IPN NEWS Gets a Facelift
Selser has done a great job on the IPN newsletter for a long time.
This fall she found job and family obligations were demanding more than
the usual amount of her time and asked to take a year hiatus from her IPN
newsletter duties. We thank her for all the time she’s put in and the great
job she has always done!
This newsletter has a new look, thanks to Mark Müller, our newest board
member, who worked with Inger to fill Erma’s editorial shoes.
Mark generously provided his artwork to spiff up our pages, and had lots
of great ideas too. We hope you
like the new format!
of you will be familiar with Mark’s work even if you don’t recognize the
name. His projects and publications
include the artwork on the Jewels of the Prairie posters that the Living Roadway
Trust Fund has produced, the drawings in “Iowa Prairie Plants”, which he
co-authored with Paul Christiansen, and the art on the new Iowa DNR Invasive
Species poster. His work is technically accurate and attractive at the same
time– a great combination of talent and ability to focus on details.
project: t-shirts, hats, tote bags, maybe even sheets with Markwork on them!
We’ll keep you posted….
IPN Fundraiser for
The Iowa Prairie Network wants to help one of Iowa's best prairies, and we need your help to do it.The IPN is offering a challenge grant to help purchase an addition to the Cayler Prairie complex.This addition gives Iowans a rare opportunity to expand and buffer a high-quality prairie preserve.
Cayler Prairie State Preserve is a 160-acre native prairie located in Dickinson County near the western edge of the Des Moines Lobe.It is used every summer for research by Iowa Lakeside Laboratory students.The prairie has more than 200 species of plants and a variety of animals, including white-tailed jackrabbits,harriers, and regal fritillaries.additional 385 acres of former pasture and cropland adjacent to the prairie were purchased by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 1998, with initial help from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
The tract of land we want to help buy is next to the Coyer Prairie complex. Nature Conservancy of Iowa is assisting the Wildlife Bureau of the Iowa DNR with the purchase of this tract.The federally-threatened prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya) was found on the tract by Paul Christiansen in 1965, and is also found on the Cayler Prairie State Preserve and the 1998 addition.For this reason, the Iowa DNR has received an Endangered Species Recovery grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which will pay for 90% of the purchase. remaining 10% of the funding ($12,100) is being raised by the Conservancy from private sources, and the Iowa Prairie Network wants to help.
new tract, which will be owned and managed by the Wildlife Bureau, contains
eighty acres.About half of those acres are prairie pasture, which means that
good management will help the remnant populations of prairie species already
present.The rest of the land is cropland, most or all of which will become a
new tract has exciting features, including a natural prairie pothole in the
cropland and lots of bobolinks and upland sandpipers on the prairie pasture.The
Wildlife Bureau intends to use prairie seed from Cayler Prairie, possibly
augmented by seed from other nearby prairie remnants, to plant the cropland.
makes this an opportunity to support the creation of a high-quality,
local-ecotype prairie reconstruction.
The Iowa Prairie Network will match donations on a two-for-one basis, up to $2,000.That means that if IPN members and supporters come up with $2,000 in donations for this Cayler addition, we will donate $4,000 in matching money from our treasury.In that way, we will collectively donate $6,000 to the Cayler tract.
If you want to help, please send your check to:
write the check to the IPN, and be sure to write “Cayler Prairie” in the
memo line. We are a 501(c)(3) organization so your donation is
tax-deductible. Donations will be
accepted until Dec. 31, 2002.
you for helping the Cayler Prairie complex, and thank you for helping to provide
and protect eighty new public acres of remnant and local-ecotype reconstructed
prairie for future Iowans to enjoy!
2003 Iowa Prairie
IPN will be hosting the Iowa Prairie Conference next summer, July 11-12, 2003.
We have reserved Scheman Auditorium in Ames for the event.
Details are not firm yet but we are planning on having a series of
presentations on Friday, July 11 designed to provide information useful for
government and agency workers involved with the prairie-related aspects of the
new Farm Bill programs. Saturday,
July 12 we will have speakers covering a range of topics, some field trips, a
dinner…..and a visit from Aldo Leopold (ok, an actor who recreates Aldo).
Mark your calendars!
Iowa Prairie Network - Central Region will host their annual Winter Meeting on
Saturday, February 1, 2003 at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in
Ankeny. The meeting is open to the public, no fees or registration
required. The doors will open at
Noon to allow time to view displays, bid on silent auction items and visit
before the program, which starts at 1:00. The
meeting will wrap up around 4:30 with the close of the silent auction.
Those wishing to stay and visit longer are welcome to do so– we enjoy
the socializing as much as the workshop!
will be the 4th Silent Auction held by the Central Region.
Previous proceeds have been used to help conservation groups acquire and
manage native prairies in Iowa. This
year the auction will benefit the purchase of Puccoon Prairie, described in
Loren Lown’s “Talk of the
Prairie” article. If you would
like to donate any item(s) to the silent auction please contact Marlene Ehresman
detailed information about the meeting will be available in January - check the
IPN website or contact Trish Patrick, 57540 270th St., Ames, IA
50010, e-mail email@example.com, phone 515-382-2802.
from I-35 exit 90 go west to Highway 69 (Ankeny Blvd) then north to the
DMACC campus, the entrance is on the west side of the road.
From exit 92 go west on First St. then south on Hwy 69/Ankeny Blvd. to
the DMACC entrance. If you are
coming from the west take the 415/2nd St. off I-80 and go north to Oralabor,
then east to Hwy 69/Ankeny Blvd., then north to the DMACC entrance.
The meeting is in the Conference Center, Building #7, this will be the
first left after you enter campus from Hwy 69.
to see you there!
year the Iowa Prairie Network held a joint annual meeting with the Nature
Conservancy of Iowa and the Iowa Native Plant Society.
The event was held Sept. 20-22 at Lakeside Labs in Milford, near Spirit
Lake. We had a great turnout, over
150 people registered!
On Friday we had registration and two optional field trips.
People had a choice of “Twilight at the Kettlehole”, with Cindy
Findley leading them to the site at Freda Haffner Preserve, or they could go on
a tour of the water quality lab followed by a pontoon ride around the lake,
hosted by Jane Shuttleworth, the environmental Educator for Friends of Lakeside
Labs. The weather was glorious, complete with a great sunset.
morning we all enjoyed a great keynote lecture by Doug Ladd, the Director of
Conservation Science for the Nature Conservancy of Missouri.
His entertaining talk was “Conservation by Design in a Prairie
Landscape”, which covered many important concepts about our fragmented
ecosystems (and a few jokes about Iowa and Missouri).
Then a series of Iowa’s prairie experts talked briefly about their
biggest concerns for our prairies (see Inger Lamb’s article in “Talk of the
afternoon there was a choice of 4 great field trips, and although the weather
was not as nice as it had been on Friday, at least it didn’t rain!
People visited Silver Lake fen, Cayler Prairie, Waterman Creek, Kirchner
Prairie, Anderson Prairie and Ft. Defiance State Park.
Many thanks to all our tour guides!
evening Cindy Findley started off the presentation with a moving testament to
her love of prairies and the importance of conveying a deep and intense respect
for nature to children. Then Daryl
Smith and Mark Müller took turns speaking about how they came to know and
appreciate prairies, and the importance of educators in that process.
We finished off the evening with a short round of Prairie
Jeopardy….remember, your answer must be in the form of a question!
we had an informal discussion of prairie issues and some possible solutions,
then we all headed home, many taking advantage of the “on the way home”
field trip maps provided in the registration packets.
Iowa nature photographers (Carl Kurtz, Tom Rosburg, Linda Scarth, Ty Smedes,
Larry Stone and Bill Witt) provided a perfect accompaniment to the meeting by
donating framed prints for a silent auction (which raised over $1000 to help
defray meeting costs). They also
put up photograph displays, providing great decorations for the event.
Ginger Vietor and Bev Rutter of Prairie Flower (native plant landscaping
and management company) added potted prairie plants as a final touch to the décor.
Steve Holland of the Living Roadway Trust Fund donated willow-twig framed
Jewels of the Prairie posters, along with free unframed sets for
participants to take home. The Iowa
DNR generously provided copies of their new Invasive Species poster for all
in all, it was a real prairie event, and a great meeting, with lots of
enthusiasm and interaction. In
addition, bringing some attention to the issues associated with Iowa’s
prairies will have long term effects. We
had fun, thanks to Cindy Findley and her singing and guitar-strummin’ antics,
and we made some progress too!
Annual Business Meeting
IPN held a brief business meeting during the annual meeting.
We formally elected Greg Houseal and Mark Müller to our board,
representing Regions 3 and 7 respectively, and re-elected the executive board
were asked to join the REAP Alliance by Dave DeGeus (see article that follows),
and asked to help with the purchase of an 80 acre land purchase (the “Jewel
Tract”) near Cayler Prairie by Ray Hamilton (see “Have You Heard the
reviewed the past year’s events and accomplishments, we’ve really made some
progress! Our “move“ to Prairie Rivers RC&D provided us
much-needed administrative stability: our bank accounts are now computerized,
and along with the membership files, are now managed by office secretary Lisa
Mens. We sent renewal letters to
anyone who had not paid on their membership in 2002 or 2001, and while we did
have to drop some names, over half of those receiving letters renewed their membership.
Our hard working Central Region 5 put on a great winter meeting this
year, at the new lodge in Jester Park. Over
100 people attended, and the silent auction raised almost $3000 dollars to
donate to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to pay summer interns working on
remnant prairies. Region 6
had a great potluck and slide show meeting also. Finally, we were successful in
negotiating with Daryl Smith to let us officially take on the Iowa Prairie
Conference next summer, a really exciting step for the organization.
The future holds great possibilities for the IPN!
Iowa Native Plants
If you have access to the
internet you may want to take advantage of a great communication and information
tool provided by the Iowa Native Plant Society.
It’s an e-mail message system: people interested in native plants and
conservation issues join the list, then any messages they send to the list are
received by everyone else on the list.Members can respond to messages if they
wish, to the sender only or to the entire list membership.
The Iowa Native Plants List has well over 200 members and is a great resource to learn about native plants and conservation issues related to Iowa’s natural habitats.It is a wonderful forum to share ideas and information.Membership is free, and the list is administered by Diana Horton at the University of Iowa, who established it in 1998.
To subscribe to the Iowa Native Plants mailing list, either send a message to Diana at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to:
Message: subscribe <your
You will receive instructions on how to post messages, unsubscribe and access the archives of previous list postings.
We have started a policy of
providing extra copies of our newsletter to individuals who are likely to come
across people that might appreciate a complimentary copy. If your job or hobby is such that you routinely meet people
starting to develop an interest in prairies, have a few questions, don’t know
who to contact in their area etc., please let us know- we would be happy to
supply extras for you to give out. Contact
Inger Lamb (address on the back page) and indicate how many copies per issue you
think you could use. And thanks- we
want to get the “prairie word” out to any even marginally interested people,
you never know who just might get the prairie bug!
IPN Joins the REAP
have joined the REAP Alliance, an organization made up of groups supporting and
benefiting from the REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) programs.
The alliance is a coalition of 28 other organizations that work together
with the state government on conservation and REAP issues.
Our membership is more important that even since the drastic 80% cutback
in REAP funds last spring. The IPN
made a membership donation of $100 to the Alliance.
Greg Houseal has agreed to be the representative for IPN on the REAP
IPN Board Member Shuffle
IPN board has had several changes recently.
We welcomed Greg Houseal and Mark Muller to the board to represent
regions 3 and 7 respectively. Sue
Irving, longtime member from region 6 has resigned, and Casey Kohrt, our website
manager has gone off the board but continues to maintain our website for us
(thanks Casey!). Erma Selser is on
hiatus from the newsletter editor’s duties but remains as an “at large”
Our executive board from 2002 will remain the same in 2003
(President: Inger, Vice President: Jim Nedtwig, Treasurer: Cindy Findley).
each new issue we will have a different “guest” on our front page, and will
have an article about them in the newsletter.
upland sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda), unlike most shorebirds,
is at home far from the shore. This
sandpiper was once found in vast numbers on Iowa's tallgrass prairie, its
preferred habitat. Today it is
still found throughout the state but has become as rare as native prairie
upland sandpiper graces the tallgrass with a distinct, melodious whistle.
James Dinsmore, in his excellent book ' A Country So Full Of Game'
relates an observation by an early outdoor writer recalling hearing many of them
passing over Iowa City one night in 1878; the flight lasted more than an hour.
This huge flock was perhaps whistling its way to or from its wintering
grounds in South America as far south as Argentina.
also notes that they were shot by market hunters in Iowa and in 1890 sold for as
little as sixty cents per dozen! You may most likely spot one of these lovely
birds on a pasture, fencepost in south-central Iowa but they require thick,
undisturbed, grasslands for actual nesting.
Yet one more incentive for us to preserve and construct more quality
By Mark Müller.
Summary of Prairie
important aspect of this year’s annual meeting was a focus on prairie issues.
In preparation for this topic I collected statements from 19 prairie
experts, each person summarizing the issues they see as the biggest problems
affecting Iowa’s prairies today. I
tried to include a wide range of people, interests and organizations in this
survey. In addition, during
the meeting, we had an open session to discuss prairie issues.
Each person registering for the annual meeting got a copy of the issues
statements, which are now on our website (www.iowaprairienetwork.org).
I have attempted to summarize the points covered in the statements and
discussion and that also is available on our website.
The strongest message that
comes through is the need for more education and outreach. Clearly we need to connect more with the
non-conservation-oriented public, through seminars, literature, field days and
things as simple as bringing a friend or inviting a legislator to an
environment-oriented event. In
addition, public agencies often hold outdated, incorrect or unappreciative
attitudes toward prairies and native species in general, and these policies and
the attitudes behind them need to be changed through information and education.
A final needed aspect of education is the standardization of terms and
practices related to prairie management.
Other big “winners” are
concerns about invasive species and lack of manpower to do even the basics, let
alone get anything extra done, such as more fire prescriptions, surveys for
unknown remnants, political activism, and…education.
By Inger Lamb
A Pleasant Surprise
County is the land of malls, never-ending road construction, and urban sprawl.
There are no natural areas left worth a darn – right?
Well, not quite. One and a
half years ago, while working on the Chichaqua Bottoms, we discovered a remnant
prairie on a neighbors land.
was spring and large plants of hairy puccoon (Lithospermum
caroliniense) were stunning. Even
someone totally ignorant of native flora would have been amazed by the number of
bright egg yolk-colored blooms. Further
exploration has shown us that what remained on this old hillside was a truly
beautiful and diverse sand prairie remnant.
While no formal inventory has been complied, several uncommon to rare
species have already been recorded.
began immediately to acquire and protect the remnant.
It was a long process to convince the former owner it should be preserved
and by the time he was convinced the land had been sold as a housing site. However, the original owner has repurchased the site and
agreed to sell the property to the Polk County Conservation Board. The Iowa
Natural Heritage Foundation has stepped forward to assist the County and to help
raise the funds necessary to purchase and preserve “Puccoon Prairie”.
a treasure like Puccoon Prairie can be found in the most urbanized county in
Iowa, then there is hope that other fragments of our heritage can be found and
protected throughout Iowa. The
remnant assemblies of plants and animals on these little, fragile sites offer us
insight into the complex assemblages of native species that made up the
pre-settlement landscape and genetic materials to begin the healing process.
They are priceless.
IPN members who are already collecting seed from Puccoon Prairie for other sites
and those of you who have volunteered financial help are also irreplaceable.
Thanks for being there.
the belly of the beast,
Hickory Hill Park
Hickory Hill Park Symposium featured a panel discussion by local Iowa City area
professionals in natural resource-related fields and a keynote presentation by
Randall Arendt, a nationally known planner and speaker who advocates
conservation subdivision design techniques.
goal of the symposium was to help mobilize the community to develop and
implement a management plan for the 185 acre park and to help shape development
of the watershed above the park to minimize negative environmental impacts to
the park as the watershed gets built out in the future.
panel consisted of: Diana Horten, curator of the University of Iowa herbarium,
Harry Graves, Director of the Johnson County Conservation Board, and Wayne
Petersen, Urban Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
presented historical information from the original land surveyor’s notes of
the area, and also described the botanical inventory work that she and a grad
student are doing to provide baseline data for the future.
Harry shared information on some of the management techniques he and his
staff use on natural areas and provided recommendations on how re-constructed
native communities could be incorporated into a long-range management plan for
the park. Wayne read from an
article written by Professor Thomas McBride in 1896 that described the native
landscapes of Iowa in the 1830's and 1840's (see article under “The Way It
Was). He suggested that the
landscapes described in the McBride provided a model for any management plan to
strive toward. He also encouraged the community to support green development in
the watershed above the park.
Participants then heard Randall Arendt's
on conservation subdivision planning. Conservation subdivision design focuses on
preserving environmentally sensitive areas, significant viewsheds, historic or
cultural features, and maximizing open space while maintaining lot densities for
and down-sizing of lots is a key feature of conservation subdivisions, which
helps maximize green space. Ideally each lot opens onto green space so people
have a sense of openness even on a smaller
In addition, people like conservation subdivisions because they essentially
co-own the open space. A person in a 50 acre conservation subdivision may only
own a 0.33 acre lot, but it may open onto a 25 acre green space which the
landowner co-owns and can use along with the other neighbors of the development.
The open space amenities of a conservation subdivision offset the allure of
owning a full acre lot along with 49 other neighbors in traditional subdivisions
- where everybody has too much mowing to do and not enough open space to have
quality environmental features in their neighborhood.
open space of a conservation subdivision can be used for: "green"
storm water management,
can provide wildlife habitat plantings that modeled after native ecosystems,
exercise and recreation trails can be installed, and other features such as
basketball courts or ball fields can be strategically incorporated.
the watershed above Hickory Hill Park ready to be developed, it will be
important that conservation subdivision designs be adopted throughout the
watershed to protect the park and enhance the community as a whole.
committee is being established do develop a long-range restoration and
management plan for the park. Where remnant ecosystems exist, they will
be restored and properly managed in the future. Other areas (i.e. old bromegrass
pastures or cropland that is succumbing to pioneering woody species) will
hopefully be re-constructed to mimic the
ecosystems of old that once graced the landscapes of Hickory Hill Park and
Friends of Hickory Hill Park wish to thank the IPN for contributing $100 toward
the organization of this event.
It’s time for I-CALL!
the Iowa Environmental Council website (www.earthweshare.org/): The Iowa
Conservation Advocates’ and Leaders’ Link (I-CALL) is a communications tool
for environmental issues. This network uses "I-CALL Action Request" to
inform you on how to easily contact the right policy maker, at the right time,
with a coordinated pro-conservation message. Too often in the past, this message
has been received too late or is too blurred to be effective. The I-CALL system
is used to target conservation and environmental issues of interest to you using
a timely, non-partisan, common-sense approach.
This is an active system for natural resources advocacy on key issues.
If you want to become an I-CALL volunteer, you can sign up online at
The Way it Was
following is from The Landscapes of Early
Iowa by T.H. McBride, published in 1896 in the Iowa Historical Record.
His descriptions of the original Iowa landscape and his reflections on
the changes that had already occurred make for remarkable reading.
is a land of beauty. No traveler
makes his summer outing by her prairie highways, north, south, east, or west,
but returns to tell of wondrous fields, sunny pastures, groves, farm houses and
villages hardly elsewhere to be matched. SO
completely has the whole State passed beneath the plow, so quickly assumed the
appearance of one vast farm, that one who thus studies the Iowa of to-day
realized with difficulty the strange picturesque wildness of fifty or sixty
years ago when of farms, villages, cities, over the vastly greater part of this
area there were none. For the
benefit of those whose later experience make them familiar with the present
status only, it has been thought worth while to describe briefly the Iowa of
that earlier day. For older men this is less needed; such have but to shut their
eyes a moment till memory, all too willing, lifts up again the vision of past
scenes and years.
might perhaps be thought that the signs of human occupation form the chief
distinguishing characteristic of the new physiognomy, but this is only partly
true. Our human sympathy leads us
to dwell on such features and to find in them a certain charm.
But even were all the houses suddenly to disappear, even though the netted highways with right-angled meshes should dissolve and
blend again unmarked into the adjoining fields, even then the prehistoric
landscape would lack much of restoration. Hill,
valley, rock and stream are always, of course the same, but these form only the
background, the skeleton; the charm, as the character, lies in the details with
which the larger features are evermore clothed and
covered. In detail the
modern landscape is very different from the old.
Apart from inequality of surface, diversity in the appearance of
a country is due largely to the distribution of forest and meadow.
This distribution ever picturesque, at least in eastern Iowa, remains
to-day so far unchanged as to indicate the original conditions.
True, very much of our Iowa woodland has been reduced to so-called farms
or pastures, but enough still remains to suggest the principal; outlines of
those landscapes which must have met the eye of the earliest civilized
inhabitant. The differences lie deeper and affect alike the forest and
the prairie. Of course planted
groves of all sorts must be forgotten. The
primeval woods were confined to two very dissimilar locations; to ridges of
clay, sand, or rock and to flood-plains or streams, flats more or less wide,
subject to overflow; all the richest most fertile areas of the state were
prairie. Sometimes the two poorer
regions mentioned blent, or came close together, especially since Iowa streams
have a fashion of cutting through ridges and rocks; but not infrequently the
streams were found shaded with only a fringe of their characteristic species
while groves of forest trees covered
isolated hill tops far away. The
primeval forests in these diverse localities were very different in character.
The species were different. Down
by the streams the wild plum, wild cherry, box-elder, soft maple and elm made
with the grape and Virginia-creeper thickets almost or wholly impassable, with
shade so dense that the ground beneath was absolutely bare.
Where, by the junction of two streams the flood-plain was widened by
richer alluvial soil, walnuts, hackberries and cottonwoods with an occasional
bur-oak, gave to the woodland more the appearance of an eastern forest, and here
and there on rocky banks were groves of hard maple rivaling those of
Pennsylvania and Vermont. But
on the clay ridges the white oak flourished sometimes to the exclusion of all
else; while the most striking peculiarity of the Iowa upland forest was its
openness. One could drive through
it anywhere. To one following some
long clay ridge the trees opened on every hand as in a royal park, and out past
their clean white weathered boles on a summer day the emerald prairie gleamed
and shone to the horizon’s edge.
Even in the midst of these wooded hills there was many an open mead, an
areas perfectly bare of trees, an acre, ten acres, or a section, it might be
where no tree had ever stood. Here
the ground received the drainage of the surrounding region, was therefore more
moist and covered with denser grass.
Around the margin of such a little meadow sometimes the hazel flourished
with the blackberry, the plum, and thorn.
Instead of grass-grown mead, sometimes occurred a lake of greater or less
extent; sometimes a lake filled full of aquatic or marsh-loving vegetation, a
morass in which incautious quadrupeds were lost continually.
Such morasses were not infrequent in the woods on the hill-tops forty or
fifty feet above the surrounding prairie lowlands.
Everywhere, however grew the grass, rankest where the soil was strongest
except, as noted, immediately along the banks of thicket bordered streams.
In many cases even the thicket was lacking by the stream and the grass
grew down to the water’s edge. The
Cedar river in its upper courses used to flow along mile after mile through open
prairie with scarcely a bush to
darken its pellucid waters while any forest to which the stream might rightfully
lay claim shaded the sandy hill-tops sometimes miles away!
The woods of to-day are all thickets where time has not sufficed in the
struggle for place to give the stronger individuals such preeminence as
effectively shuts out all smaller growth. To
the old regime or status contributed likewise the annual fires which swept all
grass-grown regions, forest and prairie alike, keeping down the natural increase
of the forest so that only the hardiest individual under exceptional conditions
managed to thrive at all. Occasionally
where some “old settler” still preserves them may yet be seen some of the
old oaks of Iowa’s primeval woods. Such
trees are now, owing to the absence of forest fires, wholly surrounded by
“second growth” and do not show to the casual observer for what they really
are: but if one be privileged to walk through such a surviving bit of woodland
and can for once imagine the smaller trees removed, and the ground beneath the
remaining lofty white oaks carpeted with grass, he may even yet at leas in
imagination see the woods of Iowa when through the shades the Sac and foxes
“pursued the panting deer.”
if the woodlands have thus undergone notable alteration hardly less remarkable
to the eye of the careful observer are the changes to which the simple prairie
has likewise been subjected. Here
the modifications are of two sorts: in
the relative moisture and in the flora entire.
I am aware that it is rather hazardous to indulge in any positive
assertions in reference to matters meteorological;
still I believe it will be readily conceded that the prairies of Iowa are
everywhere appreciably drier than they were prior to their cultivation. This we may attribute not to any special change
in climate, but to the simple fact of universal drainage consequent upon the
processes of agriculture. The
prairies were wet, and in all low places staid wet. Very rarely did the surplus
water pass of by anything like a ditch as now, but every valley was a bog,
utterly impassable to man or beast.
The waters did not seem to run at all, but gradually evaporated or sank
to lower and lower strata. “
Thanks to the CopyShop!
IPN and the conservation world has a friend in Ankeny, at the Copy Shop.
Steve Capellan, owner , has helped with the last few issues of the IPN
newsletter (especially this one!) with enormous patience, done rush jobs for the
annual meeting flyers, and offered reduced “non-profit” rates.
He also put in many hours of his own time working on a set of information
signs for an outdoor classroom- reconstructed prairie in Ankeny.