Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credits Exchange Program

The Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credits Exchange Program (HCEP) provides an avenue for development of private land in Utah prairie dog (UPD) habitat while preserving other important UPD habitat on private lands. This program, administered by Panoramaland RC&D and Color Country Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D) and others, addresses issues associated with development of private lands and habitat needs of UPD. It will benefit landowners, developers and species recovery.

How it works:

Development of UPD habitat can be allowed if the loss of that habitat can be properly offset.  One way to do this is to protect other habitats or pay someone else to do so.  The HCEP, which will work like a bank or brokerage, will provide a way to accomplish this.

Willing landowners with at least 20 UPDs on 40 acres may sell a perpetual conservation easement on those acres to the RC&D.  This transaction preserves UPD habitat, thereby earning UPD Conservation Credits (Credits).  The landowner gets paid by the RC&D for keeping UPDs on his/her ground while retaining title and agricultural rights.  The RC&D will hold the conservation easement on the preserved land and coordinate stewardship of the land with the primary landowner.  Each landowner, in conjunction with the RC&D, will be able to develop a customized management plan that protects habitat values for UPD and allows continued agricultural activities.

The Credits established through the transaction described above will be held by the RC&D.  Developers/landowners (Buyers) who are making permanent impacts to UPDs or their habitat can buy these credits from the RC&D to offset those impacts.  Purchase of the proper amount of Credits will allow the Buyer to proceed with his/her project without delay or restriction.  Credits will be sold at the going market rate.  All proceeds from the sale of Credits will be used to support continuance of the HCEP and related management requirements.


The HCEP is funded by a Conservation Innovation Grant from Natural Resources Conservation Service. It was spearheaded by Utah Farm Bureau Federation and Environmental Defense Fund and enjoys the support of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The HCEP will serve landowners and developers in Iron, Kane, Beaver, Garfield, Piute, Wayne and Sevier counties.

Contact Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credits Exchange Program

Erica Wightman
Program Coordinator
340 North 600 East
Richfield, Utah  84701
Phone: 435/979-1984
Fax: 435/896-2002


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Beaver County, Utah
  • Garfield County, Utah
  • Iron County, Utah
  • Kane County, Utah
  • Piute County, Utah
  • Sevier County, Utah
  • Wayne County, Utah

Office Locaters

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