CLOSINGS: View Closings

Officials say donated wildlife area thriving in north-central Iowa

Brothers donated Humboldt County land after their deaths in 2012.

Posted: Jun. 19, 2018 3:39 PM
Updated: Jun. 19, 2018 3:41 PM

THOR, Iowa (AP) — A prairie and wetland in northern Iowa are flourishing a few years after two farming brothers donated the land following their deaths.

Palmer Larson, 86, and his brother, Roger Larson, 82, both died in 2012. The brothers donated 150 acres (61 hectares) of their land in Humboldt County to the state, which was turned into the Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area, the Des Moines Register reported .

Bryan Hellyer is a wildlife supervisor with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He said the brothers weren't openly conservationists, but arranged a meeting with him in 2001. He said they spoke about the goals of the agency, but that he didn't hear about the donation until after their deaths.

"I nearly fell over," Hellyer said. "I thought, 'no way.' As far as farmland, there is not much better, so this is not the typical type of land the DNR manages."

Farmers in the area were also surprised by the donation, including Paul Knudtson, who helped the brothers harvest their corn and bean fields because they didn't have a combine.

"People said, 'That is good farmland, why do that?'" Knudtson said. "I guess because they can do what they want."

Hellyer and wildlife technician Rob Patterson have spent five years restoring the land to its native condition. Two portions of the land were seeded with native prairie plants. Patterson has used more than 100 species of grasses and wildflowers.

The remaining 30 acres (12 hectares) has food plots for wildlife and a small patch of timber. The area also includes a 33-mile (53-kilometer) trail.

"Hopefully, (the Larsons) are looking down and saying, hey, it's getting there," Hellyer said.

The brothers gave eight other nonprofit agencies their gross estate of $2.6 million, including the Iowa Department of the Blind, the Iowa Radio Reading Information Service and the Humboldt County Historical Museum.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 62°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
59° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 59°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 64°
Rochester
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 56°
Tracking a rainy start but sunshine will return!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

My Money: Tips to help kids save money

Image

Dr. Oz - Do you have acid reflux?

Image

Tracking a Great Start Turning into a Soggy Evening

Image

Mason City grad Sydney Eaton named All-MVC

Image

Construction on 18th Ave NW resumes Monday

Image

Drake Relays qualifiers announced

Image

App allows you to solve mysteries

Image

Church attendance strong on Easter

Image

Two hospitalized after Austin shooting

Image

Tracking Rain Showers and Storms

Community Events