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Sunday, February 20, 2011

March/April Iowa Outdoors Magazine - Great Features

I just received the March/April edition of Iowa Outdoors magazine. It is full of great articles - but two are of particular interest.

The Quietest Park by Jennifer Wilson is a terrific piece on Three Fires State Park.  

Tender shoots rise from the vast croplands of southwest Iowa. Last year's corn stubble has gone gray over a long winter in Taylor County, 100 miles southeast of Council Bluffs. Windmills and weather vanes stand rusting, but working, next to broke-down barns. They're lonesome relics of life as it once was in Iowa.

For weekenders shaking off winter's sleepy mantle and looking for an old-fashioned outdoors good time, Taylor County's Lake of Three Fires State Park is where to go-a 694-acre park named for the council fires of three Native American tribes that once shared this land.

Lake of Three Fires is one of the most underused in the state parks system. It feels like you have it all to yourself. But if improvements continue to work out as well as they have been, then that's about to change.

Workers are shoring up its 10.5 miles of trails and a lake renovation in 2004 is just beginning to bear serious bobber-friendly benefits. With nothing more than a rod and a lightly outfitted tackle box, you can easily catch your first fish of the season...

Get the rest of the story in the 2011 Mar/Apr Issue:

A second article by Shane Hallengren features the artwork of Ames artist Nancy Thompson who is on a quest to paint all of Iowa's great state parks.

Check out some of Nancy's work here -  

Get the rest of the story in the 2011 Mar/Apr Issue:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New State Park Reservation System Begins February 17

The new system for Iowa state park campsite, cabin and lodge reservations debuted today at 7 a.m. central time at . The system will require users to create a new account, unless the user had an account on the national website, Reserve America.

The previous system was shut down on Feb. 3 in order to make the switch. All reservations made for 2011 under the old system have been transferred to the new system.

"Our customers will notice a few differences. We worked pretty aggressively to get this new system ready to take Memorial Day weekend reservations so there will be some added features coming later," said Sherry Arntzen, with the DNR's state parks bureau. "If a customer needs to change a reservation this year, or if they need to cancel a reservation on the day they were scheduled to arrive, they will need to go through the call center. For this year, making changes through the call center will be assessed the lower $5 online change fee rather than the higher phone center fee."

The call center has the same number, 1-877-427-2757, and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. central time, from Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The call center will be closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Once the online system is running, it will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make reservations.

The three month window for the Memorial Day weekend for a Friday arrival is February 27.

"I would recommend that users who want to make a reservation for Memorial Day weekend get familiar with the new system and set up their account before the time comes to book a campsite," Arntzen said. "One change with the new system is that if one person makes reservations for multiple people, they will need to have addresses for the individuals on the site."

Customers who have bookmarked the previous reservation system website will be redirected to the new site.

Iowa Outdoors Episode Two on Iowa Public Television

The new winter episode airs Thursday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. on statewide Iowa Public Television and will take viewers alongside a cold water paddle with some of Iowa's hard-core kayakers. You will go airborne for Iowa DNR aerial deer sledding on the Great Western Trail... and a profile of Emmy-award winning nature cinematographer Neil Rettig.

Iowa Outdoors, a six-part series focusing on outdoor recreation, environmental issues, conservation initiatives, and Iowa's outdoor natural resources. Iowa Outdoors is a partnership between Iowa Public Television and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The six half-hour programs will be broadcast in high-definition on Iowa Public Television.

The Iowa DNR annually publishes six issues of Iowa Outdoors magazine. Please become a Partner and invest in the Iowa Parks Foundation and receive a complementary subscription to Iowa Outdoors Magazine. 

If you can't tune in tonight, you can visit  the IPTV web site  to find streaming video of Iowa Outdoors.  Broadcast schedule for Iowa Outdoors episode two
■Thu, February 17, 2011 6:30 PM (IPTV)

■Thu, February 24, 2011 8:30 PM (IPTV)
■Sat, February 26, 2011 5:30 AM (IPTV Learns)
■Sun, February 27, 2011 12:30 PM (IPTV)
■Mon, February 28, 2011 6:30 PM (IPTV)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rally @ the Iowa Capitol for Iowa's Breathing Spaces

Here is a great opportunity to visit the Iowa State Capitol and let your legislators know you care about funding for Iowa's 'Breathing Spaces'.  

"Yes 63" Day At Iowa State Capitol

Supporters of Iowa's Water & Land Legacy Amendment will be gathering at the Iowa State Capitol on February 9th, 2011 from 9 am - 11 am (DETAILS) to show their support for the legislator beginning to fund Iowa's Water & Land Legacy amendment - through the Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. 

You can help exhibit this energy to the Iowa General Assembly. We will provide a brief presentation, including messaging about our visit, comments from supportive legislators, and RALLY DAY stickers and materials. It's time for our elected officials to listen to Iowans and Fund The Trust Fund. Help us Flood the Capitol Rotunda in blue-volunteers are asked to wear any solid blue shirt and to be a part of statewide presence-children are encouraged to participate.

On November 2nd, 2010, 63% of Iowa voters showed their support for the Natural Resources Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund and now it's time for our elected officials to listen to Iowans and begin funding the Trust Fund. The simplest way for the legislature to do this is to dedicate $150 million to the Trust Fund and pledge to sustain that funding level in future years.
This rally is about:
  • Improving Water Quality For Future Generations
  • Investing In Our Agricultural Economy By Reducing Soil Erosion
  • Protecting Fish & Wildlife Habitat And Public Access To Hunting Areas
  • Creating Jobs And Economic Opportunity In Both Rural & Urban Iowa
Iowan's can show their support for funding important water quality, soil conservation, fish/wildlife habitat programs, and outdoor recreation by wearing a BLUE SHIRT and meeting us on the Iowa State Capitol Complex at 9:00 A.M. on February 9th (DETAILS). We will then be walking up to the Capitol Building and showing our strong support for Iowa's Water & Land Legacy.

If you want to learn about how the amendment fared in YOUR county. You can download county results HERE. Spreadsheet of actual numbers are HERE.  

Interested in participating? email  Iowas Water and Land Legacy,  contact Roz Lehman, Field Director, or call 515-707-0266.

Check out this graphic - it shows how much of the state's General Funds Budget goes to fund the Agriculture and Natural Resources programs.