More on Barn Owls and their role in the DDT story

Written by our Board Vice President, Erv Klaas My field study of Barn Owls on the Chesapeake Bay was published in Volume 1, Number 1 of the journal Estuaries in 1978. I found that eggshell thinning and residues of Dieldrin and DDE in the eggs were correlated. I then decided to find out whether it was Dieldrin, DDE or the two chemicals in combination that caused the eggshells to be thin. It so happened that we had rescued several Barn Owls that had been injured by Ospreys over the course of studies. These owls were kept in outdoor aviaries at the research center where I worked and they began to produce young. The captive flock consisted of about 20 pairs when I became their care taker. In 1973, I took over a large outdoor aviary with 64 adjoining flight pens, and began to enlarge the flock of captive breeders. I mounted large wooden nest boxes in each pen with a small...
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Squaw Creek receives grant from IDALS

The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Board received a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Below is the press released just announced today (March 5, 2015). Prairie River of Iowa was named as the Project Leader. This now allows the group to move forward in process with the 20 year plan that was developed by Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. To learn more about the Squaw Creek visit us here... DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that three additional watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $1.4 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years.  In addition to the state funds, the three projects will provide an additional $1.4 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts as well as other in-kind contributions. The selected projects will join 13 targeted Water Quality Initiative demonstration watershed projects that were previously funded to help implement and demonstrate water...
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Barn Owls May Be Coming Back to Iowa

Written by our Board Vice President, Erv Klaas   I just finished reading the Fall 2014 issue of the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Newsletter in which biologist Bruce Ehresman wrote an article entitled “What’s Happening With Iowa’s Barn Owls?”  It brought back nostalgic memories of my own encounter with Barn Owls more than 40 years ago.  It was in the early years of my career as a research biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.  I was conducting studies on the effects of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides on Barn Owls.  The Chesapeake Bay was dotted with numerous off-shore blinds built by duck hunters.  These were often elaborate structures consisting of a large wooden rectangular box mounted on stilts in shallow water.  A partial roof projected over a bench for 3 to 4 hunters to sit inside.  A rough lean-to on the blind provided a place to hide a boat.  The outside of...
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The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority has Adopted a Mission and Goals

Ames, Iowa (October 23, 2014) – The Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board (SCWMA) has been meeting to place the final touches on their watershed management plan with the help of Emmons and Olivier Resources, Inc. (EOR) from Oakdale, Minnesota (a water resource-based engineering and environmental consulting firm). At the Board’s last meeting, they adopted a mission and set some specific goals to achieve in the Squaw Creek Watershed.   The newly adopted mission statement is as follows: The mission of the Squaw Creek Watershed Management Authority Board is to engage, educate and encourage all citizens to improve the health, stewardship and resiliency of our watershed resources.   The goals of the SCWMA are to work on restoring hydrology, improving water quality, creating recreational opportunities and increasing wildlife habitat within the watershed through an active watershed educational campaign and relying upon building partnerships. Pat Conrad, project manager with EOR stated, “The ultimate goal of the WMA is to transform Squaw Creek into a resource...
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Thankful for our Partnerships

We recently published our 2013 Annual Report. It is full of great information on all of our accomplishments last year. Every program area was expanded, more people were engaged in participating and our projects received more attention than ever before. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of our financial partners. Take a minute to review our 2013 Annual Report and pay close attention to page 28 which highlights our 2013 financial supporters. As we enter into the last quarter of 2014, we are seeking partnerships for our ever growing programs. Please let us know if you or your company would consider being a partner to Prairie Rivers of Iowa. Thank you!...
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In Honor of National RC&D Week

Almost 50 years ago, Congress established a unique program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that empowered rural people to help themselves. The USDA focus was to assist local people by providing tools and technical support to stabilize and grow their own communities while simultaneously protecting and developing natural resources. The program is called the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program. To carry out the RC&D concept, diverse groups of local volunteers (the RC&D Council) are brought together in a unique partnership to find solutions to their problems. Local people are best able to determine needs and create solutions for their communities. The focus on local direction and control has made RC&D one of the most successful rural development programs in the country. The week of September 21-27, 2014, has been designated as National RC&D Week. Prairie Rivers of Iowa RC&D Council was organized in 2001 as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Our mission is “To promote opportunity-based stewardship that will improve the...
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A fun way to give back

Prairie Rivers of Iowa has launched a new store online where you can buy products, memorabilia, or give a donation all online. Currently, we offer a selective collection of inventory including replica signs of the historic Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway and stunning pictures of dragonflies. What a wonderful way to purchase a gift for a loved one while giving back to Prairie Rivers of Iowa - a non-profit making a difference for Iowa's natural resources. Visit our store here: https://www.prrcd.org/new-online-store-now-live/ Or to simply make a donation: https://www.prrcd.org/donate/...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Featured on KCWI Great Day Morning Show

Prairie Rivers of Iowa had a great opportunity and was invited to be on KCWI Des Moines CW Channel 23 on Monday August 4th. Our Local Foods Coordinator, Ruth Powell and our Marketing Coordinator, Jessica Johnson talked about a variety of topics but their main focus was the Local Food Cycle coming up on September 7th. Their interview first started off with Jackie (Great Day show host) talking to Jessica about what Prairie Rivers of Iowa is and does for Iowans. You can view the clip below to listen to Jessica talk about our organization with the example of our Log Products Program and the cabins of Hamilton County. We then continue on with Lou (Great Day show host) asking Ruth about the Local Foods Cycle. Ruth talked about the great ride for the taste buds that we have coming up September 7th. This ride will start in Moore Memorial Park and continue on for 40 miles visiting different farms with food...
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Wild Warriors Camp Week 1

We just completed the first week of Wild Warrior Camp here at Prairie Rivers of Iowa and it was a blast!  We had 9 campers total for the first week and these 9 wild warriors had the opportunity to experience a great range of things from everyday hikes to the importance of developing a sense of wonder when exploring the great outdoors. The first day they learned about the great Iowa Arboretum and its extensive history as a not-for-profit tree museum and then learned about camping and survival skills with the great help of JAX Outdoor Gear.  We got to taste test some freeze dried food first hand and learn about all the equipment needed to go camping or to survive in the wilderness.  The campers even got to meet some wildlife friends such as a brown bat that has been cared for by the Wildlife Care Clinic.  (photo 1)   The other days, the kids learned how to kayak, archery, how to...
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