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Category Archives: Natural Resources

Information posted here collects in the right hand column of the MNR webpage as well as on the Tribal website’s “In The News” page. The post automatically posts to the MNR Facebook page.

Prescribed Fire Notice: April 6-9

Meskwaki Natural Resources will be collaborating with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to conduct prescribed burns around the settlement. These burns will be conducted between the days of April 6-9.

*MNR will work to notify you when we will be burning in your area.

**Prior to these days, MNR staff may be out creating firebreaks

On these days (April 6-9), MNR recommends the following:

  • Windows are closed to prevent smoke from entering your homes.
  • The area around your home is clean of debris that could be hazardous to firefighters and the community.
  • Assist firefighters by keeping your distance, avoid blocking roads, etc.


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2021 Fire Season Announcement from MNR

Meskwaki Natural Resources is planning to burn the areas highlighted on the attached map for the 2021 spring controlled burn season. The main goal for priorities are management of wildlife habitat areas.

If you have an area that you would like burned this year, please reach out to Megan at megan.dietrich@meskwaki-nsn.gov with a description of the location, contact information, and your house address. Requested areas are not guaranteed due to many factors that aid in the decision making process for which units to burn.

As a reminder: areas that include old vehicles, dump sites, unmowed grass around hazards such as propane tanks, garbage in tall grass, etc. will not be burnt due to safety hazards for the fire crew and the environment.

Please help us be proactive in keeping the environment clean!

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MNR to Conduct Controlled Burn at Battleground Road Debris Pile

Meskwaki Natural Resources will be performing a controlled burn for a debris pile located on Battleground Road tomorrow, Thursday February 25.
This is weather permitting and will continue until the pile is burnt through. If you planned to gather fire wood from this location, all collections must be completed by the end of the day on Wednesday February 24th (today).
Reach out to Megan at (641) 484-3511 or by email at megan.dietrich@meskwaki-nsn.gov if you have any questions!
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Air Pollution Levels

The Environmental Branch of the Meskwaki Natural Resources Department will start an outdoor Air Program called “Air Now”. Colored flags reflecting air pollution levels will fly at the Tribal Center starting Monday August 31st. The Flags will be checked every day. Here’s what each means:

GREEN -GOOD day to be active outside

YELLOW – MODERATE its a good day.

ORANGE – UNHEALTHY for sensitive groups.

RED – UNHEALTHY for all groups.

PURPLE – VERY UNHEALTHY – sensitive groups avoid outdoor exertion, everyone else avoid long outdoor exertion.

If anyone has questions or concerns please reach out to the Environmental Branch of the MNR at (641) 484-3511.

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MNR Bat Survey Update

Meskwaki Natural Resources is fulfilling grant requirements by performing acoustic bat surveys on the Settlement. Acoustic bat surveys utilize highly specialized microphones for listening to bats in the surrounding areas. Every bat species has a characteristically different call (that cannot be heard from the naked eye) and this equipment paired with specialized software is able to determine what kind of species are present on the Settlement.

If you see something that resembles a microphone on a tripod or stand on a trail or in an area you are meandering through please leave it alone. It will be labeled for wildlife surveys and they are being utilized by MNR staff. This equipment will be deployed from July 31st through August 9th. If you have questions about this equipment or come across something that you are unfamiliar with feel free to talk to Megan at (641) 484-3511.

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Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig visits with MNR

On Wednesday, July 8th Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig stopped in for a visit with Meskwaki Natural Resources to discuss future opportunities for partnerships in conserving and protecting our land and water!
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) spends much of their time focusing on soil conservation and water quality initiatives. Both of these initiatives are vitally important and constantly on MNR’s radar for future projects and overall goals for the protection of the Meskwaki Nation’s resources.
Meskwaki Natural Resources has many projects and plans in the works that we are excited to see implemented that will help protect our land and water!

Click here to view photos.

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Flooding Expected

After heavy rains covered much of central and eastern Iowa yesterday and continue in eastern Iowa today, a flash flood watch remains in effect for Tama County until 4 pm. The National Weather Service predicts up to 1-2 in of rain are possible, which will result in flooding of poorly drained and/or low-lying areas. Settlement residents, especially those who reside on the Iowa River floodplain such as those near Battleground Road and near smaller creeks prone to flash flooding, are advised to prepare accordingly. Heavy rain throughout the Iowa River Watershed will create greater flooding risk on the Iowa River. The National Weather Service predicts the Iowa River level will exceed the Action stage of 11.0 ft at Highway E49 on Thursday, and that the Minor flood stage of 12.5 ft will be approached, but not exceeded. The current forecast predicts the river will crest at 11.7 ft on Friday evening. Please see the attached map on the Meskwaki webpage for a view of expected flood extent and depths associated with a 12.0 ft Iowa River gauge height at the Highway E49 bridge. You may also track flood levels and forecasts from the National Weather Service from computer or smartphone at this link: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=dmx&gage=tmai4​. 


Predicted floodwater extent and depth associated with a 12.0 ft river gauge height on the Iowa River at the County Highway E49 bridge on the Settlement. The darker the shade of blue, the deeper the water.

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Flooding is Receding. Rain in the Forecast.

The latest observed value at the USGS stream gauge on the Iowa River at County Highway E49 was 10.91 ft at 8:00 am, which is below the 11.0 ft action stage level. Flood waters are expected to recede as the river level continues falling into the weekend, but forecasted rain in central and north-central Iowa may cause another flooding risk.

Track the daily flood forecast from the National Weather Service at this link: https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=dmx&gage=tmai4​. We will keep you informed.

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Spring 2020 Burns

Meskwaki Natural Resources is planning on conducting prescribed burns on the attached map.  Please notify Megan at megan.dietrich@meskwaki-nsn.gov or (641) 484-3511 if you have a location that you would like added to the burn unit map. It is important to remember that not all locations may be burned due to weather conditions or safety concerns such as hazardous surroundings. MNR makes every attempt to get as much burnt on our list as possible.

If your household is near a prioritized burn location, please make every effort to clean the garbage and hazardous materials out of the burn areas (tall grass). Items that we actively avoid from burning include, but is not limited to: abandoned vehicles, tires, plastic pools, trampolines, plastic dog houses, toy vehicles, coolers, tarps, etc. This effort ensures the safety of the fire crew and the health of the environment.

Please call the MNR office (484-3511) and ask to speak to Megan if you have any questions, comments or concerns about our plan.  We will be burning as soon as we have appropriate weather, potentially late March or early April.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

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