FY 2016 Appropriation

In its efforts to improve Utah's watershed, the Department of Natural Resources partners with other state, federal, and private organizations through the Watershed program. The Watershed program uses three general approaches:

  • Ecosystem restoration through physical manipulations such as seeding, reconstruction, and vegetation management.
  • Administrative changes in land management through permitted or allowed uses and management prescriptions. This may be done independently of, or together with, physical interventions.
  • Communication and team building among the stakeholders and the public.

Funding History

Funding Issues


Re-direct this funding for projects that will prevent catastrophic fires. The Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands may contract with the Watershed Program to complete the projects.
Appropriation Overview

During the 2015 General Session, the Legislature appropriated for Fiscal Year 2016, $3,957,100 from all sources for Watershed. This is a 3.4 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2015 revised estimated amounts from all sources. The total includes $1,456,400 from the General/Education Funds, an increase of 0.1 percent from revised Fiscal Year 2015 estimates.

The following are the top measures chosen by DNR management to gauge the success of this program.

Acres Treated to Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires

The first measure tracks the number of acres treated to prevent catastrophic wildfires or to reduce invasive plants in Utah.


Funding Leverage

The Watershed program leverages the funding appropriated from the Legislature with other state, federal, and local governments, as well as with funding from private partners. The figure below shows how many times each appropriated dollar is matched by partners for the watershed projects.

Matching $

Number of Partners

The third measure shows the number of partners involved with the watershed projects each year. The goal is to maintain high levels of participation, both monetary and in-kind, from agencies and organizations with similar interests.


Endangered Species

This measure tracks the number of acres of sage grouse habitat restored. One of the areas of emphasis of the Watershed Program is to help prevent species from being listed as endangered.

sage grouse

Streams and Riparian Areas Restored

The program measures the miles of stream and riparian areas restored to properly functioning conditions. This is part of the effort to improve water quality by reducing the turbidity and the amount of silt entering the streams.

Streams and Riparian Areas Restored

Intent Language

HB0003: Item 100

Under the terms of 63J-1-603 of the Utah Code, the Legislature intends that appropriations provided for the Watershed program in Item 4, Chapter 5, Laws of Utah 2014, shall not lapse at the close of FY 2015. Expenditures of these funds are limited to projects started in 2015: $700,000.

The Legislature made two one-time appropriations of $2 million from the General Fund to DNR in FY 2005 and 2007, as well as intent language allowing the funding to be nonlapsing. With the passage of H.B. 47, "Sales Tax Diversion for Watershed Projects and Water Financing" in the 2006 General Session, the watershed program received an additional ongoing $500,000 as Dedicated Credits (see Sales Tax Distribution Chart). During the 2007 General Session H.B. 102, "Land and Water Reinvestment" was passed and additional ongoing $2 million from the General Fund was appropriated to DNR for the watershed program. Subsequently, this funding was reduced.

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COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication. For audited financial data see the State of Utah's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.