9 great conservation projects happening right now

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From trail connections to wetland restoration to important wildlife habitat, INHF
is working on some great projects. With your help, we can protect, restore and connect these places that are so important to Iowa’s natural beauty.

Burr Wildlife Area Addition — This addition of 411 acres to the Burr Wildlife area has many people encouraged. Besides the beauty of the rolling hills, prairie and oak trees, this addition means 600 acres of public land along this corridor will be protected, allowing for increased habitat and water protection.
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BruceMorrison-Oxbow-OtterCreekOtter Creek Wildlife Area Addition — 67-acre property is adjacent to the 275 protected acres of the Otter Creek Wildlife Area in Sioux County Conservation Board ownership and will expand the size of the habitat available to area wildlife. The land will feature restored prairie and wetland areas, prime for wildlife viewing and hunting. Reestablishing native grasses will provide nesting and winter cover for birds.
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REAP In Your Region: Region 4

For the next six weeks, INHF will be sharing the impact Iowa’s REAP program has in communities throughout the state. The Iowa DNR is hosting regional REAP Assemblies until Nov. 5, local meetings that allow residents to learn more about REAP and play a role in the programs policies and projects.

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Region 4
Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Plymouth, Woodbury

REAP Assembly – Correctionville
Sept. 29, 2015 | Open house: 6-6:30 p.m., Assembly: 6:30-8 p.m.
Correctionville Community Center (312 Driftwood St., Correctionalville, IA 51016) Continue reading

Monitoring for mollusks

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The Iowa Pleistocene snail is a considered a glacial relict species.

The Iowa Pleistocene snail (Discus macclintocki) is a small mollusk indigenous to the north central United States.

Unfortunately, it’s an endangered species.

Fortunately, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and INHF have teamed up to protect these little guys.

Six natural resources technicians will be monitoring the snails’ habitat on public and private land in the Driftless Area of Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois and the Lost Mound Unit of the upper Mississippi. This is part of an effort to conduct surveys of potential habitat and to monitor all of the historically occupied sites–there are 31 of them–to document the current status and distribution of snail colonies.

Read on for more Pleistocene snail facts:

Diet
As herbivores, the snails prefer to munch on birch and maple leaves.

Habitat
They live on (typically north facing) algific talus slopes. Algific slopes occur where air circulates over underground ice, which produces a constant stream of cold moist air through vents on the slope. The vents are usually covered with a layer of talus (rock debris) and leaf litter.

Monitoring
Because the rock debris is so unstable on the slopes, it’s possible that shifting can crush these snails. The technicians hired will monitor the snails while being minimally intrusive.

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Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship

_MG_9979 Maquoqueta Caves Natural Bridge HDR_revisedDo you have a heart for activism as well as for Iowa’s land, water, wildlife and people? The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is looking for a dedicated conservationist to work with us on a temporary assignment to promote increased, reliable, consistent state funding for Iowa conservation. Continue reading

Winter in the Loess Hills

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Yesterday, Land Stewardship staff toured Turin Prairie in the Loess Hills, one of INHF’s newest projects. They were treated to magnificent winter scenes thanks to the recent snowfall. They’re back out on the prairie today doing brush work and species removal.

Lean more about Turin Prairie and its importance in the Loess Hills.  Continue reading

Winter brushwork before & after

During the winter months, our land stewardship staff tends to get a little restless. They itch to get back out on the land, working to conserve natural areas and tend Iowa’s wild places. A couple of weeks ago Ryan, Melanie and Tylar braved the cold and headed out to INHF’s Razor’s Prairie in Jasper County to do some brushwork. The before & after results were pretty amazing:

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