Mouth of Providence Canyon.

LOGAN — As many Utahn’s head into the mountains for the Memorial Holiday Weekend, officials are advising outdoor recreationalists about some areas closed for camping and target shooting. The new restrictions apply to specific parts on the Providence-Millville Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Habitat Program Manager Scott Walker explained the shooting and camping restrictions are being implemented for the mouths of Providence and Millville canyons. The limitations only apply to the canyon bottom areas that are on state lands.

“So the closure only applies to the canyon bottoms that are adjacent to those two roads,” said Walker. “If a person would like to put on a backpack and hike up the mountain, they are more than welcomed to camp. And if they get away from the roads and away from people, then they are welcomed to shoot, as long as they’re safe.”

The restrictions apply to the first mile of Providence Canyon and half-mile of Millville Canyon. Beyond the wildlife management area, people enter US Forest Service Land that currently doesn’t have similar restrictions.

Walker said the ban on camping and target shooting is to reduce trash, vandalism, habitat degradation, and overcrowding in the areas. They’re have also been incidents of illegal activity, drug use, and domestic violence at transient camps that have been set up in past years.

“They will just move in for summer, and bring with them everything that goes along with that. We’ve found trash, litter, covers, book shelves and barbecues. Then when they leave, it just leaves a mess. We’ve tried to enforce the 10-day limit per site but we have a lot of squatters. They just find a spot and try to move in for the summer. There is a problem with that.”

Wildlife managers had previously prohibited target shooting in Providence Canyon, due to safety concerns because of the trails and the buildings in the area. The camping closure and added shooting restrictions for Millville Canyon are new as of this spring.

The Millville-Providence WMA along with 6 other WMAs in northern Utah give animals a refuge where they can remain undisturbed during winter. They are closed each year to all public access except for the canyons roads,  from January 1 to the 2nd Saturday in April to protect wintering wildlife.

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