2000 CIPN WINTER MEETING JANUARY 22
The meeting will be Saturday in Ames at the Ames Public Library. The
auditorium will be open at 12:00 for registration, start of silent auction
bidding, viewing of displays, visiting and coffee. The program will start
promptly at 1:00 and wrap up around 4:00.
A program of short presentations will begin at 1:00. Jamie Edwards of the
IDNR Wildlife Diversity Program will talk about their project to establish
prairie seed plots - the goals and progress. Jerry Kemperman and Jean Eells
will fill us in on how the first year of the new IDNR Forest and Prairie
Division is going. Scott Saurer will give a presentation “What do we mean by
prairie insects?” Carl Kurtz will end the program with slides of various
prairie habitats you might want to visit in states adjacent to Iowa. After
program there will be a rime for question and answer discussion.
NORTH AMERICAN PRAIRIE CONFERENCE
by Carol W. Schutte
North Iowa Area Community College is looking forward to hosting the 17th
American Prairie Conference July 16-20, 2000 in Mason City! We will invite
artists to show and sell their natural theme creations during the conference.
More information will be available at a later date. Volunteers will be needed
many capacities. Specific requests for help will be published in winter or
spring editions of the IPN News.
Concurrent sessions are planned for prairie botany, management and
restoration, prairie heritage, prairie education, prairie zoology, prairie
ecology, and landowner projects. Abstracts will need to be submitted by Feb
The web site is open and still “under construction”. The address is
Questions and suggestions should be directed to me at: Carol Schutte,
515-422-4319, email@example.com, or: NIACC( North Iowa Area Community
College), 500 College Drive, Mason City, Iowa 50401. Mark your calendars now!
EVENTS SUMMARY OF ANNUAL IPN MEETING
by Glenn Pollock past president board member Region 4
The Iowa Prairie Network Annual Meeting was held September 10 - 12 at
Lakeside Labs, by the shores of Lake Okoboji . The weather was pleasant,
making the informative field seminars truly a walk in the park. Seminar
were: Dr. Paul Christiansen, Scott Moats, Dr. Lynn Clark, Dr. Arnold van der
Valk, Jerry Selby, Carl Kurtz, Mark Loeschke, Doug Harr, and John Pearson.
thanks to these gracious volunteers.
Saturday evening, Dr. Paul Chrstiansen delivered the keynote speech,
"Families of the Prairie", identifying and discussing the major components of
Iowa prairies. Thank
you Dr. Christiansen.
Business meetings (the Nature Conservancy and Native Plant Society also
their annual meetings at this shindig) were held Saturday night. The IPN
Board of Directors elected Casey Kohrt as your new President, and thanked
current President Glenn Pollock
for his dedicated service. Glenn remains as a region 4 board member.
More big news came from The Nature Conservancy - they honored IPN board
member Cindy Hildebrand with "The Conservation Leadership Award". Way to go,
This was a weekend of fun and education - a tough combination to beat.
I want to welcome our new IPN President Casey Kohrt. Casey was elected by
the board at our annual meeting. He works for the Army Corp of Engineers in
Island. He has represented region 7 for the last two years. Casey will be
leading the board with many new ideas to improve IPN. I want to thank the
people who served on the board while I was president for the last four years.
They worked hard and did well, thank you all. The board meets four time a
and general membership is always welcome. Look in the newsletter and the
site (coming soon) for date and location.
NEW IPN PRESIDENT
Dear IPN Members,
I would like to introduce myself and give you some of my background to
of you that may not know me. I would also like to give you some thought on our
future direction. Of course, first of all I appreciate the support from all of
those that have encouraged me to stay involved and to all of you who are
the lines fighting to preserve our prairie legacy.
I would like to give you a short bio of my interest in plants and prairie.
got interested in prairie in about 1993, when I was working as a ranger at
Red Rock. After I received my degree in forestry, my career took me
eastward to the Mississippi River where I have worked for the Corps of
as a forester since 1994. I know some of you may now be wondering what a
forester is doing in a prairie organization, but my interest in all
plant life runs deep. I am involved in the Upper Mississippi River
Committee, a group of professional biologists working for conservation of the
resources of the river, as the chairman of their vegetation ad hoc committee.
have also been involved in several restoration and recreation projects and am
big supporter of local ecotype seed sources and its use in recreations.
I would like to see our organization walk into the new millennium with a
renewed vigor to show and educate others as to the beauty and benefits of an
ecosystem that has made this land the richest, most productive on earth. We
to also show people that it is an ecosystem in peril, and worth saving the
vestiges of a once vast landscape not just to remind us of where we came from
and how we got here, then for those who are yet to come. A true prairie is a
complex network of plants, animals and elements working in conjunction with
other, depending on each other, and each filling their own niche to make the
prairie live and bloom. I encourage each of you to find your niche and help
the prairie bloom well into the future.
The idea of a network is to have lines of communication going in all
directions so that information can be quickly passed along. I think we need to
keep open those lines of communication and to explore new ones to make the
network more effective. We have been doing a good job of individuals keeping
abreast of happenings with prairie areas in their parts of the state and
alerting those interested through the network. I would like to solicit ideas
from people in the next few months to get their ideas on where you would like
see us going in the new millennium. I will then work with you and our Board to
implement those ideas that will ensure that we can make a difference in the
of the prairie and the lives of all of us, the people of the prairie.
Casey J Kohrt
SEED HARVESTING AND COLLECTING
By Casey J Kohrt
In the fall, a lot of us prairie enthusiasts are going to some of our
favorite areas to see the late bloomers of fall, and perhaps to collect seed
use in plantings for next year. There are many ethical, legal, and logistical
considerations to this. Here are some guidelines for collecting and storing
seed. In the next issue of IPN news, look for an article on seed
-ALWAYS remember to check on the ownership of the place you are collecting.
If private property, make sure you get permission. If it is public property,
AWARE of the laws that govern the use and collection of plant materials on the
type of ownership it is (public roadside vs. state preserve vs. county land
federal land, etc.). Ask your local county, state or federal conservation
representative as to the laws governing these areas.
-Know when the seed you are collecting is ready to harvest. Make sure seeds
are full-sized, the seed coats may be changing colors. Stems are dry and not
nourishing seeds. Some seed may be dropping.
-If collecting for a restoration, collect as close to the location as
-This time of year is hunting season, you may want to wear bright colored
-Only harvest 10-30 % of the seed on any given plant and never all of the
plants in an area.
-DO NOT harvest rare, threatened or endangered plant seeds. Many of these
need very specific requirements to grow, which can not be reproduced by a new
planting. Most are protected from such collecting.
-Put your seed in paper bags. Plastic bags will not allow seed to dry
properly, and may cause them to mold. Paper bags will allow seed to dry
when placed in a cool, dry place
-Store your seed in a cool, dry place. Make sure mice can not get at the
(Speaking from personal experience). The large plastic storage containers with
bungee strap on top work well for this.
-Keep good Records. Record on the bag the species, location, and the date.
Make sure you know whether or not your seed is from a remnant or a restoration
(local ecotype vs. distant origin). -More specific guidelines can be
in the book "The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook" Edited by Stephen Packard and
Cornelia F. Mutel, Island Press. Many consider it the "bible" of prairie
restoration. It costs about $25. I got it at Prairie Lights Bookstore in Iowa
City, and may be available at other locations.
by Glenn Pollock
The Federal Government has two financial aid programs that can be used for
help with prairie management or restoration. The first program is called
Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) and is administered by the Natural
Resources Conservation Service. Your local office may not be aware of WHIP as
one of our members found out. WHIP has been widely interpreted from state to
state. Iowa seems to have been flexible. Come prepared with a plan and see
it will fit the program. Because it is a matching grant you will be required
match 25% of the cost.
A second program, Partners for Wildlife, is administered by U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS). Contact your nears USFWS area or office and ask for
the private lands coordinator. Again come prepared with a plan. In the past
program has granted funds for wetlands and open water but now grants have been
given for uplands. In your plan you should be prepared to list what wildlife
your project will benefit. I have received two grants for prairies
One grant was to remove brush and trees from a prairie cemetery and another to
plant an old field using an local seed source.
SEPTEMBER IPN BOARD MEETING NOTES
The IPN Board met Saturday evening 9/11/99 at the IPN/INPS/TNC Annual
at Lakeside Lab. Eleven Board members were present, as were many IPN members.
Board meetings are open meetings and it was wonderful to have so many folks
Board members representing IPN’s seven regions were approved as indicated
the map always printed on the back of this newsletter. Newly-elected officers
are: Casey Kohrt, President; Sue Irving, Vice-President, Carole Kern,
and Membership; and Glenda Buenger, Recording Secretary. Erma Selser remains
State News Editor. Thank you, Erma! and congratulations to our new officers.
Thank you to Glenn Pollock and Cindy Hildebrand, who vacate officer positions
but remain on the Board. A special thank you to Carol Rogers and Martha
Skillman, who vacate the Board, for all their good work. Their energies,
outlooks and concerns are seeded into the Iowa Prairie Network, and nurtured
continuing Board members.
In keeping with tradition, the September Board meeting was fairly brief,
election of new officers its main purpose. But we visited a number of other
items, listed here briefly:
* Glenn summarized IPN activities during his stint as President and updated
us on Loess Hills activities.
* IPN’s Native Prairie Planting and Native Prairie Remnant signs are
* Carol Schutte, North Central Iowa Community College, site of next year’s
North American Prairie Conference, asks for help with ideas and organizing.
* We need to start organizing ourselves (IPN) for the NAPC.
* Jean Eels, coordinator for the IDNR’s Forestry and Prairies Division,
briefed us about an upcoming discussion concerning fire management issues.
* Sue Irving reported on a hog confinement which is being constructed in
Walnut Creek watershed and may threaten Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.
IPN then joined INPS members to engage in a joint discussion of issues
surrounding Engeldinger Marsh and the Eddyville Dunes, sharing information and
thoughtful comments, and suggesting strategy that might aid acceptable
for these projects.
EDDYVILLE DUNES AND WETLANDS UPDATE EARLY JANUARY 2000
by Glenda Buenger and Pat McAdams
Pro-Dunes letters to the Rock Island Corps of Engineers during the public
comment period for the 404 permit raised issues about the Far East
which would better avoid negative impacts to the Dunes. The Corps has relayed
these concerns to the IDOT and asked the state agency to justify its selection
of the Near East Alternative. If the IDOT cannot convince the Corps that the
Near East Alternative is the least environmentally-damaging practicable route,
the 404 permit process may stall.
In other developments, the mitigation plan for the Near East Alternative
self-destructed. The proposed construction of two ponds at a site in Monroe
County presented a conflict of interest for an IDNR employee, Richard Bishop,
who is part owner of the property. The mitigation plan is being revised to
include restoration of several wetlands already owned by the IDOT at the Teno
property, which many of you have visited on Dunes field trips. Restoration
NOT include deepening the “long pond.
There are other problems to be resolved before the IDOT successfully
the Near East Alternative and obtains a 404 permit. After declaring how the
East Alternative would avoid impacts to the orchid swale and sand prairie area
at 182nd St., the IDOT intends to use this gravel road as a haul route for
of the 325,000 dumptruck loads of fill dirt needed to construct the bypass.
182nd St. will never withstand the abuse, and paving it (for dust control)
leave the 120-acre “preserve” it traverses vulnerable to the effects of future
road “improvements” and degradation, increased traffic, reptile mortality,
It will be difficult for the IDNR to avoid issuing a permit “to take” Ornate
turtles if the Near East Alternative is to proceed.
At the 11/23/99 public meeting, IDOT maps showed that the area between the
“preserve” and the bypass to the west will be left as permanent IDOT
right-of-way. This is appreciated. It would provide buffer. But a site that
would be perfect for a Casey’s has been left immediately adjacent to the
“preserve.” There’s more to this list of unresolved issues, but enough for
Thanks, IPN, for your support! Our “human vocal cords” are indeed powerful.
THE IOWA ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL SAYS "THANKS"
by Linda D. Appelgate, Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council
The Iowa Environmental Council is celebrating its fifth birthday this fall.
What a perfect time to thank you and all of the members of [your organization]
for your partnership and support!
The Council was founded to help ensure that better laws were passed and
policies were set to protect our water, air, land, flora and fauna -- and
people. With the Council's coalition of 58 groups and more than 700
individual members dedicated to protecting our environment, we can use our
numbers to help citizens and policy makers realize that Iowa's future depends
a healthy environment as well as a healthy economy.
In its brief history, the Council has played a major role in a number of
* Funding for professional water monitoring, so that we can find out what
in our waters. This last spring, the Iowa Legislature appropriated $1 million
for water monitoring -- $970,000 more than the state ever
* Jump-starting citizen water monitoring. The Council published a directory
of existing monitoring projects and held conferences so that those who are
already in the field sampling their local waters could meet each other and
information. We helped the Iowa Department of Natural Resources set up a
volunteer monitoring program (which began in August), and helped other
volunteers start monitoring in their watersheds.
* Protecting ground water from contamination through agricultural drainage
wells. Through our research and communications efforts, we helped galvanize
public support and political will for legislation that should
protect our waters from the disaster that these wells would allow.
The Iowa Environmental Council continues to play a vital role in
these efforts and to help clean up our waters, to find ways to reduce
contamination and pollution from livestock manure; to
work for greater funding for natural resources, and other initiatives, such as
the Bottle Bill.
Along with our efforts to improve environmental policy, we also work hard
empower your organization and our other organization members. We share
information on issues, events, job opportunities through our News Bulletin,
Environment Quarterly, web site (www.earthweshare.org), and more. We hold
conferences, such as our annual meeting, and are constantly helping member
groups network with each other, make press and other contacts, and participate
in state policy advisory groups.
We're interested in serving our member organizations even more. Please
contact us with your ideas about how we can best strengthen all groups working
in Iowa for environmental protection. By working together, we can
leave our children an Iowa where waters run clean, soil stays on the land, the
air is clear, flora and fauna are diverse, a place where people are proud to
Thank you again for your support!
CENTENNIAL CEMETERY WORK DAY
by Pam White
Region 6 of the IPN and the Mahaska County County Commission for the
Preservation of Pioneer Cemeteries cosponsored a very successful work day
October 16th. Fifteen dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers shared a day of
sawing, cutting, brush dragging and herbicide application and a sense of
camaraderie and satisfaction. Volunteer included members from both sponsoring
groups, the Mahaska County Naturalist, descendents of people who are buried
there, and people with interests in prairie and/or cemeteries. Some workers
came from as far away as Des Moines, Iowa City, Fairfield, and Plan to share
this worthwhile endeavor. Brush and trees were removed with three chain saws
and numerous hand tools from about one third of the of the heavily overgrown 2
This exceeded everyone's initial expectations.
Centennial is about half way between Oskaloosa and Pella located high upon
hill with a terrific view of the surrounding countryside. There were at least
64 burials there between 1850 and 1908 including two civil war veterans. It is
believed that it has been completely unmaintained for at least 20 years. A
species list of 48 plants including lead plant, New Jersey tea, prairie
sage, white and cream indigo, puccoon, big blue and Indian grass has been
complied. This list is likely to grow!
Spring will probably bring plans for another workday so watch for news of
this so you can be a part of this exciting project.
If you have Internet access you can reach the IPN home page at
www.iowaprairienetwork.org. This is a new site so check it out.
A VISION OF IOWA IN 2010
Along with other organizations, the Iowa Prairie Network was invited by
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to contribute a one-page
"vision" to Governor Vilsack this spring. The
"visions" are intended to describe how Iowa could look in the year 2010,
focusing on private landowners and how they contribute to the protection of
Iowa's natural resources.
Below is an excerpt from the Iowa Prairie Network's vision.
In the year 2010, Iowa's countryside is becoming a beautiful mosaic of
agriculture, communities, and natural areas. The natural areas include
remnants, woodlands, wetlands, and other native ecosystems. They are being
located through a statewide biological inventory which helps to ensure that
of Iowa's good remaining natural areas, on public and private land, are known
and understood by their owners.
Private landowners are encouraged to protect their natural areas through
breaks, conservation easements, innovative zoning, education, management
assistance, public recognition, and other incentives. Iowa landowners are
becoming as proud of their natural areas as they are of their agricultural
Landowners are also restoring their natural areas to ecological health.
Thanks to innovative programs and partnerships, good management is underway.
Trees are being removed from prairie remnants, oak savannas are being burned,
and exotic species are being controlled. As a result, some rare species are
beginning to thrive.
Volunteers of all ages are caring for Iowa's natural areas, and ecological
restoration has become an integral part of school curricula. Iowa is
recognized as a global leader in ecological restoration, and people from all
over the world visit our state to learn how we care for our landscape.
Ecological restoration plays a vital role in every kind of natural resource
protection. Increasingly, Iowa's soils and waters are protected not just by
grass filter strips, but by diverse prairie, woodland, and wetland
reconstructions. To ensure that Iowa's genetic heritage is protected and
extended, the seed used for ecological reconstruction is descended from
own native natural areas. By raising this Iowa-origin seed, Iowa's
nurseries and farmers are profiting from conservation work.
The Loess Hills have become a regional showcase. On private and public
innovative programs are ensuring the control of both urban sprawl and
cedars. Large areas of the Hills are being restored to the prairie landscape
that awed Lewis and Clark. Iowa is receiving national recognition for
demonstrating how to care for an ecological treasure.
In 2010, Iowa landowners are showing the world how to create a sustainable
countryside that produces beauty and biodiversity as well as food. Across
state, Iowans are taking new pride and pleasure in their unique landscape.
CELEBRATE IOWA EARTH DAY 2000!
Originated to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day and the start of
new millennium, Iowa Earth Year 2000 intends to involve all Iowan’s in
a statewide, year long celebration of environmental stewardship focusing on
future of Iowa’s land. Attending the January 21 conference as an Ambassador
will bring advantages to your community, among which could be a scholarship
up to $999 to support an Earth Year 2000 activity of your choice. For more
information, please contact:
Stefanie Forret, coordinator
Iowa Earth Year 2000
THE IOWA PRAIRIE NETWORK WOULD LIKE TO THANK ITS ADVERTISERS OF THE PAST YEAR.
THEY INCLUDE APPLIED ECOLOGICAL SERVICES, INC.,HEYNE CUSTOM SEED SERVICES,
SHOOTING STAR NATIVE SEEDS, LITTLE VALLEY FARM, UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS,
KROMRAY AND TRUAX COMPANY, INC. WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT OF AND FOR
IPN GRANT RECIPIENTS
by Glenn Pollock
An IPN Grant in the amount of $170.00 has been awarded to Jon Judson and
Neumann of Dedham, Iowa, to purchase a solar fencer. They will use
solar-powered electric fence to establish a 1-acre enclosure on a 160-acre
grazed pasture exhibiting a diversity of prairie species. The enclosure will
keep livestock out so that the acre can support a burn in the spring of 2000.
Jon and Kay hope the results will indicate other extant prairie species, and
help persuade the landowner to allow prairie management on other portions of
Congratulations, Jon and Kay,