Salt Lake City, Utah – Mike Laughter, Regional Director for the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF), recently accepted an appointment to the Utah Wildlife Habitat Council.
The Council makes recommendations on how to distribute about $2.3 million each year. These dedicated funds, raised from hunting and fishing license sales, are used to enhance, preserve, manage, acquire and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout the state of Utah.
Michael Canning, Habitat Section Chief for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) said, “The Council works to restore habitat and improve hunter access. We are concerned about Utah’s deer herds, and believe Mike’s affiliation with the Mule Deer Foundation and his familiarity with habitat issues will be very beneficial.”
Council members include four individuals from the DWR and four citizens who represent big game, waterfowl, upland game and sportfishing interests. Laughter will now act as the big game representative.
Laughter has worked as a Regional Director with the Mule Deer Foundation for eight years. His region stretches from areas in Idaho, Nevada and Wyoming to the entire state of Utah, and he boasts of managing the eastern-most chapter of MDF in Atlanta, Ga. Laughter was born in Ogden, but now resides in the small town of Hooper, Utah. He has served on numerous committees for Utah state agencies and is on the oversight team for the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area in Utah.
MDF’s Chief Operating Officer Eric Tycksen said, “This appointment is quite an honor for Mike. MDF is proud to have him, his enthusiasm and his work ethic, as a valued member of our team.”
Laughter commented, “I am glad to be a part of MDF, and I appreciate all the support I’ve received. I look forward to this opportunity to serve on the Utah Wildlife Habitat Council and the chance to represent everything we have worked so hard for.” Laughter plans to participate in a Council meeting later this year.
In fiscal year 2010, the Utah Wildlife Habitat Council supported 68 new projects. These included habitat treatments, conservation easements and fishing piers. They also provided funding needed to manage the DWR’s Wildlife Management Areas. Total expenditures were $2.36 million. A total of 5,294 acres and nearly 10 stream miles were restored or conserved by projects with Habitat Council contributions.
The Mule Deer Foundation is one of the key conservation groups in North America working to restore, improve and protect mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. With a focus on science and program efficiency, MDF has raised millions of dollars and put countless man-hours on the ground for mission-critical projects. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-DEER.