Thacker added that there has been pressure to develop the land by subdividing it into lots for trophy homes.
The problem, he said, is that development and deer herds don't mix well, with homeowners who often clear away native vegetation that supports wildlife and the deer getting into haystacks or crops.
"Those ranchettes and cabins come with dogs and a lot of roads," he said, "and with changes to the nature of vegetation, that pretty much wipes out the wildlife value of the property."
With the addition of the acreage to the wildlife management area, Thacker said that property will now be preserved for generations to come.
"Allen Smith was a real force to make sure it was preserved. They definitely could have sold it for more."
Over the years, with the estimated $125 million in wildlife restoration money the division has received, it has been able to acquire about 40 pieces of property for its wildlife habitat portfolio, Thacker said. Another $127 million has been funneled to Utah for fish restoration programs.
"Obviously, everybody in the state benefits from this money. It's been a great thing for wildlife."
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