How the Endangered Species Act has affected Utah’s wildlife

Dec 27, 2023, 5:00 PM

Image of June Suckers at the Fisheries Experiment Station in Logan, Utah. Nov. 8, 2006. The June Su...

June Suckers at the Fisheries Experiment Station in Logan, Utah. Nov. 8, 2006. Wednesday marks 50 years since the Endangered Species Act became law. That meant special protections for much of Utah's wildlife. Photo by Ray Grass, Deseret Morning News.

SALT LAKE CITY — Wednesday marks 50 years since the Endangered Species Act became law in the United States and initiated special protections for much of Utah’s wildlife.

Enacted in 1973, the Endanger Species Act has prevented the extinction of hundreds of species said Faith Heaton Jolley with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources. Along with animal protection, she said it also helps promote the recovery of many species that were near extinction.

“There are currently 17 wildlife species in Utah that are on the federal endangered species list,” she told KSL NewsRadio. “Nine of those are endangered and eight are listed as threatened. The bulk of those actually are fish species.”

Heaton Jolley said Utah is working to get these species either off the list or to lower their threatened level. As of 2021, one fish species, the June sucker, moved from “endangered to “threatened,” according to Heaton Jolley.

“It’s (the June Sucker) just made, kind of, a remarkable comeback,” she said. “It was almost … completely wiped out. It’s only found in Utah Lake … We’ve partnered with a ton of other state and federal (agencies) to help recover this species.”

Among other efforts, the DWR has hatched June Suckers in some of its fish hatcheries, Heaton Jolley said.

“A big project that’s involved with that is the Provo River Delta Project that’s going on right now,” she said. “It’s gonna help their species continue into the future.”

Britt Johnson contributed to this story.

Keep reading

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


The KSL Greenhouse show talked about plants that grow well in Utah's heat this weakened....

Taun Beddes, KSL Greenhouse show

KSL Greenhouse: Plants that bloom in Utah’s heat

Most people shop for their Utah garden flowers in the spring, which might not bloom well in summer. So, what flowers bloom in the summer?

13 hours ago

Quagga mussels...

Don Brinkerhoff

Owners of non-motorized watercraft in Utah required to train on quagga mussel prevention

Before you launch your boat in Utah this summer, a new law requires you to take an online training course about the prevention of quagga mussels.

1 day ago

Washington Terrace Fire Department removing a storm drain lid to retrieve ducklings that had fallen...

Kennedy Camarena

Storm drain ducklings rescued by firefighters

Ducklings that fell into a storm drain in Washington Terrace were rescued by firefighters on Saturday after receiving a call to help.

7 days ago

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space....

Kennedy Camarena

Caution: Bison ahead

Most people have to travel to Yellowstone to see Bison. Utahns, however, have Antelope Island State Park, where they can find bison.

8 days ago

Workers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources help move a moose safely from near the mouth o...

Esme Sanchez Estevez

A cow moose is safely moved from Spanish Fork Canyon

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said she was safely tranquilized and moved to a more "moose appropriate" habitat.

9 days ago

new baby gorilla at Hogle Zoo, Addo (Hogle Zoo)...

Diana Jones

Hogle Zoo announces name of baby gorilla

The Hogle Zoo has announced the newest addition to their gorilla family, Addo. Mom and baby are reported to be doing well. 

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

How the Endangered Species Act has affected Utah’s wildlife