See the Final CCP
The Final CCP is provided here in portable document format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view the files; Acrobat Reader is available as a free download from Adobe.
Table of Contents (80 KB)
Chapter 1: Introduction (735 KB)
Chapter 2: District Planning Context (2.8 MB)
Chapter 3: District Environment and Current Management (7.1 MB)
Chapter 4: Management Direction and Implementation (179 KB)
Appendix A: Species Lists (268 KB)
Appendix B: Abbreviations and Glossary (77 KB)
Appendix C: Legal and Policy Guidance (79 KB)
Appendix D: Literature Cited (60 KB)
Appendix E: Appropriate Use Designations (128 KB)
Appendix F: Compatibility Determinations (1.8 MB)
Appendix G: List of Preparers and Contributors (19 KB)
Appendix H: Communications (55 KB)
Appendix I: Memorandum of Understanding with Iowa Department of Natural Resources (1.6 MB)
Appendix J: Response to Comments (102 KB)
Appendix K: Finding of No Significant Impact (42 KB)
Appendix L: Standard Eligibility Questionnaire for the use of Genetically Modified Crops on National Wildlife Refuge System Lands (2.3 MB)
Appendix M: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 3 2014 Pesticide Use Policy (557 KB)
Appendix N: 2014 Region 3 Farm Program Guidance (193 KB)
Where Are We in the Plan?
These are the steps that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service follows in comprehensive conservation planning; the step that the Iowa Wetlands Management District has reached is highlighted:
- Preplanning: Plan the Plan
- Initiate Public Involvement and Scoping
- Review Vision Statement and Goals and Determine Significant Issues
- Develop and Analyze Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action
- Prepare a Draft CCP and NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) Document
- Prepare and Adopt Final CCP
- Implement Plan, Monitor and Evaluate
- Review and Revise the Plan
Iowa Wetland Management District
Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP, Plan) for the Iowa Wetland Management District (WMD, district) is now complete. The CCP will guide management of the Iowa WMD over the next 15 years and will ensure that the district fulfills its established purposes and contributes to the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A separate Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft CCP (13.9 MB) documents the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for developing the CCP.
NOTE: Appendix K: Errata was added to the EA and Draft CCP document, after it was released for public review on August 19th, 2013, in response to public comment. The errata sheets add information regarding the farming program and district-specific effects from the use of genetically modified organisms and pesticides. The addition largely contains background information and explanation that supports the conclusion that no district-specific effects are anticipated. This EA and Draft CCP along with these errata sheets represent the complete environmental analysis for this project.
The Final CCP is a detailed document that describes the rationale behind management direction throughout the life of the plan. There are three goals for the Iowa WMD, one each for habitat, wildlife, and people. The goals are followed by nine objectives, which are specific statements that describe management intent. Each objective includes a list of strategies—the specific actions, tools, and techniques required to fulfill the objective.
From the Final CCP, the following statements will apply to the district over the next 15 years:
- The general management direction in this plan will apply to all district properties in which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS, Service) has acquired an interest across the 35 counties.
- Existing waterfowl production areas (WPAs) or other district properties will be inventoried as necessary; any new techniques implemented will be monitored as necessary to allow for adaptive management; and research will be designed when and where it was needed to support and/or guide management.
- Since one of the goals of refuge/district planning is, “to provide a basis for adaptive management by monitoring progress, evaluating plan implementation, and updating refuge plans accordingly” (FWS, 2000), the adaptive management process will be utilized in the district.
- The portions of three WPAs—Jemmerson Slough (Dickinson County), Elk Creek Marsh (Worth County), and Rice Lake (Winnebago and Worth Counties)—are currently closed by state regulation as waterfowl refuges will remain closed.
- Within two years of CCP approval, it will be proposed through the federal rulemaking process to implement the following regulation on the Service’s fee title property within the Iowa WMD: “You may only use or possess approved nontoxic shot shells while in the field, including shot shells used for hunting wild turkey.” This requirement would be in line with current regulations at 50 CFR 32.2(k).
- The district will attempt to reduce its contribution to climate change as well as monitor the effects of climate change in the district.
From the Final CCP, the following objectives will guide management of the district over the next 15 years:
- Over the 15-year life of the CCP, increase the breeding population of Mallard by 450 pairs and Blue-winged Teal by 450 pairs on protected wetlands (permanent state and federal ownership) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Iowa, and develop strategies, as part of the district’s Inventory and Monitoring Plan, to set recruitment goals for these species in the PPR of Iowa.
- Over the 15-year life of the CCP, increase native grassland habitat by 7,500 acres with a plant diversity of 100 or more species, and provide more suitable habitat (in terms of vegetative structure as will be defined in the district’s Habitat Management Plan) in existing grassland for a wide variety of grassland-dependent birds within the Iowa WMD.
- At the end of the 15-year life of the CCP, perennial grassland, preferably native, is present on at least 97 percent of the uplands of the Iowa WMD.
- At the end of the 15-year life of the CCP a variety of wetland types (75 percent temporary and seasonal, 15 percent semi-permanent, and 10 percent permanent) exist across the Iowa WMD as representative of the pre-Euro-American settlement landscape.
- Over the 15-year life of the CCP, wetlands within the Iowa WMD are restored and managed to provide breeding waterfowl pair densities of at least 0.9 pairs per wetland acre.
- During the 15-year life of the CCP, food plots are present on no greater than three percent of the upland acres within the Iowa WMD.
- Over the 15-year life of the CCP, continue to pursue perpetual protection of wetland and grassland of up to 112,000 acres in the PPR of Iowa in collaboration with county, state, and other federal governments, conservation organizations, private businesses, and concerned citizens. Landscape-level planning tools (i.e., four-square mile survey, restorable wetlands layer, etc.) utilized by Iowa DNR and the Service’s Habitat and Population Evaluation Team office will guide partners as to where strategic land acquisition should occur.
- Within 15 years of CCP approval, provide the infrastructure on three WPAs (such as trails, kiosks, pull-offs, etc.) and information (brochure, website, Facebook page, etc.) necessary for visitors to appreciate resources in the Iowa WMD, as defined in the Visitor Services Plan.
- Upon implementation of the CCP, allow uses required by regulation (hunting, recreational fishing, and recreational trapping—all in accordance with state regulations) as well as other public uses deemed appropriate and compatible across the Iowa WMD. Within four years of CCP approval, appropriate and compatible uses will be clearly articulated to the public through uniform signage, brochures, and Iowa DNR and Iowa WMD websites as identified in the Visitor Services Plan.
The Iowa WMD encompasses 35 counties in Iowa; however, the 75 WPAs occur in only 18 of those counties. Most of these WPAs range from 100 to 500 acres; however, some are much larger. Total acreage for the district is more than 25,000 acres. Union Hills WPA in Cerro Gordo County is the largest of the district's WPAs and includes more than 2,000 acres. The district is administrated by Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, refuge) and also contains nearly 1,000 acres of easements on private land.
Management of the Iowa WMD is unique. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the state has shared management responsibilities on many of the WPAs in the district. Together, the Service and the state have developed large habitat complexes for waterfowl and other wildlife species.
More information or a CD or paper copy of the Plan can be requested through:
Email at email@example.com (Please include “Iowa WMD CCP” in the subject line); or
Mail at Union Slough NWR, Attn: Iowa WMD CCP, 1710 - 360th Street Titonka, Iowa, 50480; or
Telephone at 515-928-2523. The TTY number is 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay).