Explore watershed planning efforts underway in Story County

Current Planning Efforts Underway

Watershed Assessments

In early 2017, the Board of Supervisors brought on a consulting firm to develop a countywide watershed assessment for Story County. By looking at watersheds on a smaller scale – technically, the Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 10 and 12 watershed levels – we developed a comprehensive assessment that identifies watershed-specific goals and implementation strategies addressing education, outreach, and water quality improvement goals.

Story County is leading the state as the first county to look at watersheds at the county-wide level. We hope this project helps define the health of our watersheds. The final report for the Watershed Assessments can be viewed here (PDF).

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ACPF (Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework) Analysis

Ioway Creek Watershed

Story County was part of a larger effort by the Ioway Creek Watershed Management Authority to develop a comprehensive watershed plan for the Ioway Creek Watershed. More information on the Ioway Creek Watershed Plan is available here.

Fourmile Creek Watershed

The town of Sheldahl and the southwestern tip of the county is part of the Fourmile Creek Watershed. Completed in 2014, the management plan is used to guide all watershed improvement efforts. More information on Fourmile Creek Watershed and the plan can be found here

Headwaters of the South Skunk Watershed

Realizing how important the South Skunk River is the public and wildlife, multiple partners came together to form the Headwaters of the South Skunk Watershed Management Authority. Late 2021 and throughout 2022, meetings with multiple stakeholders were held to produce a roadmap for addressing the most pressing water quality issues in the watershed. The final plan and more information can be found here.

Hickory Grove Watershed

Story County Conservation, in partnership with Iowa State University, and several agencies, local organizations and groups, including Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, USDA-NRCS, Story Soil and Water Conservation District, Prairie Rivers of Iowa RC&D, Iowa Learning Farms, and landowners and residents, created the Hickory Grove Lake Watershed Management Action plan. The action plan is aimed to enhance water quality, improve safety, and reduce bacteria at the beach at Hickory Grove Park. The Hickory Grove Lake Action Plan can be viewed here (PDF).