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Forestry Assistance in Iowa

Iowa has several public and private agencies and groups which provide a wide range of forestry assistance. The following is a brief description of various agencies and their programs as they relate to forestry and woodland management in Iowa.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Forestry Section
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: 515-281-5918

The Forestry Section offers several services through its state, regional and district offices. The District Foresters can provide up to five days of service to landowners per year . 
Their services incorporate all aspects of woodland management including tree planting, species selection, fuelwood cutting, timber stand improvement, timber sales and tax treatment of these sales, harvesting and marketing, insect and disease problems, prairie identification, establishment and management, and woodland wildlife management. 

The District Foresters will prepare management plans and give advice on available financial assistance programs. Cost-share assistance for specific forestry practices such as timber stand improvement and tree planting are available.

The Forestry Section operates the State Forest Nursery in Ames. The State Nursery provides trees and shrubs at minimal cost for reforestation, erosion control and wildlife plantings. Nursery stock can be ordered for either fall or spring planting.

The State Forests (Shimek, Yellow River, Loess Hills, and Stephens) are operated to demonstrate different methods of woodland management and the variety of benefits that come from forested land. In addition, the forests provide opportunities for a wide range of outdoor recreation activities.

DNR State Offices

Headquarters: Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319

State Nursery: 2404 S. Duff, Ames, IA 50010   (Phone: 515/233-1161 or 800/865-2477)

Cooperative Extension Service

Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011

There are several units within university extension related to natural resource management. The Extension Service offers a variety of services for Iowa's citizens including many publications and newsletters, public meetings and field days on a variety of topics, and individual response to letters and phone inquires, and plant health diagnostic services.

County Conservation Boards

The Iowa County Conservation Board Program, established in 1955, is recognized as one of the most successful county conservation programs in the United States. Iowa county boards are authorized to acquire, develop, and maintain areas devoted to conservation and public recreation. These boards also serve as a primary natural resource management agency in their respective counties, help educate local residents about environmental issues, and manage county wildlife conservation efforts. The local board office and phone number are listed in local telephone directories under county government offices or County Conservation Boards Directory

Consolidated Farm Services Agency (CFSA)

10500 Buena Vista Court
Des Moines, Iowa 50322     (515/254-1540)

The Consolidated Farm Services Agency provides cost-share for forestry practices through the Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP), the Stewardship Incentives Program (SIP),and the Conservation Reserve program (CRP). ACP provides cost-sharing opportunities enabling farmers to carry out conservation, water quality, and environmental protection practices including forestry and windbreak practices that result in long term public benefits. SIP provides cost-sharing for a variety of woodland management practices. Eligibility requirements and applications can be obtained from county CFSA offices.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

210 Walnut Street
693 Federal Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-4260     (515/284-4260)

Natural Resources Conservation Service staff members provide technical assistance and information about soil and water conservation. They also prepare conservation plans for individuals. NRCS serves as the technical consultants and advisors for most cost-share practices available through the Consolidated Farm Services Agency (CFSA). NRCS administers the Forest Incentive Program (FIP), a cost-sharing program that encourages landowners to plant trees and to perform timber stand improvement work for timber production. The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), also administered by NRCS, may include tree planting in some cases. Every county in Iowa is served by a local office. For individual offices see NRCS Directory.