SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources director announced he is hanging up his binoculars and hat after 27 years of service. Mike Fowlks is set to retire effective Jan. 1, 2021.
Fowlks became director in 2017 after serving as a deputy director since 2012. He served on the Pacific Flyway Council for eight years. The council is an administrative body that seeks cooperation among public wildlife agencies for protecting and conserving migratory birds throughout the western North America.
Under Fowlks’ leadership, the DWR has implemented new technology to improve wildlife management, utilizing direct electronic communication to better serve customers and launching the GIS wildlife tracking system and launching a public website for the Utah Wildlife Migration Initiative.
The Murray resident was instrumental in the completion of the Eccles Wildlife Education Center, located on the Robert N. Hasenyager Great Salt Lake Nature Reserve. The center provides a gateway to the remarkable Great Salt Lake wetlands. It provides a place for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages and interests to expand their understanding of wetlands and hands-on, active wildlife management.
Fowlks was also a driving force in improving coordination and collaboration with the local agriculture community.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my 27 years at the division and consider all my colleagues an extended part of my family,” Fowlks, a University of Utah graduate said. “We have accomplished many great things for fish and wildlife during my time at the division, and I’m very proud of that. Being able to help manage the wildlife in Utah has been a highlight of my life.”
Fowlks graduated from the FBI National Academy for Law Enforcement Administrators and the National Conservation Leadership Institute.
“Mike has played a vital role in the division’s effort to enhance wildlife conservation statewide,” Utah Department of Natural Resources Director Brian Steed said. “He has accomplished a lot of great things during his time at the division, and we are grateful and appreciative of his hard work.”