By: Mark Vavroch, County Conservation Director
The Poweshiek County Conservation Board purchased 91 acres of land from Stephen Cranston on June 29. The property is located east of Deep River, and it lies adjacent to the east side of the Deep River Timber Wildlife Area. This wildlife area will now encompass over 310 acres of land for the public to enjoy.
Approximately two thirds of the funding for the Cranston Land Acquisition Project came from an Iowa DNR Wildlife Habitat Stamp Grant. Those funds are derived from the habitat fee when you purchase an Iowa hunting license.
The majority of the remaining funds needed for the Wildlife Habitat Stamp Grant cost share came from the Poweshiek County Pheasants Forever Chapter, the Iowa State Pheasants Forever Trust Fund, and the Poweshiek County Conservation Board (utilizing Trust Funds). Other funding for the Cranston Property came from the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Tama/Marshall County PF Chapter.
“The Conservation Board feels very fortunate to have received an Iowa DNR Grant to fund this property and to have had such great partners to work with and who share the same passion about expanding and enhancing the county’s wildlife areas”, noted Ann Brau, Board Chairman.
The Cranston Property is a very diverse area, and this is one of the reasons why this property scored so high for the Wildlife Habitat Stamp Grant review last year. It has many species of wildlife and plant life associated with it. It contains nearly 50 acres of oak/hickory timber, 40 acres of native/pasture grasses, a 1/2 acre oxbow wetland, and a 1 acre pond that has been stocked with fish.
“My father, Burdett Cranston, was an avid outdoorsman” commented Stephen, “he really enjoyed spending time outside planting and grafting trees on this property. I’m sure he would be delighted to know that the County Conservation Board will now manage this property so others can enjoy this area as he did.”
Along with the Cranston Property, the Conservation Board recently purchased 11.5 acres of land from the Mid-Iowa
Council – Boy Scouts of America. Again, the Poweshiek County Pheasants Forever Chapter cost shared on this land acquisition project as well. This parcel of land also lies adjacent to the Deep River Timber Wildlife Area and the Cranston Land that was just purchased.