Guided Trip to Boundary Waters

Journey with Story County Conservation to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota on this five-day guided excursion. As one of America’s premier canoe destinations and rated one of National Geographic’s “Top 50 Places You Must See,” you need to take this unique opportunity to experience true wildness first-hand!

Spend two nights camping under the stars, immersing yourself in more than one million acres of wilderness. Explore secluded lakes, relax with silent vistas, and find yourself among the striking pines, moose and eagles. The trip runs Sept. 7 through Sept. 11. Register early, space is limited to six participants.

A pre-trip meeting will be held on Friday, Aug. 18, 7-8 p.m. Participants must be 21 or older to attend, register with a tentmate, be able to lift a minimum of 45 pounds, and have prior canoeing experience. Most equipment is provided. Fee of $550 per person with registration is required by 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14. For more information about this or other programs, contact Story County Conservation at 515-232-2516.

Iowa Mowing Laws Designed to Protect Roadside Habitats

The Story County Conservation Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program reminds Iowans to protect roadside habitat for nesting game birds and song birds this spring and early summer.

According to Iowa Code 314.17, mowing roadside ditches is restricted until July 15 to protect young pheasants and other ground-nesting birds until they are ready to fledge. The law, which applies to county secondary roads as well as state primary and interstate highways, also protects habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects, including crop-pest predators.

Exceptions for visibility and weed control are built into the law, but non-essential mowing — including cutting for hay — is prohibited.

Iowa Code 314.17 states: Mowing roadside vegetation on the rights-of-way or medians on any primary highway, interstate highway, or secondary road prior to July 15 is prohibited, except as follows:

n Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling

n On right-of-way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city

n To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation

n To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds, and invasive plant species

n For visibility and safety reasons

n Within rest areas, weigh stations, and wayside parks

n Within 50 feet of a drainage tile or tile intake

n For access to mailbox or for other accessibility purposes

n On right-of-way adjacent to agricultural demonstration or research plots

Iowa’s roadsides provide a valuable refuge for wildlife. The mowing law serves as a reminder to only mow shoulders during the critical nesting season and, in general, limit the amount of recreational mowing throughout the summer.