Conservation Vouchers / Permits & Dollars

Conservation Vouchers / Permits & Dollars

What it really means to you!

Since the introduction of the Utah Conservation Permit Program, many groups and individuals speculate that the “non-profit” organizations participating in the program are getting rich.  With the vouchers being auctioned to the highest bidder, prices going up year over year and the seemingly endless number of permits, more and more money is being generated.  So, what is happening with all that “conservation” money?

In this article, I will attempt to bring clarity to this program and dispel rumors that may be surrounding the Conservation Permit Program regarding Utah Bowmen’s Association (UBA) involvement.  I will detail that UBA is NOT getting rich from the program and provide info on what we are required to do with the funds we generate. 

UBA, as a recognized (501-C3) non-profit organization in the State of Utah, participates in the Single Year Conservation Permit program from the DWR.  This means that each year, we as the Board of Directors for UBA, submit our application for the conservation vouchers we hope to be awarded for the following year.  Each September, we submit an application to the DWR, choosing from a list of available Single Year Permits, then wait to see what vouchers we are actually awarded.  The number of Single Year vouchers available is fairly small and we usually request a large portion of these.  The DWR awards the vouchers based specific criteria that is outlined in the Conservation Program.  Details regulating the program can be found on the DWR website.  (Search for R657-41 Conservation and Sportsman Permits.)

In November, we receive notification from the DWR as to the number of vouchers we have been awarded, voucher species and weapon type.  As a note, not all of the vouchers we are awarded are Archery specific.  We compete against other “Single Year” organizations for the permits that are available and based on our past performance as an organization, we fare well in the permit allocation – much of this is attributed to you, those who purchase the vouchers.

Once the vouchers are allocated to the organizations, each group must market their vouchers before September 1.  We choose to market/auction our vouchers during our annual Utah Bowmen’s Association Banquet.  Mark your Calendars, our 2015 Banquet will be January 24, 2015 at UVU Grand Ballroom. 

As an organization, we have specific rules and regulations that we must adhere to pertaining to the management of each conservation voucher.  After the sale of each voucher, we have a minimum of 30 days to collect the funds and mail our portion of the voucher to the DWR.  The portion we submit to the DWR contains the purchasers name, personal pertinent info and purchase amount the voucher generated.  Ideally, we collect the funds during our Banquet as this makes submitting the paperwork much easier.  The voucher portion that we submit to the DWR must match the portion the purchaser takes when redeeming the voucher and buying the permit.  For clarification, we auction a voucher not a permit.  The purchaser must take their portion of the voucher to a DWR office to redeem the voucher and buy the associated permit.  We don’t auction a permit/tag.

Now, to the nitty-gritty of the funds generated and what we are allowed to do with those funds.  As a participating organization, we are only allowed to keep 10% of the funds generated from the sale of the vouchers.  This 10% is classified as “Administrative”.  90% of the funds collected must go back to the DWR.  Yes, 30% must be submitted directly to the DWR before September each year and the remaining 60% is reserved to be spent on conservation projects.  We attend an annual meeting where DWR  projects are proposed for funding.  The organizations choose which projects they want to fund.  During this meeting, UBA chooses projects that closely match the needs of the Bowhunters’ and the areas those vouchers are available for.  We try hard to allocate money for each region in the state, trying to represent all bowhunters.  We try hard to benefit those species that match the vouchers we have been allocated.  For example, the majority of our vouchers are deer and elk vouchers, thus, we allocate the majority of our 60% of the funds to projects that will benefit the deer and elk populations. 

As an organization taking part in this program, we must participate in an annual audit by the DWR.  In the audit, we provide records of the voucher sales, submitted paperwork, and we must account for 100% of the funds generated.  We provide bank statements detailing the deposits of funds generated, the 30% payment to the DWR and our allocation of the remaining 60% for project work.  This audit is then submitted and reported on to the Big Game Board.  Each year, the DWR must account to the Big Game Board for the voucher sales and the funds generated from these permits.

Now, some may be asking, OK, but what does UBA do with the 10% Administrative money we generate from the voucher sales - the 10% we get to keep?  Well, that is easy.  We put the money to work.  Often we spend a portion of the Administration fee on improving our Banquet; we donate money to the DWR to help fund the National Archery in the School Program; (NASP) we donate money to Big Game Forever to help fund the fight against Wolves; we have also donated money back to the State affiliated archery clubs for needs or projects they present to the UBA Board.  Also, when we take a Conservation voucher and auction it at a National Convention like the Pope and Young Convention, we donate that 10% right back to Pope and Young.  Overall, the 10% or Administration Fee is not a big revenue stream, we are not getting rich. 

If you have suggestions in how we should spend the money, please send them our way.  Or, please attend one of our UBA Board Meetings and present a suggestion. 

Below is a table listing the vouchers we sold during 2014; the funds we collected and the distribution of those funds. 

Permit Type
10% Administrative 60% Projects 30% DWR
Black Bear Plateau, Boulder/Kairparwits Premium $3,250.00 $325.00 $1,950.00 $975.00
Black Bear Wasatch Mountains West Premium $3,500.00 $350.00 $2,100.00 $1,050.00
Buck Deer Book Cliffs Archery $4,750.00 $475.00 $2,850.00 $1,425.00
Buck Deer Vernon Archery $3,750.00 $375.00 $2,250.00 $1,125.00
Bull Elk Bookcliffs Bitter Creek South Archery $8,750.00 $875.00 $5,250.00 $2,625.00
Bull Elk Central Mountains, Manti Archery $7,000.00 $700.00 $4,200.00 $2,100.00
Bull Elk La Sal, La Sal Mountains Archery $5,250.00 $525.00 $3,150.00 $1,575.00
Bull Elk Plateau, Fishlake/Thousand Lakes Any Weapon $8,500.00 $850.00 $5,100.00 $2,550.00
Bull Elk Southwest Desert Archery $9,500.00 $950.00 $5,700.00 $2,850.00
Bull Elk Wasatch Mountains  Archery $7,500.00 $750.00 $4,500.00 $2,250.00
Cougar Wasatch-Manti Any Weapon $1,000.00 $100.00 $600.00 $300.00
Pronghorn Plateau Archery $1,400.00 $140.00 $840.00 $420.00
Turkey Central Region Any Weapon $275.00 $27.50 $165.00 $82.50
Turkey Southern Region Any Weapon $450.00 $45.00 $270.00 $135.00

In conclusion, as of the end of 2014, UBA has generated and contributed back to the DWR through projects and direct payments over $195,000.00 as a result of the conservation program.  Contrary to some misconceptions, this program and UBA are helping our wildlife.

I hope the above information has been helpful.  It should give everyone a better understanding of the Conservation Program and UBA’s involvement - and where the dollars really go.

Kevin Adamson
UBA Membership Coordinator/Treasurer