U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service



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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Iowa o:\ccps\iowawmd\for mark\used for cover\bwteal2-cover-639x878-2-2.jpg

Wetland Management District
Environmental Assessment and Draft Comprehensive

Conservation Plan

U.S. Department of the Interior

Fish and Wildlife Service

Region 3 (Midwest Region); Bloomington, MN



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The mission of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System is to administer a national network of lands and waters for the conservation, management and, where appropriate, restoration of the fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.
Comprehensive Conservation Plans provide long-term guidance for management decisions; set forth goals, objectives and strategies needed to accomplish refuge purposes; and, identify the Fish and Wildlife Service's best estimate of future needs. These plans detail program planning levels that are sometimes substantially above current budget allocations and, as such, are primarily for Service strategic planning and program prioritization purposes. The plans do not constitute a commitment for staffing increases, operational and maintenance increases, or funding for future land acquisition.



If deleting this (blank) and the next (blank) page, DO NOT delete the Section Break. Place your cursor just after the last sentence on the previous page, and press delete until the Section Break is at the bottom of that page. After the delete, the next page (located here) will be the document table of contents.>

Iowa


Wetland Management District
Environmental Assessment and Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan

Table of Contents


Executive Summary 7

Chapter 1: Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Action 11

The Process and the Plan 11

The Chapter 12

The District 12

Proposed Action 14

Purpose of and Need for the Proposed Action 15

Decisions to be Made 16

Chapter 2: District Planning Context 17

Refuge System Planning Guidance 17

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 17

FWS Mission 17

The National Wildlife Refuge System 17

NWRS Mission 18

NWRS Goals 18

NWRS Guiding Principles 18

Ecological Integrity 19

Cooperative Farming 19

Legal and Policy Compliance 20

Wilderness Review 20

District Management Guidance 21

Brief History of District Establishment and Acquisition 21

District Purposes 27

District Vision Statement 27

District Goals 27

Relationship to Other Conservation Initiatives 28

Migratory Bird Conservation Initiatives 28

Strategic Habitat Conservation 30

SHC Guiding Principles 31

Plains and Prairie Pothole Landscape Conservation Cooperative 31

Region 3 Fish and Wildlife Conservation Priorities 32

Climate Change Planning 32

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 32

State of Iowa 33

Iowa’s State Wildlife Action Plan 34

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program 34

Iowa DNR Private Lands Program 36

Bird Conservation Areas 38

Important Bird Areas 38

Wetland Reserve Program 38

Conservation Reserve Program 39

Other Conservation Lands in the Area 39

The Planning Process 40

Public Involvement 40

Inventory, Monitoring, and Research 42

Plan Review and Revision 42

Planning Issues 42

Issues that Drive an Alternative 42

Wildlife 42

Habitat 43

People 44

Issues that Do Not Drive an Alternative 45

Public Use 45

Inventory, Monitoring, Research 46

The Partnership 46

Land Acquisition 46

Management Tools 47

Wildlife 47



Chapter 3: Management Alternatives 48

Development of the Management Alternatives 48

Selecting the Preferred Alternative 52

Summary of the Alternatives 53

Elements Common to All Alternatives 57

Alternative A: Current Management (No Action) 57

Alternative B: Breeding Waterfowl 58

Alternative C: Migrating Waterfowl 59

Alternative D: Preferred Alternative – Breeding Waterfowl 60

Alternatives Considered but not Analyzed in Detail 60

Solutions Considered but Eliminated 60

Alternatives Considered but Eliminated 61

Breeding and Migrating Grassland Dependent Birds Focus 61

Native Resident Species Focus 62

Summary of Environmental Consequences 62

Chapter 4: District Environment, Current Management, and Environmental Consequences 65

Physical Environment 65

Geographic Setting 65

Local Context 65

Current Management 65

Effects 65

Ecosystem Setting 66

Current Management 66

Effects 66

Topography and Geology 69

Current Management 69

Effects 70

Climate 70

Predicted Change 70

Effects 72

The Soil Resource 73

Current Management 73

Effects 73

Water Resources 77

Prairie Potholes 77

Watersheds and Rivers 80

Lakes 80


Drainage and Pesticides 82

Current Management 83

Effects 83

Air Quality 85

Current Management 85

Effects 85

Habitat 87

Wetlands 92

Current Management 93

Native Grasslands 94

Current Management 95

Non-Native Grasslands 96

Current Management 96

Other Habitats 97

Current Management 98

Effects for all Habitats 98

Wildlife 99

Plants 99

Mammals 100

Fish and Mussels 100

Reptiles and Amphibians 100

Insects 100

Wildlife Effects Analysis 101

Resident Wildlife 102

Effects 102

Threatened and Endangered Species 103

Least Tern – Endangered (Sterna antillarum) 103

Current Management 103

Topeka Shiner – Endangered (Notropis topeka) 103

Current Management 106

Indiana Bat – Endangered (Myotis sodalis) 106

Current Management 106

Prairie Bush Clover – Threatened (Lespedeza leptostachya) 106

Current Management 106

Western Prairie Fringed Orchid – Threatened (Platanthera praeclara) 107

Current Management 107

Poweshiek Skipperling – Candidate Species (Oarisma poweshiek) 107

Current Management 108

Dakota Skipper – Candidate Species (Hesperia dacotae) 108

Current Management 108

Effects for all Threatened and Endangered Species 109

Migratory Birds 109

Current Management 110

Effects 110

Breeding Waterfowl 111

Migrating Waterfowl 111

Shorebirds 112

Current Management 113

Effects 113

Waterbirds 114

Current Management 114

Effects 114

Grassland Birds 115

Current Management 115

Effects 116

Invasive Species 116

Current Management 117

Effects 117

People 117

Socioeconomic Setting 118

Current Situation 118

Demographics 118

Agriculture, Commodity Prices and Land Valuation 118

Environmental Justice 119

Land Use Patterns 119

Croplands 119

Grasslands 119

Wetlands 120

Urban Development 120

Aggregate Resources 120

Rural Development 120

Alternative Energy Developments 121

Effects 121

Visitor Services 123

Current Management 123

Effects 124

Historic and Cultural Resources 125

Native American History and Early Settlement 125

Cultural Resource Management 127

Effects 127

District Administration 128

Current Situation 128

District Support 129

Current Situation 129



Appendix A: Implementation of the Preferred Alternative 130

Objectives and Strategies 131

Goal 1: Wildlife 131

Issue 1-1: Focal species group and life cycle 131

Goal 2: Habitat 133

Issue 2-1: Prolonged decline of grassland dependent bird populations due to the decline of grassland habitat 133

Issue 2-2: Upland habitat quality 134

Issue 2-3: Focal wetland type 136

Issue 2-4: Wetland quality 138

Issue 2-5: Food plot use 140

Strategic Land Protection 142

Issue 2-6: Decreasing purchasing power of existing funds 142

Issue 2-7: Priority areas for acquisition 143

Goal 3: People 144

Issue 3-1: District awareness and understanding 144

Issue 3-2: Appropriate recreational opportunities 145



Appendix B: Species Lists 148

Plants 148

Mammals 154

Birds 156

Fish and Mussels 166

Reptiles and Amphibians 172



Appendix C: Acronyms and Glossary 174

Acronyms 174

Glossary 175

Appendix D: Legal and Policy Guidance 185

Appendix E: Literature Cited 198

Appendix F: Appropriate Use Designations 206

Introduction 206



Appendix G: Draft Compatibility Determinations 209

Introduction 209



Appendix H: List of Preparers and Contributors 260

Preparers 260

Iowa Wetland Management District Staff 260

Iowa Department of Natural Resources 260

FWS Branch of Conservation Planning Staff, Region 3 260

Contributors 260

FWS Regional Office Staff, Region 3 260

FWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife Staff 261

Academia 261

Appendix I: Communications 262

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 262

Tribes 262

Individuals 262

Media 262

Congressional Officials 263



Appendix J: Memorandum of Understanding with Iowa Department of Natural Resources 267

List of Figures



List of Tables


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