Great Salt Lake Wetlands History Project
Published by Utah State University
The Great Salt Lake Wetlands History Project (called Wetlands History Initiative Project or WHIP in the early stages) is a joint effort of Westminster College (Jaimi Butler and Jeff Nichols, project directors), Utah State University (Jennifer Duncan and Todd Welch), Weber State University (Kathryn MacKay and Sarah Singh), the University of Utah (Alison Elbrader and Greg Thompson), Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (Bob Barrett), and community partners (Reese Beeton, Mike Edson, Jack Ray), and scholar (Andrew Hedges). The project's aim was to gather oral histories, photographs of material and wetlands culture, and records to document the fascinating history of the Great Salt Lake wetlands (GSLW) and the people who work and play along its shores and marshes as well as to enhance the existing GSLW collections at the four institutions. During Utah State University's collecting day at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge (BRMBR) on May 6, 2017, USU Special Collections & Archives, along with the Merrill-Cazier Library Cataloging and Metadata Services and Digital Initiatives units, conducted interviews with and took photographs of longtime residents and those involved with duck clubs, duck hunting, market hunting, and efforts at the refuge. The BRMBR is located at the northern reaches of the wetlands near Brigham City, Utah. In March 2018, fieldwork was done with the Utah Airboat Association Duck and Goose nesting day event. This community comprises skilled hunters and expert guides. The project received Utah State University Institutional Review Board approval (8533). Jeff Nichols (GSLWH Project co-director) and Jedediah Rogers (Utah Historical Quarterly co-editor), co-edited a special issue of UHQ, focused on the "Edges of the Great Salt Lake" (Winter 2019, Volume 87, Number 1.) The volume features articles by project contributors Andrew H. Hedges, Jeff Nichols, Jack Ray, and Randy Williams (who wrote a piece about Craig Dangerfield); as well as Michael McLane, and co-authors Christopher W. Merritt and Arie Leeflang. A session at the 67th Annual Utah State Historical Society Conference: Long View of History, features the session "The Great Salt Lake Wetlands: History, Folklore, and Preservation," with presentations by Hedges, Nichols, Ray, Rogers, and Williams. This digital collection includes interview audio, transcripts, photographs; photographs of equipment, including decoys and boats; and manuscript materials.