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Davis Journal

Campfires, target shooting allowed again in most wildlife management areas

Sep 13, 2021 01:13PM ● By Tom Haraldsen

Recent rain storms and cooler temperatures have allowed restrictions on campfires and target shooting to be removed on most of Utah’s wildlife management areas. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources made the announcement on Tuesday morning, post Labor Day activities.

The exceptions are on areas still under Forestry, Fire and State Lands. You can find a list of areas where activities are allowed on

A temporary ban went into effect on June 9, as the summer drought heightened and state officials wanted to minimize risk on Utah’s 146 wildlife management areas. Many of those land areas are feeding grounds for wildlife, including big game.

“We appreciate the public’s cooperation and adherence to these restrictions during the extreme drought this year,” DWR Habitat Section Chief Eric Edgley said in a release on Tuesday. “The temporary restrictions really helped avoid any catastrophic wildfires on these crucial habitat areas. Last year, two large wildfires on WMAs burned several hundred acres of wildlife habitat and were started by target shooting with firearms. We greatly appreciate everyone’s help in protecting these wildlife lands during such a dry, hot summer.”

He said wildlife and waterfowl management areas are purchased and managed using the money generated by fishing and hunting license sales. Along with decreasing wildlife-caused damage on private property and providing important summer and winter ranges for many wildlife species, they also provide places where Utahns can go to hunt and fish. 

While the ban on campfires and target shooting with firearms has been lifted in many of these areas, Utahns are still urged to do their part in preventing wildfires, particularly during continuing drought conditions.