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Partnerships key to creating economic foundation



By Sun Advocate

Bald eagle day, held last Saturday shows Utah Division of Wildlife biologist Brent Stettler and Utah Rehabilitation experts William Moore and Keith Comstock discussing the raptors and their habitat with area citizens. Youngster pictured about include Cherokee and Stacey Sartori of Wellington. All the birds in the foreground were stuffed.

Spirit is a Peregrine falcon who has been in the Utah Wildlife Rehabilitation education program for three years. Spirit can’t fly because he was shot by a 13-year old boy who was duck hunting.
Sage is a nine-year old female bobcat, born in the mountains near Kamas, who surfaced as a baby during a burnout. The farmer sold her to a guy from Grantsville, who was arrested while trying to teach Sage to lead. Sage, who could live to be over 23 years old, had her vision impaired during the fire. But she is a popular education tool as children get to enjoy the beauty of a wild bobcat.
Spirit and Sage were hits last Saturday at the local bald eagle day, one of five events held statewide. Hosted by the Division of Wildlife Resources, the event in Carbon County was held at Gordon Creek, along Consumer’s Road. It gave people a chance to view and learn about bald eagles and other Utah wildlife.
It was a day of education and a day to listen about live birds and animals, such as the falcons, bobcats and eagles.
Working with Sage and Spirit were William Moore, director of the Utah Wildlife Rehabilitation and Keith Comstock and Debbie Pappas, two wildlife permit holders, who rehabilitate animals that are found injured. Pappas is the local rehabilitator. Often the animals are nursed to health and released back to the wild, but in some cases, such as Spirit and Sage, they could never live in the wild again with the injuries they sustained.
Every injured animal that goes through rehab must be released back to the wild or granted an educational permit.

Debbie Sartori focuses on a single bald eagle perched in a tree just off Consumer’s Road during the annual bald eagle day held last Saturday, Feb. 1. This is the 13th annual observance day sponsored by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The event provides the public an opportunity to view bald eagles.

Fewer bald eagles were seen this year throughout the state compared to past years because of the unusually mild winter conditions up north, as well as loss of habitat and loss of food. These factors were influenced by the fires last summer, the current drought and over hunting of their food sources.
This was definitely the case Saturday where several eagles had been spotted earlier in the week, but by Saturday only one lone bald eagle remained in a nearby tree.
Utah is home to four resident pairs of bald eagles. The rest are simply wintering in the state. This area is fortunate to be the home to one of these resident pairs.
Spotting scopes were set up at the site and division biologist, Brent Stettler, and Utah Wildlife Rehab personel helped viewers spot the eagle and answered questions about the bird’s behavior, bird habits and their habitat. Displays of a bald eagle, golden eagle and other raptors were also set up, along with pamphlets.
Bald eagle day started in 1990 as a way to introduce people to Utah’s unique wildlife.
Stettler, conservation outreach manager said, “We find that people disconnect with wildlife when they don’t see them and if they don’t understand they can’t make informed decisions in regard to the wildlife management. Today is an opportunity to encourage the public to see, appreciate and connect with wildlife.”
Later in the summer an event is planned in East Carbon where the local big horn sheep will be featured. Other events in Utah include the snow goose festival in Delta, kokanee day at Strawberry Lake where the little brilliant red salmon-like fish can be seen climbing the streams, the rocky mountain goat event at Little Cottonwood Canyon and the five bald eagle events that were held last weekend throughout the state.

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