INHF Expands Resources for Iowa Landowners

Posted on November 16, 2017 in Press Center


Contact: Joe Jayjack, communications director, or 515-288-1846 ext. 19

Iowa Landowner Options Book Cover

DES MOINES – Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation has released two new, easy-to-use tools for Iowa landowners interested in exploring methods for permanently protecting their land.

Fifty-six percent of Iowa farmland is owned by people over the age of 65 according to Iowa State University's 2012 report "Farmland Ownership and Tenure Report in Iowa." Over half of Iowa's working lands will change hands in the coming decades, and an increasing number of people are looking for ways to help ensure others will be good stewards of the land they love.

Iowa Landowner Options, a free 54-page book published this fall, provides an extensive look at land protection options, tax benefits and available resources. The book also features the stories of Iowans who have worked with INHF to permanently protect their land for nature, recreation and wildlife.

The release follows the launch of, which offers expanded content from the book plus a growing gallery of landowner stories and videos.

“Every day, INHF hears from Iowans with a deep connection to the land they own,” said INHF President Joe McGovern. “As an unprecedented number of Iowans consider the future of their land, the need for information and resources to help them navigate their options will only continue to grow. We’re determined to meet that need.”

Both tools also offer information for individuals and organizations such as attorneys, financial planners and tax advisors who help landowners navigate the process of determining the future of their land.

“My family and I thought a long time about our property,” said Cindy Burke of Linn County. “We wanted to protect it, but didn’t know how to begin. Then I found this booklet and INHF to help us. Once we endeavored seriously to get down this path, it was easy. All we had to do was take the first step.”

Burke and her family have protected nearly 300 acres of woodland, grassland and prairie in the Wapsipinicon Valley in eastern Iowa. The properties are protected by a mix of methods including a reserved life estate -- which allowed the Burkes to gift their land to INHF while continuing to live on and use it during their lifetime -- and conservation easements -- the most popular and permanent way to protect land in Iowa while retaining private ownership and use. The family's property includes the landscape that served as the model for Grant Wood's 1931 painting "Fall Planting." Burke currently sits on INHF’s board of directors. 

To request a free copy of Iowa Landowner Options, visit For free, personalized and confidential information about protecting your land, contact Anita O'Gara at or 515-288-1846 ext. 18. No sales pitch. No obligation. Just the information and introductions needed to get started.

INHF first published Iowa Landowner Options in 1982, and has provided free consultation and educational materials about Iowa land protection since 1979. This is the 7th edition of Iowa Landowner Options.

Major funding for Iowa Landowner Options and was provided by the Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP CEP).


Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit conservation group that works with private landowners and other partners to protect Iowa's land, water and wildlife. Since its founding in 1979, INHF has helped protect more than 150,000 acres of Iowa's wild places. For more information, visit