Snakes are a fact of life in Utah, but that’s no need for alarm. Utah is home to 31 snake species. Of those, only rattlesnakes are venomous, and they want nothing to do with us.

Some of our native snakes are stunningly beautiful, most of them are completely harmless, and all of them are vital members of a healthy and vibrant natural community. They are also protected by state law from wanton killing.

Remember, the snake that rattles at you when you’re hiking isn’t being aggressive or threatening; it’s just letting you know it’s there. This is for your benefit as well as his. Respect snakes, give them space, and leave them alone. Even a rattlesnake isn’t dangerous if you leave it alone. Besides, you’re in his yard. If one finds its way into your yard, have it moved by a professional relocator.

The only good snake is a live snake!

Dave Jensen, Holladay