Rich Smith's Wildlife Habitat Area

Help Support the HEART of Ida County's Recreational Area!

Permanent protection of wildlife habitat and public access areas are investments into our communities and future generations! The Ida County Conservation Board is partnering with multiple non-profit conservation organizations to acquire public property in Ida County. Our plan is to coordinate & support fundraising efforts for this project, and to fulfill our department's mission.

The proposed Smith's Wildlife Habitat Area is located on the west and north side of Crawford Creek Recreation Area, south of Battle Creek, Iowa. The total area is about 104.6 acres, covered in native warm season grasses, evergreens, deciduous trees, food plots, and a creek - making up one of the most treasured wildlife habitats in Ida County! 

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) has purchased this property to protect this environmentally sensitive wildlife area. Without protecting this property, Crawford Creek Lake would be in danger of silting in. It is estimated that about 60% of the west section of Smith's area drains into our public lake - our "Crown Jewel" recreation area. However, INHF does not immediately make the land publicly accessible. 

Our Goals:

·         Fundraise $776,000 through grants and donations to buy the land back from INHF for local control of the property.

·        Open the property to public access to increase outdoor recreation for hunting, hiking, and birding.

·         Permanently protect wildlife habitat and public access for future generations.

·         Promote overall community wellness through public recreation access. 

Project partners include: Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Ida County Conservation Board, Ida County Pheasants Forever, Crooked Spurs (National Wild Turkey Federation), West Central Izaak Walton League, Maple River DU, Ida County Conservation Foundation, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. 

VISIT INHF's Project Website for more details on the partnership!

VISIT BHA's Project Website for more details on the partnership!

Your charitable contribution through this online system is directed towards the county for public use, defined under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code 170(c)(1). Confer with your tax preparer for information on tax-deductible donations. 

Just click the donate button to get started! ----> DONATE TODAY!! 

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