Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) protects Iowa 's land, water and wildlife for future generations. This nonprofit conservation group’s priority areas include permanent land protection, improved land management and providing conservation leadership. 

INHF is a member-supported nonprofit organization and Iowa ’s largest land trust. Since its founding in 1979, INHF has helped Iowa ’s private landowners, public agencies and other partners to protect over 100,000 acres. These projects conserve and enhance Iowa 's environment, water quality, wildlife, biodiversity, outdoor recreation, tourism and quality of life.

INHF literally “wrote the book” for Iowa landowners interested in permanent conservation. The 6th edition of our Landowner’s Options booklet, published in early 2007, explains several methods of permanent land protection: donations, bequests, bargain sales, fair market sales, conservation easements and many others.  The 52-page booklet also contains information about tax and estate consequences, long-term land stewardship, an annotated list of potential conservation partners that landowners can contact and much more. The book is available to Iowa landowners free on request or online at

INHF's land projects include land held by private landowners (often protected by conservation easements), land we protected and then passed on to a public agency (cities, county conservation boards, Iowa DNR, etc.), and a few sites that we continue to own. Many of our past projects are now public parks, wildlife areas, nature trails, etc. We're also involved in conservation education, water quality protection, conservation funding and initiatives, etc.  As a founding member of the Land Trust Alliance, the national association of land trusts, we adhere to the principles and standards adopted by LTA. 

INHF is known for being a "can-do" organization that constantly pioneers new techniques for getting things done. We're also known for our non-divisive style--bringing together many groups. All of our projects are done with one or many partners: from private landowners to public conservation groups to individual and corporate funders.

Our conservation education work includes our website (, other books for landowners (such as healthy woodland management and managing land for neotropical migrant birds), an Iowa trail guide, the Ecology College series in our quarterly magazine, workshops, our college internship program and much more. 

We try to be model land managers on these properties and open them for education and visitors on request. Though we don't have enough staff for individual consultations on best land management practices with every Iowa landowner, INHF develops land management plans with owners who have implemented permanent protection. 

To help Iowa 's citizens become involved in natural resource protection, the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation uses both the newest technology and good, old-fashioned personal contact and service. We reach out to members, interested landowners, decision-makers and the general public. We develop diverse partnerships: from private landowners and individual donors to various levels of government to local watershed alliances to other private conservation groups. Though INHF avoids partisan politics, we provide leadership on policy issues affecting our work.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Contact Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Mark Ackelson or Joe McGovern
505 5th Ave
Insurance Exchange Building, Ste 444
Des Moines, Iowa  50309-2321
Phone: (515)-288-1846
Fax: (515)-288-0137


Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • Iowa

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