“Seeds for the Future - Roots of the Past”
The 17th North American Prairie Conference
Plans are well underway for the July 16-20 NAPC Conference at NIACC in
Mason City, Iowa.
We’re packing alot of prairie fun into that week! Paul Christiansen has
organized six pre-conference field trips and nine are planned for Tuesday.
Bernstein and Tom Rosburg are currently receiving and reviewing abstracts for
the concurrent presentations. TomRosburg and Daryl Smith will give the opening
and closing plenary talks, and there will be an out-of-state speaker for the
banquet. Concurrent session themes include Prairie Heritage and Culture,
featuring Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School Architecture, Landowner Projects,
Prairie Education, Management and Reconstruction and more! You might want to
dust off your favorite prairie photos, or snap some more, for the photography
contest! IPN is even planning a silent auction to benefit our own Iowa prairie
remnants, and there will be several exhibits of prairie art for your
Fifty REAP grants will provide $100 each to Iowa K-12 teachers who
the conference. Please encourage teachers in your area to apply for this great
opportunity. We invite novice and veteran prairie enthusiasts of any teaching
discipline to apply. Graduate credit will also be available.
Full registration materials are now ready. To keep costs down, we are
only mailing to those who request that information. Please contact Carol
at 515-422-4319, firstname.lastname@example.org, or NIACC, 500 College Drive, Mason
City, Iowa, 50401.
You can also request materials from the conference web site:
http://www.niacc.com/prairie2000/ . We certainly hope many of you are already
planning your trip to Mason City!
IPN Annual Meeting
IPN’s Annual Meeting will be held Tuesday evening, July 18 during the
North American Prairie Conference at the North Iowa Area Community College in
Mason City. We’ll have our own room to enjoy barbecue supper together, then
a business meeting with election of officers and top it off with cake. Born at
the 12th NAPC held in Cedar Falls in 1990, IPN is celebrating its 10th
this year! A small ceremony honoring IPN’s founders is planned. Please join us
for this event. If you did not indicate barbecue supper in your conference
registration, or are joining us for the Annual Meeting and would like to dine
with us, please contact Glenda Buenger at 515-632-8308 or
by July 10th so that we can order for you. Look for signs at the barbecue
directing us to our meeting room. For directions to NIACC contact Carol
at 515-422-4319; NIACC, 500 College Drive, Mason City, 50401 or
email@example.com The conference web site is at
History of the Iowa Prairie Network
by Glenda Buenger, with the help of several who were there
The hour was late, the room was hot, the meeting ran long and prairie
people were tired after an already-full day. But the 12th North American
Conference, held in Cedar Falls at UNI in August 1990, had gathered a
mass of Iowa prairie enthusiasts whose hearts and minds hankered for an
organization that would enable them to connect with and help each other. Some
them already knew one another, or knew of each other. Some of them knew
anybody. But some 50 people attended two such meetings at the 12th NAPC and,
midwived by Cindy Hildebrand and Pauline Drobney, the Iowa Prairie Network was
Prior to the conference, Cindy had mailed out a 4-page informational
letter describing some ideas that could be discussed at a meeting of "Iowa
prairie and savanna advocates." These included topics such as prairie
reconstructions and restorations, use of local ecotype seed, management of
prairies and savannas, and protection of our endangered prairie heritage. At
UNI meetings, Iowa prairie people listened as
representatives from the Southwest Wisconsin Prairie Enthusiasts and the
Missouri Prairie Foundation described their organizations. Meeting attendees
decided not to focus on land acquisition since the Iowa
Nature Conservancy and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation both acquire to
protect. They focused on creating an information network in order “to learn
about, teach about, enjoy and protect Iowa’s prairie heritage.” Martha
says, “Most of us know whether we’re ‘conceiving a child’ or not” and
on the powerful feeling of joy and hope that was shared during those hot,
meetings. Trish Patrick comments, “People wanted this (organization) to
so much, that we felt it would eventually, we didn't think it would so soon!
There was just so much energy and excitement about starting a network, because
so many people that were interested in prairie were together in the same
After the two initial meetings during the 12th NAPC in Cedar Falls,
Cindy made another mailing which included a questionnaire and a call to attend
September meeting at the State Forest Nursery in Ames. IPN could serve a
of functions: provide information on prairie events, put local prairie people
touch with each other, provide information on prairie restoration, host field
trips and work days, and advocate public policy to help Iowa
prairies, among others. IPN would have both a statewide and regional
The first (1990 - 1991) Regional Coordinators were:
1 - Dianne Blankenship
2 - Joel Hanes, Treasurer
3 - Pauline Drobney, President, Mary Norton, Secretary, and Carole
who had started a local prairie network in NE Iowa just before the 12th NAPC
4 - Glenn Pollock
5 - Cindy Hildebrand, Joyce Hornstein, and Trish Patrick
6 - Gene Kromray, Vice-President
7 - Phyllis Kiburz
The Regional Coordinators were to spread word about the newly-formed
Iowa Prairie Network, and the following year (1991 - 1992) saw several of
same dedicated volunteers serving on the first formal IPN Board:
1 - Dianne Blankenship (Secretary/Newsletter)
2 - Joel Hanes (Treasurer) and Gordon Prins
3 - Pauline Drobney (President) and Carole Kern
4 - Glenn Pollock
5 - Trish Patrick and Dick Van Deusen
6 - Gene Kromray (Vice-President)
7 - Phyllis Kiburz and Margrieta Delle
About this time, Pauline’s prairie knowledge and midwifery skills were
hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service for a project which some of us still sometimes call Walnut Creek
re-named the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge and Prairie Learning Center).
Gene Kromray became President. He recalls dealing with the dry work of
formulating by-laws while keeping nearly a dozen individuals, eager to share
their experiences and
knowledge, focused on a common goal, to establish a functioning organization.
Gene initiated the system still used for Board meetings: the President
agenda items from Board members, compiles an agenda, and distributes it to
Board members prior to the upcoming meeting.
Gene recalls observing the 1995 Annual Meeting in Red Oak (hosted by
Region 4) and commenting to Pauline, who agreed: “You know, this is kinda what
we had in mind - get a bunch of people with similar interests and get them in
the same place and let ‘em do their thing,” which is what IPN is busy doing
as then. With a current membership of 573, IPN focuses on learning and
about Iowa’s native prairie landscape in order to preserve and protect our
prairie heritage for our own spirits, for those who were here before us, and
those who will be here after us.
IPN returned to UNI for its first Annual Meeting, held in July 1991
during the Iowa Prairie Conference. IPN’s logo was designed by Linn Reece of
Fort Dodge in 1992.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE BY-LAWS
By Casey Kohrt
At the annual meeting, it will be proposed that we amend the by-laws to
enable the officers (President, VP, Secretary, Treaserer) to be selected from
the Members, and not just the Board of Directors. Show up at the meeting and
vote on the proposal. It is hoped to be more involvement from the membership.
IPN Silent Auction
by Glenda Buenger and Cindy Hildebrand
IPN will sponsor a silent auction Monday, July 17 at the North
Prairie Conference in Mason City. Donations for the auction are needed and
be much appreciated. Items small and large, from caps to art prints, are
Proceeds will be donated to the Iowa Nature Conservancy to help pay
the purchase of the
Lineberry Tract, part of the Conservancyâ€™s Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve
in Iowa's Loess Hills. The
600-acre Lineberry tract, located in Plymouth County, is a major part of this
high-quality natural area.
At over 2000 acres, the Broken Kettle Preserve is the largest prairie
remnant known in Iowa. An additional 1100 acres of privately-owned land
to the Lineberry Tract is protected through a conservation easement with the
Knapp Family. Larger habitat areas can support more species of plants and
animals, and are more likely to survive natural and man-made disasters.
Iowaâ€™s Loess Hills, located along the Missouri River, are a
200-mile-long land form created by wind-blown silt.Â Often reaching over 200
feet in depth, they are rivaled only by China's loess hills along the Yangtze
River. Loess Hills prairies are unique because they provide habitat to many
plant and animal species that typically live much further west.Â Broken
is home to the most eastern population of the prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus
viridis) in the United States.
Until recently, the rugged terrain of the Hills held off development
conversion to row crops. Today, development, fill dirt mining, and lack of
management threaten the Hills. Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve secures a
handsome chunk of our Loess Hills from these threats, while benefiting the
economy via cooperative grazing agreements.
For more information about the Lineberry Tract, Broken Kettle
Grasslands, or the Iowa Nature Conservancy, please call the Iowa Field Office
515-244-5044, or log onto their web site at www.tnc.org/iowa.
For more information about the Silent Auction or to donate items,
please.contact Sue Irving at 515-828-7839, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 1308
160th Avenue, Knoxville, IA 50318. Items can be hand-carried or otherwise
conveyed to the Conference by Monday morning.
Letting Sue know ahead of time what items you intend to donate will be
much appreciated. But last-minute donations will also be very welcome, as will
solicited donations from businesses, friends, and other prairie supporters. We
hope the silent auction will be fun, as well as beneficial to this special
prairie. Thank you in advance for any help you can give!
International Carbon Conference Set for August 29-31 in Des Moines, Iowa
by Laura Greiner
Farmers, conservationists, carbon management researchers and policy
makers will want to attend the upcoming carbon sequestration conference set
August 29-31 at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
Highlights of the three-day conference, Carbon: Exploring the Benefits
to Farmers and Society, include presentations from 30 highly-acclaimed
more than 50 poster presentations and many opportunities to
network with national policy makers, scientists and others.
Topics to be addressed during the comprehensive program include:
- What is carbon worth environmentally, economically and agronomically
- What do we know about carbon management and sequestration and other
green house gas mitigation measures
- How to manage carbon on agricultural land
- How carbon credit trading might work
- What’s next
“This is a very timely conference to discuss carbon issues,” said
S. Reed, chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and a
speaker at the conference. “It is also comprehensive‹focusing on the science,
policy and management of carbon, including bioenergy production.
Other speakers include: James Bruce, Canadian Policy Representative,
Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ottawa, Ontario; Jerry Hatfield,
Director, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Soil Tilth Laboratory;
Jim Kinsella, Illinois farmer and Rattan Lal, professor of soil science, Ohio
Registrations are due Aug. 8 and cost $200 per person. After Aug. 8,
registration fees are $225 per person. Complete details about the conference
be found at www.cvrcd.org/carbon.htm. Or you may call Alice Vinsand,
coordinator, at 515/225-1051 or 800/264-1084.
Conference sponsors include: Chariton Valley RC&D, Iowa Chapter of the
Soil and Water Conservation Society, Iowa Department of Natural Resources,
Division of Soil Conservation, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Heartland
RC&D, Iowa State University, Iowa Valley RC&D, Leopold Center, Monsanto,
National Association of Conservation Districts, Oak Ridge Laboratory, USDA
Agricultural Research Service National Soil Tilth Laboratory, U.S. Department
Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Natural Resource
Highlights of April 8, 2000 IPN Board Meeting
submitted by Glenda Buenger, IPN Secretary
Present: Dave Hansen (Region 2); Erma Selser, Trish Patrick, Cindy
Hildebrand, Jim Nedtwig (Region 5); Glenda Buenger, Sue Irving, Pam White
(Region 6); Don Bardole, Casey Kohrt (Region 7).
Regional Reports were brief; the Board delved into agenda items:
Membership/Treasurer’s Report: 573 membership includes all who have
paid dues within last 2 years. Non-paid members are archived. Treasury: we
will start fresh with current account balance, $8,829.29 with current
costs paid; archive old treasury records.
Expenditures approved: Iowa Valley RC&D, $250.00 to help sponsor sedge
i.d. class. Pheasants Forever/Izaak Walton League, $300.00 to help purchase
Emmett Co. fen.
Change in dues-paying year: Cindy moves, Glenda seconds to make
membership dues on calendar year basis for year dues are paid in, except for
members joining at the Annual Meeting, who will be paid for the upcoming year.
Economic study: As a result of discussions during last March’s Board
retreat, Jim contacted the Iowa Dep’t. of Cultural Affairs, which led to a
contact with Dave Swenson, ISU, who offered to do an economic study free of
charge. Objective analysis only; results must be used ethically. Board
feel that promoting prairie will be enabled by facts supporting prairie’s
economic benefits. Other prairie-related projects such as IDNR’s Division of
Forestry and Prairie, or advocating prairie-related issues in the Iowa
Legislature, might also utilize the results of such a study. Dave moves,
seconds to pursue the study; approved. Jim will be the coordinator. Forward
all ideas to Jim for consultation with Dave Swenson; then we can make
information-gathering assignments. Membership, please contact your regional
Board members with any and all ideas concerning possible
economic benefits of prairie (soil erosion, water quality benefits, reduced
maintenance costs, tourism, etc.) or information-gathering strategies.
NAPC, silent auction: Sue moves, Glenda seconds to donate silent
auction proceeds to The Nature Conservancy for purchase of Loess Hills
Lineberry Tract. Approved. (See related article this issue.)
IPN Annual Meeting: After some discussion regarding various options, Glenda
moves, Dave seconds to hold IPN’s Annual Meeting during NAPC. Approved. (See
related article this issue.)
Centennial Cemetery Work Day
by Pam White
IPN Region 6 and the Mahaska County Commission for the Preservation of
Pioneer Cemeteries had another successful work day at Centennial Cemetery on
6. Twelve ambitious volunteers cut and hacked enough brush and trees to
the area cleared to about two thirds of this one and a half acre cemetery in
Mahaska county. Workers included members of each sponsoring group and our
roadside manager.Thanks so much to everyone.
The enjoyment of the day was increased by viewing native plants such
puccoon, delphinium tricorne, prairie voilet, bastard toadflax and a gorgeous
cream indigo. The group also learned about Victorian grave symbols.
Another workday is sceduled for October 7. Mark your calendars now so
you can participate in this worthwhile fall project.
WE WANT YOU!
By Casey Kohrt
YOU are making a difference, we need you to continue! IPN is forming
several committees to help its’ members. Interested in a particular aspect of
prairie? Education? Watchdog? Would you like to be more involved in helping
people connect with each other and the Prairie? If so, contact us.