State Preserves

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Preserves are established and overseen by a seven-member State Preserves Advisory Board, with the aid of state ecologists. Only carefully scrutinized lands are admitted to the State Preserves System. Each prospective area is visited to assess its scientific and educational qualities. All literature concerning the area is perused. If an area is deemed worthy of preserve status, the landowner and preserves board enter negotiations. The two parties draw up a mutually acceptable document describing the land's qualities, stipulating acceptable land uses, administrative details, and providing a management plan to maintain the land's natural characteristics. The managing body (which is often a private owner, county conservation board, the state or a private conservation organization) is declared. These details vary from preserve to preserve, depending on the preserve's features and the owner's desires. However, all provisions must enhance the goal of preserving the area's special features. The signature of Iowa's governor formally dedicates the parcel into the preserves program. Individuals and public agencies owning land with outstanding features are encouraged to consider dedicating the area into the state preserves system. Land may be dedicated in several ways. Some landowners dedicate land as a preserve while retaining private ownership. Some donate land to the state. The state may dedicate land already in state ownership.
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