Civic News & Info
Public invited to comment on Upper Mississippi River Forest Management Plan PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Robert Fournier   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:35
Rock Island, Ill. -- (June 29, 2011) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island, St. Paul and St. Louis Districts, invite the public to comment on the recently completed draft forest management plan for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS).  The purpose of the Systemic Forest Management Plan is to provide a long-range plan of action for the sustainable management of UMRS forests to maintain its recognition as a nationally treasured ecological resource.

The Systemic Forest Management Plan project area is designated as the UMRS 500-year floodplain, and includes the Mississippi River from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, to its confluence with the Ohio River; the Illinois River from Chicago to Grafton, Illinois; and navigable sections of the Minnesota, St. Croix, Black and Kaskaskia Rivers.  The UMRS floodplain ecosystem covers 2.6 million acres of land and water and includes portions of five Midwestern States: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.

Key components of the Plan are identifying goals and objectives; establishing a foundation to improve and enhance coordination with stakeholders; fostering a better understanding of the state of the resource and its ecological connection to adjacent watersheds; identifying problems, opportunities and data needs; and developing recommendations that will ensure the long-term sustainability of this critical component of the UMRS ecosystem.

The plan can be viewed and downloaded from the St. Paul District's website at, under 'Related Pages.'  A hard copy is available upon request.  The public review and comment period opened Tuesday, June 28, and ends July 27, 2011.  Comments can be sent to Randall Urich at the Corps of Engineers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 1114 So. Oak St., La Crescent, MN  55947-1560.

For more information, contact the Corps Forest Management Plan team leader, Randall Urich, at 507-895-6341, ext. 3.

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Iowa Youth Population Declines According to 2010 Census PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:25

AMES, Iowa – Iowa’s 17 and younger age group decreased according to 2010 census results. According to the Community Vitality Center report, “Population 18 and Older and 17 and Younger in Iowa’s Counties, 2000 – 2010,” Iowa’s youth population has decreased by 5,645 in the last decade.

According to Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics, some counties have experienced significant growth in the youth population even though Iowa’s overall youth population decreased by 0.8 percent in the last decade.

“There has been a reshuffling across the state as to where youth are located. There has been a surge in the most urban counties and a decline in the more rural ones,” Burke said. “This distinctly impacts schools because a lot of community activities revolve around the school. It’s where children are during the day, and many activities and sports take place during the evenings.”

Burke credits fewer births as the main reason for the youth decline in the state, but outmigration and the ongoing recession also aided in the decline.

“The recession colors everything for every age group. It affects older people trying to retire or keep their jobs and it affects younger people trying to get jobs. In a recession, people typically delay marriage and they delay having children. There were three to four years of recession prior to the 2010 census that help account for fewer births,” Burke said.

The full report is available on the Community Vitality Center website at


Iowa’s Unincorporated Areas Lose Population in 2010 Census PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Thursday, 30 June 2011 12:24

AMES, Iowa — Iowa’s unincorporated areas — the countryside outside any town or city limits — lost population according to the 2010 census, reversing a gain seen in the 2000 census. The loss of 20,000 residents put those areas at a level lower than 1990, as detailed in the report “Countryside and Town: Population in Iowa’s Counties Within and Outside of Incorporated Places, 1990 – 2010,” provided by the Community Vitality Center, at Iowa State University.

Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics, said the gain seen between 1990 and 2000 was due, in part, to residents living on acreages and in unincorporated developments. It is somewhat surprising to see losses from open-country areas in some of Iowa’s larger counties. Annexation activities on the part of communities might account for some of those losses.

“What’s happening in some of these areas that are traditionally more rural and farm-based is that they are aging out. Younger residents are graduating high school and not returning, and gradually you lose people in the child-bearing age group,” Burke said. “You don’t have many children born in these areas and older residents are retiring off their farms.”

Burke said that the unincorporated areas are not the same as the census’s rural data, since the rural data include small towns. She said towns are better at holding their populations, but the loss in countryside areas does affect businesses in towns, especially in small- to medium-sized towns. “As there is a loss of population base, that will impact the kinds of retail operations you can support in a smaller community,” she added.

Burke said some of the challenges for Iowa will be to look at farm succession trends, and work with young farmers to come in and take over operations from retiring farmers. She also said finding young entrepreneurs and their families to come into smaller towns to build businesses will be a key effort to maintaining population and vitality.

The full report is available for download from the Community Vitality Center website at

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Hispanic Population Continues to Rise in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 15:40

AMES, Iowa – More than 151,000 Iowans claimed Hispanic or Latino origin on the 2010 census questionnaire. This is the largest minority group in the state at five percent, as detailed in the Iowa State University Extension report “Race and Hispanic Origin in Iowa’s Counties, 1980-2010.”

The White group in Iowa still outnumbers other groups, at 91 percent, but minority groups have increased by 11.3 percent in the last decade. The number of Whites increased by nearly 33,000, whereas minority groups increased by 130,000.

The Hispanic (any race) minority group increased the most in Iowa over the last decade.

“For some of these counties and communities, there are many minority people, and in other areas there are relatively few,” said Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics. “In a number of these counties, it’s going to be largely an increase in the Latino/Hispanic population.”

Crawford County and Buena Vista County had the highest percentage of Hispanics, 24.2 and 22.7 percent respectively. Many other counties reported more than 10 percent Hispanic/Latino population.

“Those counties have had more Hispanic and Latino people taking the hard jobs in the meat plants, as well as jobs in ag processing, construction and hotel service; perhaps more than other racial groups have shown at this point,” Burke said.

The full report is available for download on the Community Vitality Center website at


Braley Fights for Eldridge Post Office PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Alexandra Krasov   
Monday, 20 June 2011 14:10

Washington, DC –Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) sent a letter to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe demanding answers about the United States Postal Service (USPS) reduction of service at the Eldridge post office.

“I’m very concerned that my constituents in Eldridge will not receive the same quality of service they’ve come to rely on once these changes go into effect,” said Rep. Braley. “Small communities depend on their local post office and I know how much this service means to Eldridge. That’s why I’ll continue fighting to protect access to this post office and I’ll work to make sure we all receive timely and accurate information about how these reductions in service will affect the community of Eldridge.”

The USPS confirmed last week that the delivery operations at the Eldridge Post Office will be relocated to the Northwest Station in Davenport, IA as part of the Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) process. The DUO initiative involves moving city and/or rural letter carriers from one Post Office, station, or branch to another nearby postal facility. 
Services such as purchasing stamps, mailing packages, Post Office boxes, passports, and any other service currently available at local postal facilities will continue to be offered at the Eldridge facility and ZIP Codes will remain the same.

A copy of the letter is available here:


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