WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A brand new wildlife management area is officially under the ownership of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

The 8,107-acre property, called Cinnamon Creek WMA, is the newest addition to state-owned lands, providing public access for hunting, fishing and recreating.

The land was purchased from the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) and is named after Cinnamon Creek, which runs through the property.

Cinnamon Creek WMA is located 15 miles south of the Hardware WMA and sits on the border of Cache and Weber counties.

“Obtaining the property is a major win for wildlife and wildlife enthusiasts,” says Daniel Olson, regional habitat manager for the DWR. “When the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration put the property up for bid last fall, plenty of parties, including private developers, wanted it. Fortunately, conservation groups, a federal partner and the Utah Legislature, led by Rep. Casey Snider, came through with the funding needed to win the bid and preserve the area for wildlife.”

Along with the state legislature, the land purchase was funded by the Mule Deer Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, and The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Previously, DWR paid SITLA an annual fee for hunters and anglers to access the property.

Since purchasing the land, DWR officials have been working to restore and improve the area including rebuilding and expanding the parking area, placing a new culvert at the entrance road to reduce flooding, and building a new road leading to the property.

“Most of the roads on the WMA are in bad shape,” says Olson. “Recreational users have also created roads where roads shouldn’t be. Providing nice roads for people to travel on, and closing the spur roads that have developed through the years, are among our first priorities.”

DWR says fences on the land are in very poor condition or nonexistent. “Properly fencing the property is going to keep us busy for a long, long time,” adds Olson.

A committee will begin developing plans in January 2023. Once the draft plan containing details such as official opening dates and allowed activities is completed, it will be presented for public comment before finalizing.