Utah Nature Photo of the Month

Check back each month a great new shot of our favorite outdoor places in Utah, each showing a different side of our work in this one-of-a-kind state! 

October 2017

At the Conservancy’s Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve, we’re bringing visitors closer to nature with our GPS-triggered audio tour, and fall is the perfect time to try it out for yourself. Download the tour before you go to experience the preserve in an immersive new way!

September 2017

Carving through world-class scenery at the intersection of three different ecological zones, the Virgin River gives life to a staggering array of plants and wildlife found nowhere else. From cutting-edge fish habitat improvements to the protection of key riparian lands, learn how the Conservancy and its partners are keeping this river healthy for the human and natural communities it supports.

August 2017

According to Bill Frist—former Senate Majority Leader and current member of The Nature Conservancy's global board—supporting our diverse public lands and investments in our natural resources through effective conservation and science programs is key to putting us and our nation on a stronger path. But first, Congress must stand up for nature so nature can sustain and protect us. Read Bill Frist’s full op-ed in USA Today to learn more about this critical message.

July 2017

For July 4th, we celebrate independence and our identity, rooted in iconic lands, waters and wildlife. These protected lands spring from the wisdom of earlier generations of Americans who recognized and agreed upon the need to protect these places for present and future generations. Take a moment to be grateful for the long tradition of Americans coming together around nature. Let’s honor that tradition as citizen stewards and by encouraging our government leaders to do the same.

June 2017

Last month, more than 1,000 people participated in the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival. At the Conservancy’s booth, kids and families were invited to color swallows, visit the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve to see them in person, and try out our brand new audio tour. One of our Utah staff also lead a “Behind-the-Gates” tour through the Legacy Nature Preserve, where twelve eager birders identified 59 species by sight and sound! These birders encountered a variety of familiar bird species, including a family of bald eagles, a singing common yellowthroat, and dancing sandhill cranes. They were even graced by the sight of white-faced ibis flying overhead!

MAY 2017

Last month, award-winning local photographer Dave Koch hosted a weeklong takeover of our Instagram. During his takeover, he shared a selection of photos capturing his favorite places in Utah, many of which the Conservancy is working to restore and preserve. In this featured photo of Arches National Park, he encourages us to “look beyond the obvious.” While many of us visit Arches for the spectacular rock formations, he encourages us to look deeper. “Look around and behind the arches,” he writes, “There is much more to see and learn from." Visit our Instagram page to see more photos from Dave’s takeover.

APRIL 2017

Washington County is home to an exquisite plant that exists nowhere else on Earth—the dwarf bear poppy. Unfortunately, this unique piece of Utah’s natural heritage is facing a number of challenges. To protect remaining populations, the Conservancy is working with communities, government agencies and other local organizations, particularly at our White Dome Nature Preserve, which is now open to the public. Here’s what you need to know before you start planning your visit.

MARCH 2017

Last month, Darlene Smith hosted a weeklong takeover of our Instagram. To raise awareness of the importance of nature in all our lives, she shared a selection of photos capturing her favorite places and wildlife in Utah, many of which the Conservancy in Utah is working to protect and preserve. This photo of the north arm of the Great Salt Lake was a fan favorite. Visit our Instagram page to see more photos from Darlene’s takeover.


Last month, Utah kicked off the year with a wet winter. Snowpack levels reached approximately 200% throughout most of Northern Utah, which is already trickling down into our beloved lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. This runoff is great news for people and nature, especially in places like the Great Salt Lake and Bear River that experienced declining water levels in recent years.


You don’t have to go far for a taste of the real Westworld. Not far from where the hit HBO show was filmed on site, you can find incredible biodiversity near the Conservancy’s working Dugout Ranch. By acquiring the Dugout Ranch near Canyonlands National Park, The Nature Conservancy saved one of the West’s most iconic landscapes, unique among other Utah ranches. Today, the ranch, spanning more than 305,000 acres of private and public land, is the foundation for the ground-breaking Canyonlands Research Center.


“Hoo” will stand up for nature? This season, help us protect Utah’s lands and waters for both people and wildlife. When you make an online donation, you are providing essential funding for conservation initiatives in Utah where the need for your support is greatest. 


When the desert tortoise was listed as "Threatened" in an emergency action by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the early 1990’s, The Nature Conservancy joined with Washington County and many other partners to create a plan that would protect the heart of the Washington County desert tortoise population. Out of this plan came The Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, which also provides important habitat for other sensitive reptiles, birds and mammals against a backdrop of spectacular scenery.


This summer, photographers from all over the country submitted their best nature photos for a chance to win the Conservancy’s 2016 Photo Contest. We are pleased to share that Michael Cristoff, a talented photographer from Utah, won "Best Mobile Photo" with this stunning shot of the Great Salt Lake. Read the story the behind the photo and see other contest winners here.


At first glance, Utah prairie dogs may seem just like an ordinary small mammal. However, the more we discover about this threatened species, the more we understand how critical they are to the health of an ecosystem. Test your knowledge of these fascinating creatures and learn what we can do to save their populations from decline.


Our national parks are home to some of the most iconic landscapes in North America, like Utah's own Delicate Arch located in Arches National Park. If you’re looking to create your own wilderness adventure this summer, try visiting one of the Conservancy’s many nature preserves across the country. Use our interactive adventure tool to start planning your summer getaway.

JULY 2016

On July 13, celebrate with the National Park Service during their Centennial Bioblitz in Zion National Park. Participants will have the unique opportunity to learn more about biodiversity in this iconic Utah landscape and contribute to our greater understanding of the biodiversity of the nation by submitting their own findings. Learn more about how to participate this event.

JUNE 2016

Last month, Utah came together for the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival—one of the most unique bird festivals in the country. If you missed this special event, don't worry! You can catch Great Blue Herons and other migratory birds at our preserves all season long! Discover what migratory bird species you can observe across Utah.

MAY 2016

If you are in Washington County during the spring, you may discover the rare beauty of the endangered dwarf bear poppy in bloom. Its sheer white petals glow among the barren, gypsum-rich hills in the St. George desert. This dance of color and life is awe-inspiring. After all, how can anything so beautiful live in such a harsh environment? This is the scene at our White Dome Nature Preserve, now open to the public. Learn more about this rare flower and start planning your visit here.

APRIL 2016

The Great Salt Lake is not only one of the best places in Utah to view birds and wildlife, it is also a favorite scenic destination to watch the sun set. The Nature Conservancy and its partners are working to protect this globally important resource for both wildlife and people to enjoy.

MARCH 2016

The Virgin River originates just north and east of Zion National Park and flows through southwest Utah, northwest Arizona and eventually all the way to Lake Mead. It supports a landscape with 40 state sensitive species, including these critically endangered native fish.


In this month's photo, morning light pours over the Colorado River at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah. The Colorado River is a major water source for millions of people in the West, as well as one of the only ecosystems that supports several endangered freshwater fish species, including the Colorado Pikeminnow, Razorback Sucker and the Humpback Chub.


Dugout Ranch is so much more than a beautiful place — it’s sustainable, too. Thanks to a grant from the John B. and Geraldine W. Goddard Foundation, we are able to install roof-mounted solar panels and ground mount arrays at our main facilities, including buildings at the ranch. Learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Utah's solar initiatives for 2016.


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