Conservation Almanac




Iowa Profile of State Programs and Policy Framework

Highlighted Local Programs


Highlighted State Programs


State Policy Framework



To avoid double counting acres where multiple programs contributed to the acquisition of a single parcel, the acreage is only aggregated under the program that provided the majority of funding. For example, if the table below displays a dollar amount greater than $0 for a given year but shows 0 acres, the program was not the primary contributor for any parcels in that year. As a result, a prolific program may show very low acreage figures on this page. To see customized program information please visit the map viewer tab or contact the Conservation Almanac Team.

Highlighted Local Programs

Data for the Conservation Almanac has not yet been collected for local measures approved by voters in Iowa. Visit for more information.

2015 27.1 $155,925
2014 718.8 $2,540,777
2013 606.4 $2,630,418
2012 0.0 $15,000
2011 81.0 $283,966
2010 0.0 $378,299
2004 68.0 $33,000
2003 61.0 $0
2002 470.0 $1,350,000
Totals 2,032.3 $7,387,386

Highlighted State Programs

Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Trust Fund

The Trust Fund was established in 1981. It is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, fish and wildlife habitat stamps, boat, ATV and snowmobile registration fees, and miscellaneous sources such as state tax form donations. The Trust fund conducts land acquisition for vital habitat, as well as for fish and wildlife management and restoration, research, mitigation, law enforcement, outdoor education, and hatcheries.

2015 525.0 $525,229
2014 591.0 $1,294,865
2013 86.0 $889,444
2012 786.0 $1,883,891
2011 1,092.0 $1,281,394
2010 384.0 $812,533
2009 75.0 $310,764
2008 762.0 $1,538,355
2007 579.0 $957,443
2006 393.0 $1,223,570
2005 151.0 $171,100
2004 5.0 $175,721
2003 1,105.0 $279,800
2002 235.0 $84,000
2000 240.0 $279,768
1999 689.0 $1,021,286
1998 2,154.0 $1,005,844
Total9,852.0 $13,735,009

Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP)

Enacted in 1989, the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program is Iowa’s landmark environmental legislation. In 1996, the legislature extended the program’s life through 2021. The legislation authorizes a maximum appropriation of $20 million a year, although funding averages about $10 million a year. REAP funds are dispersed into a number of programs based on percentages, described below:

Open Spaces Protection - 28%
This funding is allocated to DNR for state acquisition of development of lands and waters. Half of the funding in this account is directed to land acquisition and half to facility developments.
One-tenth of this funding is available for cost-share projects with private organizations. REAP provides 75 percent of the acquisition costs and the remaining 25 percent comes from private contributions. DNR owns and manages the jointly purchased property.
One-twentieth of this fund is used to implement the state’s Protected Water Areas program (PWA), which acquires land along designated rivers to maintain their scenic and natural quality
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources pay property taxes on land purchased with REAP open space funds with funding from the REAP Open Space account.

City Parks and Open Space - 15%
Available to cities through competitive grants. Parkland expansion and multi-puprose recreation developments are typically funded, although funds are not available for organized sports facilities such as baseball diamonds or soccer fields. . The amount of funding available a city depends on population and grants are awarded in three categories based on city size to ensure that municipalities of varying size receive funds. Local matching funds are not required.

County Conservation - 20%
Funding is available to counties for acquisition, easement, capital improvements, natural resource restoration, facility improvement, and environmental education. Athletic facilities are not eligble for funding. Funding is distributed to three categories.
• Thirty percent is allocated equally to all 99 counties.
• Thirty percent is allocated based on population. Counties are eligible to receive this funding only if they dedicate at least 22 cents per $1,000 of assessed value of taxable property in the county for county conservation purposes. Counties with larger populations receive more money than counties with smaller populations.
• 40 percent is available to counties through a competitive grant process. The 22 cent eligibility requirement applies to these grants. Local matching funds are not required.

Soil and Water Enhancement - 20%
This funding is available to landowners for soil and water conservation and enhancement projects and practices. Project money is directed towards protecting the state's surface and ground water resources from point and non-point sources of contamination. Practices money is directed towards reforestation, woodland protection and enhancement, wildlife habitat preservation and enhancement, protection of highly erodible soils, and water quality protection. Soil Conservation Districts designate high priority watersheds in which REAP funds can be expended. Districts may also designate animal waste management as a priority.

Roadside Vegetation - 3%
This money is available through the Iowa Department of Transporation’s Living Roadway Trust Fund (LRTF) for integrated roadside vegetation management activities, including the estlabishment of native prairie vegetation in rights-of-way.

Historical Resources - 5%
Grants support projects for historic preservation, libraries, and archives.

Land Management - 9%

Besides direct appropriation, REAP utilizes a combination of funding sources including lottery sales, the general fund, and environmental license plate sales. REAP provides money for projects through state agency budgets or in the form of grants.

The REAP program encourages extensive public participation at the county, regional and statewide levels.

2015 1,109.0 $3,033,347
2014 130.0 $673,456
2013 846.9 $2,183,807
2012 781.5 $1,557,034
2011 1,137.4 $2,318,475
2010 1,011.3 $3,032,376
2009 2,056.2 $4,231,847
2008 2,444.0 $6,111,936
2007 1,972.1 $3,385,642
2006 1,442.3 $2,143,780
2005 2,494.5 $2,782,413
2004 1,407.4 $2,262,422
2003 1,663.2 $1,908,545
2002 1,943.9 $2,716,883
2001 2,995.5 $2,949,855
2000 2,181.1 $1,940,515
1999 6,134.9 $3,498,603
1998 3,456.8 $2,843,048
Total35,208.1 $49,573,991

Iowa Department of Natural Resources - Other

This includes acquisitions made with funding from other sources including the Destination Park Bond,
Forestry Bureau, Lake Restoration Program, Marine Fuel Tax Fund, and with mitigation and restitution revenue.

2015 1.0 $1
2014 144.0 $698,751
2013 317.0 $946,864
2011 251.0 $250,000
2010 213.0 $566,500
2008 207.0 $1,694,897
2007 462.0 $1,047,683
2006 454.0 $3,531,600
2005 762.0 $2,301,414
2004 960.0 $402,759
2003 59.0 $416,536
2002 2.0 $40,783
2001 959.0 $484,511
2000 2,080.0 $1,341,845
1999 4,343.0 $2,179,565
1998 3,219.0 $1,180,350
Total14,433.0 $17,084,060

Iowa Department of Natural Resources - State Revolving Fund

There are several programs that use state revolving funds for land acquisition

Clean Water State Revolving Fund, for publicly owned wastewater facilities, when the land is “integral to the treatment process.” It does not include land on which treatment facilities will be sited.

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, for public water supplies. Land can be purchased for siting of water facilities as long as there is a willing seller. Land or conservation easements can also be purchased through source water protection loans.

The General Non-Point Source Program provides low-interest loans to applicants that are owners of record or have long-term control of the property where the project is to be implemented. Priority projects include but are not limited to: restoration of wildlife habitat; stream bank stabilization; urban stormwater management; remediation of storage tanks; water conservation and reuse; and wetland flood prevention areas, which includes land acquisition. Loans can also be made for the water quality components of other projects, such as municipal landfill closure, brownfield remediation, bird sanctuaries, and urban stormwater measures. Loan amount can be up to 100% of the project costs with a minimum loan of $10,000. Loan terms can be up to 10 years.

I-JOBS Initiative

In 2008, the Iowa legislature passed, in conjunction with the administration of then-Governor Culver – passed an $830 million initiative to create and support jobs in the state of Iowa, boost the economy, and help the state recover from natural disasters. A small portion of this funding went to land conservation.

2013 1,216.0 $1,242,470
2012 1,413.0 $1,752,000
2011 1,467.0 $1,824,301
2010 614.0 $614,680
2007 11.0 $41,691
Total4,721.0 $5,475,142

State Policy Framework

Substantial State Investment

Enable Local Financing

State Incentive for Local Land Conservation

Public-Private Partnerships

Conservation Tax Credits

Federal Partnerships

Some data was not provided on a yearly basis, but rather as an aggregate figure. In this case we have distributed total acres acquired and/or dollars spent evenly by year.