Todd Black knew that a typical office job was not for him. So he set his sights outside of the office and dedicated himself to becoming a wildlife biologist.
“I knew I didn’t want to wear a shirt and tie every day to work, and I wanted to work outside,” he said. “I grew up in southeast Utah where that’s what you do when you grow up in a small town in the middle of nowhere is you like to get out and hunt, fish, trap and do all those fun things.”
Black became Eagle Mountain’s first wildlife biologist and environmental planner earlier this year, and possibly one of the first to work for a municipality in the state, another milestone in his already long career as a biologist. from wildlife.
“If someone had told me that at the end of your career you would work for a municipality, I would have said ‘no, I won’t,'” he said. “But that’s what really attracted me.”
It was the unique nature of the position at Eagle Mountain that initially attracted Black.
“I’m sure there are big cities in other states that may have wildlife biologists on staff, but I’ve never heard of them anywhere,” he said. “It’s an exciting position.”
In her new role, Black will inform city decision-makers, colleagues and the public about the potential effects of Eagle Mountain’s continued expansion on wildlife habitats and the environment. He will also perform wildlife preservation and open space planning, in addition to other duties.
Black’s greatest drivers as a wildlife biologist are the conservation of species, especially those close to his heart, such as mule deer and sage grouse, and the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts. wildlife.
“In this role, you’re going to be working in this area where you have a lot of human-wildlife conflict, and what can you do to address those issues?” says Black. “We the people live in the landscape and need a place to live, but so does the wildlife. So it’s always been an intriguing thing for me, how to balance those things and have a win-win for everyone.
Prior to his role at Eagle Mountain City, Black was a Research Associate Extension Specialist at Utah State University. There, he touts work with the community conservation program and their slogan, “if it’s not good for the community, it’s not good for the wildlife.” It’s a motto Black uses to inform his work and continue to seek balance between humans and wildlife.