Paint Creek Valley

By Taylor on August 1, 2014 in Blog

Nelson_Paint_CreekNow and then, an INHF land protection project draws wide enthusiastic support from other nature organizations. Paint Creek Valley is one such project.

This project has sparked both birders and anglers to help encourage donations to protect this property. This is something Anita O’Gara, Vice President and Development Director, sees on only a few projects.

“I'm touched by the generosity and enthusiasm of the birders and anglers who have supported this project, individually and through their organizations. We're grateful for the energy and excitement they've brought to this! It has been a thrill to know that birders were talking with birders, and anglers with anglers, all across Iowa about this protection opportunity. It shows how important this special place is, and how beloved it will be!,” Anita says.

A project like this displays how community members see the importance of protecting a property and how they can pull together tremendous support through their donations.

INHF has been working to protect Paint Creek Valley for a decade, through many changes in its situation. This property helps birds and wildlife by expanding Yellow River State Forest, and benefit many anglers due to the 2.1 miles of cold water stream where they will be able to enjoy the quest for wild brown trout.

Recently, Iowa’s Audubon and angler organizations reached out to local chapters to gather donations. This was a tremendous statement. This effort alone shows avid support, which helps the Paint Creek Valley project garner state funding.

In a letter to INHF Douglas C. Harr, President and Chief Operating Officer of Iowa Audubon, stated that Iowa Audubon completed its fundraising drive to assist INHF and the Iowa DNR to help protect this addition. They gathered donations from individuals, Audubon chapters, and affiliated bird clubs to make sure this was a high priority to protect.

“We look forward to the completion of this project that lies within the larger Effigy Mounds-Yellow River Forest Globally Important Bird Area. This now internationally-recognized IBA was so-designated in 2013 by Birdlife International (Great Britain) and the National Audubon Society. Designation was made based upon the area’s critical importance to one of the Midwest’s largest remaining nesting populations of Cerulean Warblers, a species in serious decline nationwide,” Douglas stated. The Cerulean Warblers population has plummeted 70 percent in just 40 years.

A similar story occurred with angler organizations around the state. There was a lot of buzz through emails and organizational gatherings asking for donations from people who love trout fishing, cold water streams and understand how rare it is to protect and access 2.1 miles at once.

“We would like to thank INHF for taking the initiative to put this project into motion. As an organization of dedicated fly anglers, we feel it is vital to maintain access to quality fishing waters in out state, and to work to maintain the quality of those waters,” C.J. Klenske stated, President of Dubuque Fly Fishers.

Due to all the hard work that these organizations achieved, INHF would like to thank the following who have contributed to this project:

  • Iowa Audubon Board of Directors and individual members
  • Des Moines Audubon Society
  • Dubuque Audubon
  • Iowa City Bird Club
  • Prairie Rapids Audubon (Waterloo)
  • Quad Cities Audubon
  • Tallgrass Prairie Audubon (Grinnell)
  • Upper Iowa Audubon (Cresco)
  • Cedar Rapids Audubon
  • Dubuque Fly Fishers
  • Trout Unlimited, Chapter 710 Nebraska
  • Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association
  • Iowa Driftless Trout Unlimited #117
  • Trout Unlimited, Spring Creeks Chapter
  • Trout Unlimited, North Bear Chapter

Without organizations like these who realize how important our work is INHF would not be able to do everything that we have been given the opportunity to achieve in the past 35 years.

You can donate here to help protect Paint Creek Valley. Once all the money is raised, this property will be transferred to the Iowa DNR.

For more information on Paint Creek Valley, or if you have any questions email Brian Fankhauser.