WRC Blog

Completing our First Acquisition on the Bear River in Utah

Oct 1st, 2010  |  Written by Western Rivers Conservancy

Completing our First Acquisition on the Bear River in Utah
Above: White-faced Ibis take off from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. Photo by Rob Daugherty

On the edge of the Great Salt Lake, the marshes at the mouth of the Bear River are one of the top producers of waterfowl in the country.

Here, Western Rivers Conservancy will complete protection of 696 acres of vital marshlands in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of the Bear River.

We began acquiring this land, the former Feather and Finn Club, in 2008. Now, we will complete the addition of the property to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, thanks to funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

The acquisition includes marvelous wetland and riverfront habitat, as well as nesting and rearing areas used by species such as tundra swan, black-necked stilts, white pelicans and marbled godwits. To date, Western Rivers Conservancy has conveyed 424 acres of this property to the Refuge, utilizing an appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

This is the first of several properties that Western Rivers Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hope to acquire in order to expand the 74,000-acre wetland complex protected within the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

First set aside in 1929, the Refuge plays host to more than 200 species and millions of birds each year that come to rest, feed and rear their young on their migratory journeys. More than 50,000 people also visit each year to witness the phenomenal gathering and diversity of birds.