Stewardship plans have been developed to facilitate the management of the public land in the Lake Red Rock Project Area, developing vegetative goals for specified areas. They are designed to aid Natural Resource Specialists in the restoration and management of native species and invasive species reduction and control. These plans use historical human land use and plant community associations, current and potential plant community composition, surrounding plant community composition and land use to develop vegetative community goals for the long term. The stewardship plan focuses on elevations 774 feet and above, since lands below 774 feet are subject to high lake pool levels making long-term vegetative management impractical to due to this disturbance. Maximum lake pool level is 780 feet, but 774 feet was chosen since woody plant species persist above this elevation (e.g., shrubs and trees). Management of areas below 774 ft use alternative practices, such as agriculture, weed management, and moist soil unit strategies.
Resource Management Units
Lake Red Rock Project is divided into 42 Resource Management Units to aid in the stewardship of the project area. The units are divided accordingly with agency responsible for management (Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Corps of Engineers, Marion County Conservation Board), geographic layout, juxtaposition of surrounding private and public land use, watershed configurations, roadways configurations, and vegetative and recreation uses and goals for an area.
Environmentally Sensitive Areas
EP 1130-2-550 defines environmentally sensitive areas as “Areas where scientific, ecological, cultural or aesthetic features have been identified. These areas, normally within one of the other classification categories, must be considered by management to ensure the sensitive areas are not adversely impacted. Normally limited or no development of public use is contemplated on land in this classification. No agricultural or grazing uses are permitted on this land.” For the purpose of the Lake Red Rock Master Plan Environmentally Sensitive Areas will have one or more of the following features 1) known location for state or federally listed species or potential habitat for same 2) are critical habitat for priority species identified in state or regional plans, e.g. grassland birds 3) are high quality native plant communities, e.g. many conservative species uncommon in degraded systems or high floristic quality index score 4) demonstrated lack of serious disturbance, e.g. historical aerial photos indicate lack of habitat conversion, etc. 5) scenic or iconic landscapes that if destroyed would detract from the overall experience of visitor use, e.g. red sandstone cliffs surrounding the lake. 6) Known or listed significant archaeological, historical or cultural site as defined by Corps or State Archaeologist. Areas were characterized at three levels: 1) high quality ESA, 2) Important Natural Resource Areas, and 3) ineligible areas that were considered for ESA classification, but did not qualify as such.