Conservation Practices Inventory

LiDAr image showing conservation practices
Nutrient Management

Title:  Conservation practices inventory for select Iowa HUC 12 watersheds – Upper, Middle and East Fork Des Moines Rivers

Location:  Upper, Middle and East Fork Des Moines Rivers HUC 8 watersheds in Iowa

Research Team:  Robin McNeely, Josh Obrecht, Calvin Wolter and Adam Schnieders, and IDNR

Project Description:  This project fulfills a priority of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy by providing a meaningful record of the in-field and off-field conservation practices for reducing erosion and nutrient loss. The State of Iowa has lacked a comprehensive database of practices in each watershed and this project contributed data to that end. Student interns visually identified and digitized six specific NRCS vegetative and structural conservation practices on the landscape using aerial imagery and LiDAR-derived products such as hillshade and slope. Hillshade provides a three-dimensional view of the ground to supplement the natural color and infrared aerial photography.  The conservation practices were collected as line and polygon features in a GIS dataset. After this portion of the project was completed, the statewide dataset was made available for public download online.


Funders:  This portion of the statewide project was funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. The entire four year statewide project was additionally funded by the IDNR, IDALS, INREC, AmericaView and NLAE.