Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Crazy about critters

Writing and wildlife: two of my favorite Ws. As a crafty, wild-haired seven-year-old, I once created a storybook about a family of bears, complete with illustrations and curly ribbon binding. I loved to get dirty outside, play with bugs and polish rocks. Now, as a technical writer for the DWR, I’ve taken it to the next level.

The wagon approaches the elk herd at Hardware Ranch back in December.

My job isn’t quite as messy as my childhood shenanigans, but it sure is entertaining. As part of the Communications Team, I get to be involved in all kinds of public relations. I work on website content, post to our Facebook page and even help maintain this cool wildlife blog. From the promotion of wildlife-viewing events to raising awareness about poachers, it’s always bustling in our part of the building.

In the few months I’ve been here, I’ve had chances to get out and enjoy nature, too. I visited the Great Salt Lake Nature Center at Farmington Bay and went with my family to see hundreds of elk at Hardware Ranch. I’m also told a hatchery field trip is on the horizon.

I love the outdoor opportunities, the lively atmosphere and the fact that I help keep the public informed about Utah’s wildlife.

Crystal poses with friends, Breanne and Stormie, at Hardware Ranch.

Coming into a new job is always a culture shock, but the transition goes smoothly if you’re passionate about the team’s mission, which I most certainly am. For years, I searched for a career in writing that would somehow involve animals.

Although I have family and friends who hunt, I’m more of a wildlife observer myself—getting giddy and hollering at the sight of a deer or really any other wild thing scurrying about. Once, I was lucky enough to spot a snowy owl out in West Layton, beginning an owl-decorating craze that’s taken over my house and shows no signs of slowing.

As I walk the halls of the DWR and hear weekend stories of ice-fishing treks and hunting trips, I can’t help but smile. The people who work here have a personal interest in their jobs. They care deeply about Utah’s wildlife and its habitat. I’m absolutely positive I’m not the only one here who grew up playing in dirt and dreaming of wildlife.