Iowa Audubon


Sep 25, 2023

This past June, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) announced plans to purchase a 1,114-acre tract on the northwest border of Polk County, with a small portion in Dallas County.  Primary partnership will be with Polk County Conservation, the county agency that will eventually take over and manage this incredible swamp-forest-savanna tract, known to many birders as one of central Iowa’s greatest birding hotspots.  It has hosted Sandhill Cranes, Prothonotary Warblers, Common Gallinules, Least Bitterns, Black-crowned Night Herons, Belted Kingfishers, and much more.

Once purchased from INHF and operated by Polk County Conservation, the site will be open to the public. Hiking and nature trails will be created for birdwatching and other enjoyable outdoor walks.  Visitors will not be allowed to use any kind of motorized vehicles on the area, keeping it especially quiet and safe for birds and all kinds of wildlife.  Permanent protection of this very unusual habitat variety, especially some extremely rare, forested swamp here in Iowa, will also prevent expansion of nearby suburban developments and new highways that likely would have drained the swamp and removed most of the woodlands.

Iowa Audubon made as large a donation possible from our 2023 small budget, in order to help INHF acquire the amount of funding needed by early September, assuring that they can purchase the entire tract as additional funding can be raised.  It is our organization's primary goal to protect habitat for birds, plus all native wildlife and plants.  Since we became and independent statewide Audubon group twenty years ago, including both Iowa chapters of the National Audubon Society and independent bird clubs, we have made frequent donations to both INHF and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help them save as much of nature as possible in this state.  Including our donation for Brenton Slough, we have now helped INHF and DNR acquire and protect well more than 4,000 acres of natural and restorable habitat.

Aug 03, 2022

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June with a bi-partisan vote and was sent to the Senate for approval. RAWA will help conserve our nation’s wildlife by dedicating $1.3 billion for state-level conservation and $97.5 million to Tribal Nations to recover and sustain healthy bird, fish, and other wildlife populations. Funding will be used to implement on-the-ground conservation efforts such as conserving and restoring habitats, fighting invasive species, reintroducing native species, and tackling emerging diseases for more than 12,000 species, including 800 kinds of birds.  Identified Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) are outlined in the congressionally mandated State Wildlife Action Plans to inform their conservation actions in each state.  Iowa DNR has hundreds of creatures listed in its SGCN, and Iowa could annually receive $13 to $15 million or more annually to save wildlife and habitat.

Funding to Tribal Nations will allow for the expansion of conservation efforts on their Native American lands, which provide vital habitat for hundreds of fish and wildlife species, including more than 500 species listed as threatened or endangered.

Saving wildlife nationwide is an investment in a clean, sustainable, and thriving economy for both rural and urban communities. RAWA will help create more than 30,000 jobs and over $93 billion in economic activity good for wildlife, taxpayers, and business. Iowa Audubon and National Audubon’s Minnesota-Iowa-Missouri regional office ask that you contact our Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, urging them to vote in favor of passing the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act when it comes to the Senate floor. There is a pause while Senate is in August recess, but RAWA action could start when back in session this September. Go to the following Audubon link and easily sign a letter to urge Senators Grassley and Ernst to help pass RAWA:

Jul 05, 2022

The Mississippi River is an extremely important ecological, economic, and cultural resource that is in severe decline.  The river has a critical value to communities and wildlife throughout a large portion of the United States. However, many changes to the river, its floodplain and coastal wetlands have increased flooding, reduced numerous kinds of wildlife, caused job losses, reduced recreational opportunities, and increased costs to keep communities safe with a supply of clean drinking water. 

The Mississippi River Restoration and Resilience Initiative (MRRRI) is a plan that would create a framework to help reverse the decline of the Mississippi River. It has been introduced as a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Betty McCollum of Minnesota. Iowa Audubon has gone of record in support of thios legislation and now urges our members and every Iowan to contact your elected members of Congress and Senate, asking them to back this bill currently in the House and also when it is eventually in the Senate.