A Walk-In-Access (WIA) area is a tract of private land on which the Division of Wildlife Resources has leased hunting, trapping or fishing privileges for public recreation.
Landowners enrolled in the WIA program receive monetary compensation based upon suitable habitat and wildlife, the amount of land, and the length of time the land or water is enrolled in the program. In addition to monetary payments some landowners may also qualify for habitat restoration projects designed to attract and benefit wildlife species.
In most cases access to WIA properties is limited to foot traffic only unless the landowner specifically designates roads for vehicle travel.
The Division will provide discretionary conservation officer patrols and liability coverage under Utah State law.
In order to qualify for the WIA program, a landowner must own contiguous properties that share a common property line and are connected as a single mass, not corner-to-corner. The property must also provide suitable habitat that can support the wildlife species and the recreational activity identified in the lease. A landowner must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Own at least 80 contiguous acres of terrestrial habitat.
- Own at least 40 contiguous acres of wetland or riparian habitat.
- Own or provide access to at least 0.25 miles of stream or river.
- Own or provide access to at least a five-acre pond or lake.
- Provide access to isolated public land.
If a landowner does not meet qualifications for the program individually then two or more landowners with contiguous properties that share a common property line and are connected as a single mass may join together to form a WIA landowner association. In order to be eligible as an association the participating landowners must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Own at least 320 contiguous acres of terrestrial habitat
- Own at least 160 contiguous acres of wetland or riparian habitat.
- Own at least 1 mile of stream.
All land and water enrolled into the WIA program must provide suitable habitat and wildlife for hunting and/or fishing activities. The property must be capable of independently maintaining the respective species and harboring them during the seasons and recreational activities that the property is leased for. A Division representative will evaluate the property.
Landowners enrolled in the WIA program are afforded liability protection under Utah State law.
Funding for this program is comprised of restricted dollars paid by sportsmen and money made available through a federal grant from the Farm Service Agency for Voluntary Public Access.
Landowners that are interested may contact the regional WIA program managers for more information:
- Clint Brunson, Northern Region
- Tonya Kieffer, Central Region
- Alex Hansen, Northeastern Region
- Walt Maldanado, Southeastern Region
- Heather Grossman, Southern Region