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DNR to present plans to address derecho timber damage at Dec. 10 virtual meeting

  • 11/30/2020 10:44:00 AM
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The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting a public meeting at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 10, to discuss a timber salvage project at three public wildlife areas in east central Iowa. The areas were all damaged by the derecho in August.

Those interested in participating in the meeting, may register in advance at

The timber salvage projects are located on about five acres at Vermace Woods, about 100 acres at East Salt Creek, both in Tama County, and about 300 acres at Chain-O-Lakes, in Linn County.

The salvage projects were necessitated due to damage caused by the derecho in August. Tree species damaged along the river bottom include cottonwood and silver maple. On the higher elevation, the tree species that took losses are primarily oak, hickory, basswood, cherry and walnut.

“The areas received significant damage, to the point that it's difficult even for wildlife to get through,” said Steve Woodruff, wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR. “Our goal for this project is to clear enough of the materials that wildlife can move freely and the public can enjoy using it again. Ultimately, we want to restore the woodlands back to a diverse and healthy forest and to perpetuate oaks for future generations.” 

At the public meeting, the DNR will present the scope of the projects, the general layout of the areas, discuss the objectives and removing damaged material from the areas.

The projects will be released for bonded timber buyers to review and submit their bids. Successful bidders will begin work this winter and, if necessary, have next winter to complete it. Work may be conducted from Oct. 1 to March 31, due to the presence of the northern long-eared bat, which is listed as a threatened species by the Endangered Species Act.

Any person participating in the public meeting and has special requirements such as those related to mobility or hearing impairments should contact the DNR or ADA Coordinator at 515-725-8200, Relay Iowa TTY Service 800-735-7942, or, and advise of specific needs.