Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

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Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Bison, Prairie City, Iowa.jpg
Bison sculpture on highway near refuge.
Map showing the location of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Map showing the location of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Map of the United States
Location Jasper County, Iowa, United States
Nearest city Prairie City, Iowa
Coordinates 41°34′31″N 93°16′26″W / 41.575389°N 93.273926°W / 41.575389; -93.273926Coordinates: 41°34′31″N 93°16′26″W / 41.575389°N 93.273926°W / 41.575389; -93.273926
Area 8,654 acres (3,502 ha)
Established 1990
Governing body U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/midwest/NealSmith/

The Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is a federal national wildlife refuge located in Jasper County, Iowa, United States. The refuge, formerly known as Walnut Creek, is named after Congressman Neal Edward Smith, who championed its creation. It seeks to restore the tallgrass prairie and oak savanna ecosystems that once covered most of Iowa. It has a herd of approximately 75 buffalo (bison) and 25 elk.

The core of the Neal Smith refuge was a 3,600-acre (1,500 ha) block of land originally acquired by Iowa Power and Light (now part of MidAmerican Energy) for a nuclear power plant. The Fish and Wildlife Service was able to acquire this land in 1990.[1] Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired much more of the allocated 8,654 acres (3,502 ha).

Although the Neal Smith refuge includes a patchwork of small and seriously degraded native prairies, most of the refuge is the result of prairie restoration efforts. The restoration work has been done with local ecotype seed harvested from nearby native prairie remnants or from other restoration efforts that have used acceptable local ecotype seed.[2]

Prairie Learning Center[edit]

Located in Prairie City, Iowa, the Prairie Learning Center features exhibits and movies about the tallgrass prairie, sedge meadow and oak savanna ecosystems of the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. The Center offers environmental education programs for school groups, scout groups and more. The Friends of the Prairie Learning Center operate the book store.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

External links[edit]