Conservation Department

County Office Hours

M - F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Drivers License Hours

M - F 8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Public Health Services Hours

M - F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Clerk of Court Hours

M W F 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
T Th 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Buena Vista County, Iowa - Beautiful View

Parks

 
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View Park Amenities and Locations in PDF
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Brooke Wildlife Area
Buena Vista County Conservation Park
Buena Vista County Swan Restoration Refuge
Gary Christiansen Wildlife Area
Elk Wildlife Area
Gabrielson Park - Gustafson Lake
Gaherty Wildlife Area
Hankens Wildlife Area
Linn Grove Dam Area
Newell Catholic Prairie Cemetery
Pheasant Ridge Wildlife Area
Raccoon River Heritage Wildlife Corridor
South Cove Park
Starr Robbins Wildlife Refuge
Sturchler Pit Area
Three Waters Wildlife Area
Wildlife Display

Brooke Wildlife Area -The 60 acre parcel has rough terrain and is mostly timbered. Hunting and trapping are allowed. The public is asked to watch for boundary signs. There is only one ingress/egress at the east end of the property.

Recreation: Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 4 Miles West of Linn Grove on 440th St. View Map

Buena Vista County Conservation Park -This is the headquarters for the Conservation Board with office and shop area. The park contains two enclosed shelter houses, used by reservation only. Small picnic shelters accommodate campers and picnickers. A shaded campground has 18 electrical hookups (30 amp service), shower and flush toilets. Playground equipment and basketball courts are provided. The 308 acre parcel is dominantly bur oak timbered and also has arboretums and prairie/wildflower plantings which provide wildlife habitat. A creek meanders through the park with a nearby hiking trail. The park is considered a wildlife management area and driving of deer is permitted, but NO firearms are allowed. Bow hunting deer is also permitted during deer bow season. Hunting of species other than deer is prohibited. A new camprgound is being developed: 19 new electrical and water hook ups will be available, a new restroom, shower facility, playground equipment, and a new sewer dump.

Recreation:Picnicking, Trails, Wildlife Viewed, Camping: Modern: $12.00 per night. Primitive: $6.00 per night - First come, first serve with all camping.
Location: 4 Miles West of Linn Grove on 440th St. View Map

    

Buena Vista County Swan Restoration Refuge - Also known as the Chris L. Lloyd Swan Restoration Refuge, The Buena Vista County Trumpeter Swan Committee uses the 10 acre area to promote the restoration of trumpeter swans. A kiosk with information and an observation deck help inform the public about the swans. A five acre lake is surrounded by prairie grasses.

Recreation:Wildlife Exhibit, Wildlife Viewed
Location: 10 Miles South of Sioux Rapids on Hwy 71 View Map

 

Elk Wildlife Area -The 65 acre parcel contains a variety of terrain including a creek, prairie and oak timber. In past years, Indians used the area as a kill site for buffalo. Hunting and trapping are allowed.

Recreation:Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 7 Miles North of Alta on 60th Avenue View Map

Gabrielson Park-Gustafson Lake-The developed 36 acres is located on the south edge of Sioux Rapids on Highway 71. The park contains an enclosed shelter house used by reservation only. A small open picnic shelter is located on the southwest corner of the park. The 10 acre lake has a boat ramp for fishing. Electric motors are allowed. A beach area is provided for swimmers.

Recreation: Fishing, Picnicking, Wildlife Viewed
Location: South edge of Sioux Rapids on Hwy 71 View Map

 

Gaherty Wildlife Area -The 30 acre parcel contains a small creek for wetland hunting with the balance in uplands. The purchase of the property was a cooperative effort with the Buena Vista County chapter of Pheasants Forever.

Recreation: Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 4½ Miles East and 1 Mile North of Storm Lake on 580th St. View Map

 

Gary Christiansen Wildlife Area- Previously known as Bur Oak Wildlife Area, the 40 acres contain rough, timbered terrain with 4 acres of prairie. The area provides excellent upland and forested hunting. Trapping is allowed.

Recreation:Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 5 Miles West of Linn Grove on 30th Avenue View Map

Hankens Wildlife Area - The 25.88 acres are located on the Buena Vista-Cherokee County line. The former gravel pit is open to the public for fishing in the four acre lake. Hunting and trapping are permitted. The purchase of the property was a cooperative effort with the Buena Vista County chapter of Pheasants Forever.

Recreation: Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 4 Miles West, 4 Miles North of Alta on 10th Avenue View Map

Linn Grove Dam Area-The park includes areas on both sides of the Little Sioux River totaling 12 acres. The low head dam on the river provides great fishing. A boat ramp provides access to the river. Primitive camping is allowed. Pit toilets, drinking water and playground equipment are available.

No dogs allowed with campers. 

Recreation: Fishing, Picnicking, Wildlife Viewed, Primitive Camping: $6.00 per night - First come, first served.
Location: Linn Grove, IA View Map

Newell Catholic Prairie Cemetery-The cemetery, located a mile west of Newell, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Buena Vista County dating to 1893. The cemetery proper is groomed and maintained while the acreage surrounding is native prairie.

Recreation:Historic Site
Location: 1 Mile West of Newell on 190th Avenue View Map

 

Pheasant Ridge Wildlife Area-This 6 acre parcel is a wooded half mile fenceline with grassed area for upland hunting.

Recreation:Hunting, Wildlife Viewed
Location:2 Miles South of Newell on 660th St. View Map

Raccoon River Heritage Wildlife Corridor-The 330 acres lie along the Raccoon River with boundary signs marking the property. The property consists of wetlands and uplands with hunting, fishing and trapping allowed. The property was purchased with help from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and is an erosion control measure for the Raccoon River.

Recreation: Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 2 Miles West of Newell View Map

South Cove Park -A three acre park on the south edge of Storm Lake contains a picnic shelter, pit toilet and playground equipment and borders the 3000 acre lake.

Recreation:Fishing, Picnicking
Location: South Edge of Storm Lake View Map

Starr Robbins Wildlife Refuge- This 9.5 acre refuge is located in the city limits of Linn Grove and was given to the Conservation Board by the Izaak Walton League.

Recreation: Wildlife Viewed
Location: Linn Grove, IA View Map

Sturchler Pit Area-The former 120 acre gravel pit area has been developed and contains picnic shelters, pit toilet, and playground equipment. Boat ramp is available. Several plots of prairie grass have been established. The lake provides excellent deep pond fishing. No firearms or bows and arrows are allowed but deer and pheasants can be driven.

Recreation:Fishing, Hunting, Picknicking, Wildlife Viewed
Location: 1 Mile Northwest of Newell on 620th St. View Map

Three Waters Wildlife Area-This 85 acre area consists of a gravel pit, a creek and the Raccoon River. Uplands seeded to native grasses provide wildlife habitat and good hunting. Fishing is enjoyed in the former gravel pit and trapping is allowed.

Recreation:Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewed, Trapping
Location: 4 Miles Northwest of Newell on 600th St. View Map

Wildlife Display - A 40’ enclosed wildlife display is located in the lobby of the Buena Vista County Courthouse in Storm Lake. The panoramic display features wildlife native to Buena Vista County. The two 20’ sections have a detailed hand-painted mural completed by Steve Brauhn of Sioux Rapids. The mural depicts the fall season of prairie, wetlands and forested upland.

The display was constructed by Lance Christensen and Steve Brauhn. Taxidermy work was done by Lance Christensen of Spencer and Todd Felton of Storm Lake. Wildlife featured in the display include badger, fox, pheasant, hawk, river otter, raccoon, waterfowl, song birds, mink, muskrat, bald eagle, deer, squirrel, chipmunk and wild turkey. A coyote mount was added in spring 2012. Taxidermy was done by Todd Felton of Storm Lake.

Recreation:Wildlife Exhibit
Location: East 5th & Erie, Storm Lake, IA View Map