Des Moines County Conservation has acquired 19.4 acres of land along Flint Creek adjacent to the 250-acre Hickory Bend Conservation Area. The new land is located at the south boundary of Hickory Bend, lies within the creek's floodplain and is completely forested. According to results from ongoing research, the land is known to provide habitat for endangered species of bats.

The purchase was made completely with grants and donations from local wildlife organizations including Pheasants Forever, Whitetails Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. Those funds leveraged a state Wildlife Habitat Stamp Grant which uses funds from hunting license sales to purchase public hunting land and improve wildlife habitat. The new property, along with the rest of Hickory Bend, is open to public hunting.

"This is a perfect example of hunters and outdoorspeople directly investing in conservation," said Chris Lee, Executive Director at Des Moines County Conservation. "This property was purchased by hunters, for hunters. But the ecological benefits go far beyond that."

In addition to protecting critical habitat for endangered species of bats, the purchase also protects a segment of Flint Creek, a county-designated priority watershed.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Friday, December 1 at noon at the entrance to Hickory Bend at 15373 145th Ave., Burlington, IA (Google map link). Members of the hunting community are encouraged to wear camo or hunter orange for the photo. For more information, go to the Hickory Bend page on Des Moines County Conservation's website at or call the conservation office at (319) 753-8260. 

published Monday, November 27, 2023

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