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Land Management

Managing 2,000 acres of publically owned land.

The Pottawattamie County Conservation Board is unique in the fact that it operates it's own Natural Areas Management program. The Natural Areas Management (NAM) program manages publically owned land within the county, as well as assisting with privately owned land.  The NAM program focuses on maintaining natural areas within the county, as well as public education, school programs, and continued facility improvements.   

Hitchcock Nature Center is the headquarters for the Natural Areas Management program. Established in 2007, the NAM program currently has three full-time staff and is assisted by seasonal interns.  The mission of the NAM program is to restore and enhance the natural areas within the county to promote a healthier ecological system.

The three main landforms within Pottawattamie County are the Missouri River alluvial floodplain, the Loess Hills, and the Southern Iowa Driftplain. The dry loess prairie, oak savanna, and mesic oak woodlands within the Loess Hills contain some extremely rare plant and animal species. Through invasive species removal, a more natural fire regime, and mechanical treatment to thin the woodlands, the NAM staff is promoting healthier natural areas with improved hydrology and a more diverse ecological system. 

NAM Guiding Principles (click here to read in full) include:

  1. The Laws of Nature govern all things, enabling the natural world and all its constituents (humans included) to thrive.

  2. No two ecosystems are exactly alike. The tactics of stewardship, therefore, cannot be applied uniformly, regardless of apparent local similarities.

  3. Only the plants and animals native to the place can teach us how to sustain life in the place.

  4. The Seven Teachings of the Potawatomie, an aboriginal culture from which this county derived its name, provide guidance and insight into our relationship with the natural world.

  5. Success is derived from hard work, a willingness to take risks, fostering good relationships, and seizing opportunities.

  6. Complex problems are only solved through a diverse and integrated collaboration of experienced and dedicated practitioners, local to the place.

natural areas management headquarters

NAM headquarters at Hitchcock Nature Center

Land Management Staff Members

Chad Graeve

Natural Resource Specialist
chad.graeve@pottcounty-ia.gov
712-545-5832

The Natural Resource Specialist is responsible for natural areas management on all county owned properties and operation of private lands program.

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Aric Ping

Natural Resource Technician
aric.ping@pottcounty-ia.gov
712-328-5836

The Natural Resources Technician is responsible for assisting the Natural Resource Specialist with development and implementation of land management plans and presentation of education programs and projects that promote conservation ethics, natural resource appreciation and county parks, facilities, and properties.

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Jeremy Yost

Natural Resource Technician
jeremy.yost@pottcounty-ia.gov
712-328-5749

The Natural Resources Technician is responsible for assisting the Natural Resource Specialist with development and implementation of land management plans and presentation of education programs and projects that promote conservation ethics, natural resource appreciation and county parks, facilities, and properties.

Read Bio

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