New prairie land in north Iowa

VENTURA, Iowa – There will be a new place to hunt in north Iowa as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are working on purchasing nearly 30 acres of prairie land near Thompson, Iowa.

Currently, the land is owned by a homeowner and the state is working to purchase the land, clear it of trees, and create a natural habitat.

Since Iowa is such a crucial state for farm land and agriculture, many of these prairies have been purchased and plowed for farm use.

T.J. Herrick is one of the DNR biologists for the state of Iowa and is working on this land acquisition along with a few others.

“Iowa has lost 99.9 percent of all of their native prairie lands in the landscape,” Herrick said, “so this is kind of a little relic that’s held out through farming, and it’s in a spot that’s not conducive to farming, which is why it’s lasted in the state wants to preserve it.”

The 30 acres they’re interested in are adjacent to the Good Neighbors Marsh in Winnebago County.

Because of the location and its proximity to the other marsh land, the DNR is hoping to make the area available for public use.

“The area will be open to public, used primarily for public hunting,” Herrick said, “it’s also open to bird watchers and nature viewers or people who just want to get out and enjoy nature.”

They will be doing tree removal and controlled burns on the land once it has been successfully purchased, and officials are hoping to have the deal finalized in the near future.

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