Our Forest Action Plan identifies landscape areas where national, regional, and state resource issues and priorities converge. It is meant to be a dynamic document that utilizes the best current data available, works with stakeholders, and adequately considers other state assessments, plans, and priorities. In this way, Iowa's Forest Action Plan is a valuable source for communicating forest-related issues, threats, and opportunities in the state and serves as an important strategic document for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau to use for planning and funding purposes.
Conserve forests to maintain or increase the multiple benefits they provide to their owners
Forest Health: Increasing, invasive species concerns affect the health of trees and threaten to displace the diverse forest ecosystems we have now. These problems take away personnel and financial resources that could have been used towards better management of Iowa’s trees.
Protect forests from threats to their health and biodiversity to ensure a legacy for future generations
Fiscal Challenges: Declining funding for forestry related activities has led to a 40% reduction in the number of dollars the State of Iowa invested between the 2009 and 2011 State fiscal years. The declining budget from the state makes it increasingly difficulty to fund programs that deal with the issues facing Iowa’s forest resource and to leverage available Federal money.
Enhancing the forest resource for water quality and flood mitigation, cleaner air, wildlife habitats, recreational opportunities, and wood products
Oak Regeneration: Oak requires full sunlight for regeneration. A harvesting regime that removes the best and leaves the rest is accelerating the displacement of Iowa’s oak-hickory forest type (37% of total forest area in 1990 to 26% in 2008) and degrading the gene pool. This change in species composition affects businesses that rely on a steady supply of quality oak trees and reduces the habitat type that deer, turkey and some species of greatest conservation need depend on for their survival. Overall, stewardship plans have been written for 7% of Iowa’s forest, leaving the other 93% to be either left to chance or operated through the advice of loggers and neighbors thoughts on what is best for those trees.
IA Dept. of Natural Resources
502 East 9th Street Des Moines, IA 50319
Aron Flickinger, Special Projects Forester