SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has honored Laura Romin, deputy field supervisor with the agency's Utah Ecological Services Office, for her efforts to conserve the threatened Utah prairie dog. She is among 61 people nationwide recognized as a 2012 Recovery Champion.
The award acknowledges groups and individuals for outstanding efforts to conserve and protect endangered and threatened fish, wildlife and plants.
The agency says Romin oversaw creation of the Utah Prairie Dog Habitat Credit Exchange, a mitigation bank that promotes conservation while providing flexibility for stakeholders.
The program allows property owners, including developers, to purchase "credits" for up to 40 acres. That money is used to buy conservation easements from farmers and ranchers to protect land where prairie dogs live.