Utah Legislative Victories (2).jpg

Ducks Unlimited is committed to preserving Utah’s Great Salt Lake and wetlands that are so vital to the millions of birds that use the Pacific Flyway. To fulfill that mission, Ducks Unlimited has been advocating for funding and legislation that supports our ambitious Great Salt Lake Initiative.

DU secures important funding

When the Utah legislative session concluded this spring, Ducks Unlimited had successfully achieved several priorities that included more than $225 million in funds that benefit wetlands. 

Those funds included:

  • $1.8 million for topographic mapping of the Great Salt Lake and surrounding wetlands. This data will give Ducks Unlimited and other conservation partners precise measurements of the terrain, allowing for quicker engineering and design of new wetland conservation projects.  
  • $5 million for streambank restoration on the Lower Bear River. This prioritizes projects around the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and on critical wetland projects adjacent to the Bear River.
  • $6 million for wetland acquisition. These funds will acquire wetlands and create public recreational activities, including hunting access, on imperiled wetlands around the south shore of Great Salt Lake and on state-owned waterfowl management areas on the lake’s north shore.
  • $200 million for agricultural water efficiency projects to help sustain lake levels and maintain sustainable agriculture and wetlands.
  • $15 million for Antelope Island State Park. A portion of these funds will be used to expand the IMAX theater where Ducks Unlimited films are often shown.

DU’s policy victories

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox also signed the following bills that benefit Ducks Unlimited’s broader policy goals. 

  • H.B. 121: This bill increases the amount of funds in Utah’s Wildlife Habitat Account dedicated to waterfowl from 4% to 10%. These funds - totaling more than $100,000 annually - will be used for the development, restoration and preservation of wetlands. 
  • H.B. 349: This bill makes sure any water reuse project goes through the state engineer and requires mitigation for water-reuse projects. Without this bill the Great Salt Lake could drop another 10 to 12 feet, putting the lake’s fragile ecosystem in danger. 
  • H.B. 513: This bill prompts the state to take regulatory action when the Great Salt Lake starts to become too salty to sustain the fragile ecosystem. 
  • H.B. 491: This bill creates a new state office that will coordinate all management activities on the Great Salt Lake.
  • H.B. 341: This bill authorizes the use of a digital duck stamp. 

About DU’s Great Salt Lake Initiative: In November 2022, Ducks Unlimited launched an ambitious initiative to raise $5 million in private donations to help bring water back to the Great Salt Lake and improve the struggling ecosystem. These funds will be used to leverage an additional $10 to $15 million in public funding. Within a few months, DU raised more than $1.9 million in financial commitments. The funds are already being utilized in 2023 for water-supply and infrastructure projects that when complete will conserve more than 8,000 acres of wetlands around the shrinking lake.

About Ducks Unlimited: Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing wetlands. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres across the continent and 40,000 acres in Utah.


Ryan Sabalow
Ducks Unlimited
Western Region communications
Cell and Signal: 916-805-1210
Twitter: @ryansabalow