah Basin’s arid wildlands is the best little plant you’ve never heard of. Known to exist only in Duchesne and Uintah Counties, Shrubby-reed Mustard seems to occupy only the semi-barren “islands” of white shale in areas of the Green River Formation’s Evacuation Creek region. The endangered plant features thick, almost succulent, blue-green leaves and small yellow flowers.

The Three-Leaf Sumac on Wild About Utah

Aug 12, 2016
Hansen’s Northwest Native Plant Database

  Many think of the desert as a hot, dry, barren, and unforgiving place. However, Utah’s deserts are chock full of interesting and diverse plants and animals! One such plant, which grows throughout much of Utah, is rhus trilobata or three-leaf sumac. 

Sacred Mountains On Wild About Utah

Aug 10, 2016
fs.usda.gov

I just completed teaching a 5 day Utah Master Naturalist course through USU extension on Utah mountains. The course allowed me to revisit the immense influence these lofty lumps in the earth’s crust have had on my life, and the life of so many others.

Bird Banding in Red Butte Canyon on Wild About Utah

Jul 29, 2016
Jessie Bunkley

The Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology lab's work focuses on how human-land use affects different types of wildlife.

Pioneer Day Edible Native Plants On Wild About Utah

Jul 21, 2016
nps.gov

  With Pioneer Days looming, let’s explore a bit of our local heritage.

Following several days of cold and snowy weather in early May, my friend and USU graduate student Ian Keller and I approached the Mormon Handcart outpost near Evanston Wyoming on Deseret Land & Livestock Company land. We braved the elements to deliver a seminar to 8 missionary couples on Mormon pioneer use of wild plants as they struggled toward the Promised Land of Salt Lake Valley.

Bat Netting at Antelope Island State Park On Wild About Utah

Jul 20, 2016
adfg.alaska.gov

 

Bats use sound to detect their surroundings. They produce frequencies that are much higher than what we’re able to hear and as those sound waves hit objects in front of them and reflect off the bats interpret the echoes to sense their environment. 

Butterflies on Wild About Utah

Jul 20, 2016
fws.gov

Rivaling flowers and tropical fish in their beauty, butterflies or lepidopterans, have been icons of peace and reverence for millennia. 

The Rufous Hummingbird on Wild About Utah

Jun 27, 2016
fs.usda.gov

 

  Who doesn’t love hummingbirds! I’m always amazed how a tiny life form with a brain smaller than a pea is capable of such amazing intelligence and behaviors. In fact, a hummingbird’s brain is proportionally larger in size to their body than that of any other bird. And like the corvid family (jays, magpies, and crows), research has found that hummers have an amazing memory.

Short-Eared Owl Tracking on Wild About Utah

Jun 22, 2016
fws.gov

My name is Neil Paprocki. I’m the conservation biologist with HawkWatch International, which is a raptor conservation and education non-profit based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

My name’s Evan Buechley. I’m a PhD candidate at the University of Utah.

Join A BioBlitz This Year on Wild About Utah

Jun 22, 2016
nps.gov

“So what is a BioBlitz anyway”, by far the most common question we get from the public who visit our parks and other venues offering the event.

A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. 

Permaculture on Wild About Utah

May 27, 2016
collegeparkmd.gov

  Have you ever looked at a healthy forest and wondered “how do those trees, shrubs, and smaller plants thrive without fertilizer inputs, pest control, consistent watering, tilling, thinning, and being overtaken by unwanted species?” Many in Utah, in striving for alternative ways to grow food and landscapes in general, are turning away from conventional practices and experimenting in a relatively new design process called “permaculture.”

Sandhill Crane Days on Wild About Utah

May 13, 2016
fws.gov

 

  George Archibald, who danced daily with a captive female whooping crane named Tex, provided a remarkable example of the biological significance of dancing cranes. George even slept beside Tex, huddled in a down sleeping bag through cold Wisconsin nights, to stimulate her egg laying activity. With the help of some sperm from a donor male crane, this technique proved successful, and George eventually became the proud godfather of a baby Whooper, which he appropriately named “Gee-whiz!”

The Cutthroat Trout on Wild About Utah

May 6, 2016
www.blm.gov

  Utah streams offer excellent year-round fishing opportunities for every level of angler. According to the Department of Natural Resources, Utah’s waters are home to approximately 80 different species of fish, but it is the trout fishing that is the biggest attraction for fishermen. Of the trout species swimming in our rivers and lakes, the cutthroat trout is a local favorite and the only trout native to the state.

Kit Foxes: Sentinels of Utah’s Desert Nights

Apr 27, 2016
fws.gov

 

One of the first things observers notice about the kit fox is its tiny size. Weighing in at a mere four pounds or so, Vulpes macrotis is among the smallest canids on the planet.

Often mistaken for swift foxes, kit foxes are a distinct species that sport larger ears and a leaner, more angular appearance. The small mammal has a long, black-tipped bushy tail and a yellowish-gray coat tinged with rusty orange.

Ancient Native Plant Relationships

Apr 25, 2016
plants.usda.gov

  Stretching from the snowy peaks of the Wellsville Mountains, south to the sandstone shadows of Beaver Dam Wash, an ancient, native relationship provided unity to the diverse landscape. It is admired in the haunting tune of a wind pipe, it comports like a wool blanket; and its tapestry goes beyond the cliff art at Potash, and preceded John Wesley Powell and Brigham Young.

 


gslcouncil.utah.gov

  There is a giant among us with a profound influence on our past, present, and future. My first encounter with this giant was both buoyant and delightful as I floated in the brine on a lovely summer day. But I was oblivious to the Great Salt Lake’s immense value as an environmental, cultural, and economic resource.

 


Pages