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Natural Resources approves maintenance project for Sac County wildlife area

LAKE VIEW — The Natural Resources Commission approved a $94,000 maintenance project Tuesday to fix up parts of a main road in the Black Hawk Marsh Wildlife Management Area in Sac County Tuesday.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources received approval for the project, originally estimated to cost $140,000, with the winning construction bid awarded to Richards Construction Co. Inc. of Sac City. Richards beat five other bids by at least $19,000. The highest bid for $138,280 came from Spring Lake Construction in Polk City.

The project will provide for road maintenance in the 2,000 acre area of marsh, timber and upland wildlife habitat by removing trees encroaching on the roadway, blading and shaping high shoulder areas and improving poor drainage that has caused potholes and rutting.

The project will cover 1.3 miles of granular roadway maintenance, spread new rock and replace one culvert. Construction is slated for completion by Aug. 30.

The road covered includes a long, narrow stretch near Black Hawk’s marsh near the south side of Lake View. It connects Lake View to the area’s marsh and wildlife complex and ushers in traffic from bicyclists and fishers.

NRC members at Tuesday’s meeting noted that outdoor activity was up significantly, with a large increase in licenses issued by Iowa for fishing and hunting.

“We are excited for the adventures and opportunities of 2021,” said Pete Hildreth, district supervisor for the DNR’s southwest district. “As (we) have witnessed, natural resources and outdoors offered normalcy (in 2020.)”

Iowa’s R3 program will focus on continuing that momentum with a focus on encouraging more hunting, trapping and recreational shooting through “recruitment, retention and reactivation,” he said.

The maintenance project was one of three approved by the NRC as part of a funding program with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Parks and Institutional Roads Fund.

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