Pictured above are: Dean and Diane Barclay (second and third from left respectively) receiving their Gift to Iowa's Future Day certificate from Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (far left) and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds (second from right). Also pictured is Iowa DNR Director Chuck Gipp (far right). Photo by Jessica Rilling
By David Richards
At the annual "Gift to Iowa's Future Day" ceremony at the Iowa Capitol on Monday, April 1, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and other officials recognized more than 20 landowners, families and organizations, including a Byron couple, for their gifts of conservation land, land value, and conservation easements in 2012. These, gifts totaling more than $5 million, protected 3,500 acres in 21 counties.
Dean and Diane Barclay of Byron, Minnesota; Allan Maurer of Harpers Ferry; Eric and Terri Barclay of Helena, Montana; and Thomas and Sheryl Cray of Chester were among those honored.
According to a release by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the above honorees donated a portion of the value of 101 acres of mixed woodland, oak savanna and prairie located along one mile of the Upper Iowa River in Howard County. Dean Barclay said he and those three friends went in and purchased the land in 1999 for recreational use and eventually found that they didn't use it as much as they first had thought.
"It was an honor to own it, and it's also an honor to see it go to the state of Iowa to be preserved," Barclay said.
This land, located two miles northeast of Lime Springs, provides access to fish habitat. By protecting this diverse property and conducting proper management, wildlife habitat will be preserved and enhanced, the release stated.
The site was purchased by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation for eventual ownership and management by the Howard County Conservation Board.
"Gift to Iowa's Future Day is always a meaningful event for all of us," INHF President Mark Ackelson said. "Landowners around the state receive well-deserved recognition for their generous gifts to conservation that will provide beautiful, natural spaces for future generations. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is honored to have worked with these dedicated individuals, families and organizations."
In 2008, the Iowa legislature designated the first Monday in April as Gift to Iowa's Future Recognition Day to celebrate and honor individuals, corporations and organizations that permanently protect land for parks, trails, natural areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and other benefits.
More than 60 percent of this year's honorees worked with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to tailor their donations. INHF is a statewide nonprofit whose mission is to protect and restore Iowa's land, water and wildlife. For the complete list of landowners to be honored this year, see http://www.inhf.org/landowners-day-2013.cfm. More information about landowners' conservation options can be found at http://www.inhf.org/landowners.cfm.