Long-serving DWR director announces retirement

SALT LAKE CITY – Jim Karpowitz, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources state wildlife director, announced his retirement after 34 years of service.

A resident of Riverton, Utah, Karpowitz joined the DWR in 1979 and became director in 2005. He is the longest serving state wildlife director in the western United States and one of the longest serving in the country. In 2011, he won a lifetime achievement award from the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Utah DWR director Jim Karpowitz, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2012 | Photo courtesy of Mark Hadley for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Under his leadership, the agency restored more than 600,000 acres of high priority wildlife habitat in six years. That number is unmatched in state history.

Mike Styler, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, said that Karpowitz presided over a change in the agency’s culture, building partnerships with sportsmen and instituting customer-friendly policies.

“Jim has done great things for Utah’s wildlife,” he said.

Jim Karpowitz’s accomplishments

● Pioneering wildlife capture techniques in Utah, including the use of net guns to capture bighorn sheep, bison and other big game animals.

● Writing Utah’s first statewide management plans for moose and bighorn sheep.

● Development of a nationally recognized bighorn sheep restoration and management program.

● Using public input to revise Utah’s mule deer and elk management plans.

● Expanding Utah’s fish hatchery and community fishing programs.

● Improving the professional abilities of DWR employees through employee education and leadership programs.

“He is an outstanding biologist and a man of integrity,” Styler said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Karpowitz will leave office on Dec. 1.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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