Utah Division of Wildlife purchases 8,000-acre property, marking largest sale in SITLA history

The land, located in northern Utah, had a minimum bid of $19.5 million.

(Photo courtesy of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration) Utah trust lands officials auctioned off an 8,107-acre block of land on Weber-Cache county line. The Cinnamon Creek tract, pictured here, started bidding at $19.5 million.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced the purchase of an 8,107-acre tract of state-owned land on Tuesday, making it the largest land sale in the history of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA.

The Cinnamon Creek property is located just north of the Cache/Weber County boundary line, near Powder Mountain Resort and Porcupine Reservoir. In a news release, the DWR stated the land will become an “invaluable wildlife management area” — the 193rd area in the state — allowing the public to continue hunting and fishing on the property.

SITLA on Tuesday disclosed on its website that the property had been sold but did not reveal the sales price, or whether there were other bidders besides DWR participating in the online auction from Nov. 9 to 16. The minimum bid was set at $19.5 million. An agency spokeswoman did not respond immediately to a text sent late Tuesday.

“It’s a big win for sportsmen. I’ve been in that country. It’s a pretty awesome place,” said Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, whose district includes this property. “This part of the state has a lot of private ground, so having a fairly significant block that’s available for people who like to hunt and fish is a really cool opportunity. It took a lot of people stepping up to make it happen.”

The land auction opened on Nov. 9, and the DWR stated in the release that several partners committed “significant funding” to the acquisition. Those partners include the Mule Deer Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the State of Utah and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

DWR Assistant Director Mike Canning said in the release that the property provides a habitat for elk, mule deer, moose, greater sage-grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, while the creek contains a “genetically pure” Bonneville cutthroat trout population. He also thanked Snider for his help throughout the process of acquiring the land, along with the partners who aided with funding.

“We are thrilled to have preserved another area for wildlife and wildlife-related recreation,” Canning said in the release.

Tribune reporter Brian Maffly contributed to reporting.