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Ames Forester

Abstract

Bear Creek Watershed Project: On June 16, 1998 the United States Department of Agriculture dedicated the Bear Creek Watershed Project as the Bear Creek Riparian Buffer National Research and Demonstration Area. The dedication was part of the Iowa Conservation Buffer Tour hosted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the USDA State Technical Committee, Conservation Districts of Iowa, and Trees Forever. Over 100 conservation and agricultural professionals from around Iowa attended the tour. In his comments, Craig Cox, the Acting Deputy Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment in the USDA, cited the major impact the Bear Creek Watershed Project has had in fostering buffer adoption and demonstrating the effectiveness of the technology. In 1999 an additional 1.2 miles of Bear Creek is being planted on the Jon and Steve Risdal properties. These plantings will consist of nearly 20,000 tree and shrubs and over 17 acres of native grasses. Research is ongoing to assess the effectiveness of the buffers to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. These efforts will be bolstered by new competitive grants awarded from the USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources/ US Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Water Quality Program.

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