Yellow River State Forest

Yellow River State Forest

Yellow River State Forest

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Yellow River State Forest is partly forested land owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It is located in the southeastern corner of Allamakee County, the most northeasterly of Iowa's counties. It is adjacent to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and is just north of Effigy Mounds National Monument in the bluff region of the Upper Mississippi River.


The forest was established in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps with land at the mouth of the Yellow River. It has six sections: Luster Heights, Paint Creek North, Paint Creek South, Paint Rock, Waukon Junction and Yellow River, collectively aggregating 8,503 acres (34 km²). Notwithstanding the forest's name, the majority of the land is in the catchment of Paint Creek. Some of the forest is reclaimed farmland, but much of it was never farmed because of the steepness of the terrain.

The State and the various Federal agencies actively cooperate in the management of the lands under their care, particularly in the use of fire to maintain goat prairies, which are found "on steep, thin soils with a south-southwest exposure. The best examples occur in northeast Iowa’s Paleozoic Plateau, but similar prairie can be found in other parts of the state.", The Nature Conservancy, retrieved July 6, 2007

Geological history

The forest is located in the Driftless Area of Iowa, a region that was not glaciated during the last ice age. The geology...
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