About Palo Alto County

Palo Alto County first achieved Bird Friendly County status in 2021.
The citizens of Palo Alto County are proud of their conservation heritage and do their part to help create, maintain, and manage habitat to support biodiversity and provide recreational opportunities. Palo Alto County Conservation Board manages over 2,800 acres of public marshes, prairies. forests and parks. Other conservation agencies manage over 21,000 acres of public land in this county. Much public land (including Lost Island/Huston Park) falls within Dewey’s Pasture Bird Conservation Area, one of Iowa’s most important areas for nesting and migrating waterfowl, grassland birds, and shorebirds (including 86 species of Greatest Conservation Need). To reduce threats to birds, most county owned public land requires non-toxic ammunition, and roadsides are not mowed before July 15. The Palo Alto County Conservation Naturalist uses programs from Flying Wild in classroom settings and teaches the importance of protecting birds and their habitat. The conservation board partners with the local Ducks Unlimited chapter each spring to host Wings and Wetlands, a weekend event that emphasizes the importance of wetlands for a variety of species. The Lost Island Nature Center has a variety of displays and brochures and provides information on local bird species of the Prairie Lakes Region and how to identify them.