The Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit program is a DWR program that allocates hunting permits to private landowners who then provide hunting opportunities to public and private hunters for a variety of wildlife species. The CWMU program in Utah has opened more than 2 million acres of private land to the public for hunting. The program provides an incentive to landowners to maintain their land as open spaces, improve the areas that serve as wildlife habitat and work with the DWR to manage for increased wildlife populations.

The board voted to approve seven new CMWUs, 78 CWMUs that want to renew their participation in the program and eight CWMUs that have requested specific changes. If approved, these 93 CWMUs — along with another 38 that don't need any type of approval this year — would result in a total of 131 CWMUs for the 2024 hunting season. The board approved allocating 1,848 private permits and 306 public permits for those 93 CWMUs.

The DWR also oversees the Landowner Association program. This program helps build tolerance for wildlife on private lands within limited-entry units by providing transferable vouchers for hunting permits for those landowners whose properties are located on limited-entry hunting units and provide habitat for deer, elk or pronghorn. Depending on the amount of private land enrolled in the LOA program, the association receives a percentage of the total number of limited-entry permits for bull elk, buck deer or buck pronghorn on the unit where the association properties are located.

The board also approved a few changes to the LOA program, including:

  • An option allowing an LOA to hunt only the private property participating in the program. This removes the public access requirement, and still requires over 50% of the private land that is habitat in the unit to be enrolled in the program.
  • Creating a special drawing for landowners on limited-entry units that are not enrolled in an LOA. The landowners must have at least 640 acres of habitat and up to 5% above the total number of unit permits would be available in the drawing with a minimum of one permit. The landowner also can't sell permits or charge trespass fees.
  • Creating a general-season landowner permit that is only valid on private property. The landowner must have 640 acres of habitat and up to 6% above the total unit permits can be issued over the counter. These permits can be sold.

The board also approved some new members to serve on the LOA advisory committee. Utah Farm Bureau supported these changes and worked with leaders to speak at Regional Advisory Councils around the state.

You can watch the full meeting on the Utah Department of Natural Resources YouTube channel.