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Embracing Iowa's wild side

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Ecologically Iowa is the most altered state in the Union. Before European settlement more than 85% of the land in Iowa was covered by tall grass prairie. Today less than one-tenth of 1% of the land is prairie. Iowa’s other native ecosystems have also dwindled.

Iowa has changed, permanently, but many ecologists believe that investment and expansion of Iowa’s wilderness areas would provide benefits for water quality, biodiversity and quality of life for all the species, including humans. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe discusses what this investment might look like, including a movement called “rewilding.”"


  • Mark Edwards, advocate for rewilding movement
  • David Hoferer, chair of the biology department at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City
  • Kaycie Waters, natural resources field specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
  • Cathy McMullen, an adjunct associate professor in natural resource ecology and management

Share pictures of your rewilding efforts with us!

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio