Back-to-back years of flooding in 2010 and 2011 proved to be disastrous to several bottomland forest restoration projects along the Missouri River. In 2012, the National Wild Turkey Federation developed a grant proposal for several reforestation projects throughout the Midwest. Part of this proposal included the reforestation of the flood stricken Auldon Bar Wildlife Management Area in northwest Fremont County – managed by the Iowa DNR.
Riverton Wildlife Management Area Biologist Carl Priebe and staff, in conjunction with DNR District Forester Lindsey Barney worked closely with NWTF Conservation Field Supervisor Jared McJunkin to put this 42-acre reforestation project into action. The planting used native bottomland forest tree species that are best adapted to the various soil types found in the planting unit. In addition, nut bearing trees were planted to diversify the wildlife food production for the area.
Despite less than perfect weather conditions, the planting was finished by the end of May without a hitch. By early June, songbirds were observed using the tallest planted trees as perches! If weather conditions are favorable for the next several years, there should be noticeable forest cover in 5 to 10 years.