Backbone State Park - Project # 282

In November of 2023, Project Manager Alex Hoffman, a Forester with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, reported as follows:

"This project was planted in April 2021 including white oak, red oak, swamp white oak, black walnut, black cherry, and shagbark hickory seedlings.  Five-foot-tall tree shelters were installed around each tree.  We've had a couple very dry years since the seedlings were planted and the soil is very sandy.  Nonetheless, several trees have grown out of their shelters and survival is very good across the planting.  Once trees are sturdy enough, the next step will be to remove the shelters.  We are very appreciative of the Hardwood Forestry Fund for helping to make this new forest."


Goose Lake State Wildlife Management Area - Project # 279 

Below are some photos Project Manager, Curt Kemmerer,  took this summer to demonstrate how well the young forest is coming along!  We are very happy with the project and will continue to make sure these young stands mature to their potential!



 Loess Hill State Forest  - Project # 11, 22, and 122

The forest is named after the geological formation that reaches its fullest development only in western Iowa and in China. The Loess Hills are a unique formation and their existence and the fact that they have become vegetated with forest species in recent years played a role in the decision to develop a state forest in this area.

Three of the Units, Mondamin, Pisgah and Little Sioux are named for towns in the vicinity. The Preparation Canyon Unit is named after a small settlement, no longer in existence, of Mormon travelers who split off of the Salt Lake City migration.

The Gifford Unit, located near Council Bluffs, is a forty acre tract of timber on the Missouri River flood plain given to the state by the late Dr. Gifford. The Gifford unit is not properly a part of Loess Hills Forest, but is managed as an administrative unit of the forest.

Stephens State Forest - Projects #5 and 18

Our first project was in the Reichelt Unit administered then by the Stephens State Forest, where we partnered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to help convert a 444 acre farm back to forest in 1992.  Sherman Reichelt raised grain and livestock and operated a fish hatchery in ponds that he constructed around the property. In the early 1980s, Reichelt, then elderly and a widower with no living children, wanted his property to become a wildlife refuge and offered to donate it to the state. He apparently felt that his open land needed trees to be a more natural area. In 1986, the Iowa Natural Resource Commission accepted the donation with his conditions. Among them, The Department of Natural Resources agrees to establish (plant) hardwood tree species such as walnut, butternut, hickory, oak, etc. at the rate of 10 percent of the acreage donated per year. Soil unsuited for hardwood species will be planted to evergreen-conifers. The Iowa DNR agrees to reserve approximately 20 percent of the acreage donated for native prairie species, ponds, and nesting cover for wildlife. The Iowa DNR agrees to maintain the property in a forestry rotation in perpetuity, except the 20 percent mentioned above.