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Mayor Nadolski signs Ogden’s Urban Bird Treaty City designation

By Ryan Aston - | May 10, 2024

Photo supplied, Maya Pendleton

A Bewick's wren, photographed at the Ogden Nature Center's bird banding station.

OGDEN — Mayor Ben Nadolski joined representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as staff from Ogden Nature Center to sign the Ogden Urban Bird Treaty City designation this week.

The Urban Bird Treaty Program is a collaborative effort between FWS and participating cities, local agencies and community groups. Its aim is to create bird-friendly environments while providing people opportunities to connect with nature through bird-related activities.

Ogden currently is the only city in Utah to have received an Urban Bird Treaty City designation.

“Designation as an Urban Bird Treaty City affirms Ogden’s commitment to conserving bird habitat, reducing hazards to birds and engaging residents and guests about the importance of birds and conservation,” stated a press release from the city.

The release noted that Ogden Nature Center “served as a focal point” for this effort.

Meanwhile, the center’s conservation manager, Sarah Kapel, told the Standard-Examiner that the designation may have paved the way toward receiving funds through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program.

“I think that being an Urban Bird Treaty City kind of opened up the doors to receive that grant as well,” Kapel said. “So, that was also an opportunity to get more money to do more good work.”

According to Kapel, those funds are earmarked for watershed and habitat improvements.

“It’s going to some of our riparian areas and cleaning up trash, removing invasive species and cleaning up some of the trails in the area,” Kapel said. “And then, at the Ogden Nature Center itself, we’re actually constructing a wetland on the property that will help encourage more habitat.”

Due to Ogden’s continuing growth and its proximity to the Great Salt Lake — one of the Pacific Flyway’s key hubs — Kapel feels that the city was a natural choice for Urban Bird Treaty City designation.

“The Great Salt Lake has really important shorebird species that are there, and so I think that’s really kind of what makes Ogden unique and important for the bird species. … We have that critical environment that is being depleted by human impact,” she said. “We want to mitigate for the risks that we’re having from that.”

Said Matt Hogan, FWS’ Mountain-Prairie regional director, via the release: “By working in partnership with the Service; the City of Ogden, Ogden Nature Center and all their partners are playing an important role in promoting the conservation of urban biodiversity for future generations.”

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