Seney Natural History Association

As agriculture and new construction in Iowa continue to expand and occupy Iowa's wildlife habitat, humans are in contact with predators like coyotes more and more. Like a caller said today during the our broadcast, one of the ways to handle that problem is to kill the predators that threaten domestic pets and backyard chickens. 

But author John Shivik says there’s another way. “Moving forward, we need to balance lethal versus non-lethal methods of dealing with predators. We can biologically deal with the issue instead of killing them to make ourselves feel better.”  

Photo by Amy Mayer

Throughout the cropland of the Midwest, farmers use chemicals on their fields to nourish the plants and the soil. But excess nitrogen, phosphorus and other nutrients can wash off the fields and into streams, rivers and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

New tools can help farmers monitor their soil and water so they can become part of the solution to this widespread problem.

Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

The monarch butterfly may soon find more of its food in Iowa.

Amy Mayer/IPR file photo

A group representing many Iowa farmers is decrying the Des Moines Water Works’ decision to sue three Iowa counties over water quality.

Rich Egger for Harveset Public Media

Land in Fulton County, Ill., that was farmed for more than 80 years is being returned to its original wetland state – and the early results are promising for what is now the Emiquon Nature Preserve.

“People give us credit for the way this looks now but it’s really Mother Nature that makes it look the way it does,” said Doug Blodgett, director of river conservation for the environmental group the Nature Conservancy.

Mark Stevens

A mother black bear and her two cubs were spotted earlier this week, on the border of Fayette and Clayton Counties, in northeast Iowa.  The next day, a beekeeper discovered bear scat and paw prints near some damaged hives.

Also this week, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources confirmed the state's first mountain lion of 2014. A deer carcass with signs of mountain lion predation was found in Cherokee County, in northeast Iowa.

Petrarchan47 / Wikimedia Commons

A beloved Iowa eagle was found dead earlier this week. Indy, as his fans called him, a young male eaglet whose hatching was witnessed by thousands online earlier this spring was electrocuted by a power pole on Tuesday. The bird had a large following in the state and across the country; more than 500 people have posted condolences on the Raptor Resource Project’s Facebook page. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with their executive director, Bob Anderson, about what happened to the bird and what can be done to protect these eagles in the future.

Emily Woodbury

Iowa is the second most privately owned state in the U.S., so land preserved on its public parks is particularly special. Today on River to River –  the future of Iowa’s parks.

Ben Kieffer

The spring planting season is upon us and farmers are racing to get crops in the ground.

So yesterday morning, host Ben Kieffer hopped aboard a tractor with Jim Sladek, of JCS Family Farms in Johnson County, to get his perspective on the start of a new season and the challenges he faces, including soil erosion. Jim also demonstrated the amazing amount of technology that can be used in farming today.

Steve Brower

Aldo Leopold once wrote, “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.” It is partly due to his work that today's children don’t yet face that future.  Today Charity Nebbe continues Iowa Week a discussion on Iowa’s most influential conservationists.  She looks into the lives and work of Earnest Oberholtzer, John Lacey, Ada Hayden, and Louis Pammel.

Todd Elhers / Flickr

As the Farm Bill is debated in the U.S. House of Representatives, host Charity Nebbe digs into the politics of farm policy in a special joint broadcast with KCUR in Kansas City and Harvest Public Media.  What's the future of crop insurance and the Conservation Reserve Program?  What's at stake for farmers large and small?  And also, how will what happens on the farm affect the rest of the country?

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The eastern black rhinoceros is an endangered species, but two eastern black rhinos--Ayana and Kiano--are safe and sound at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines.  Host Charity Nebbe visits with Ayana, Kiano and the staff of the Blank P

josquin2000 / Flickr

Iowa is not known for its wild places, only one state in the nation has a smaller percentage of public land than we do. Members from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Iowa Nature Conservancy and Iowa DNR join host Charity Nebbe to discuss what work is being done by conservation organizations in Iowa to preserve our wild places and to create new ones.

When Conservation Pays

Jan 7, 2013
Hilary Stohs-Krause/NET News

Along the winding road to and through Grace Creek Ranch, a 25,537-acre yearling cattle ranch in central Nebraska, there are no houses in sight – no buildings, for that matter. Just acres and acres of gold and amber grass, punctuated by patches of sand and lines of barbed wire fence.

And that’s the way the owners of Gracie Creek Ranch want it to stay.  Lindsey Price, a fourth-generation rancher, her brother Aaron and their father Bob recently sold the largest conservation easement in Nebraska history, covering about 40 square miles.