Location map of Fremont County, IowaFremont County

GIS Reference System

Land Use and Resource Maps

Golden Hills RC&D logoDeveloped by Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oakland, Iowa

With technical assistance from Iowa State University, Land Use Analysis Laboratory, Paul Anderson, Department of Landscape Architecture, Department of Agronomy, Ames, Iowa

With additional support from US Environmental Protection Agency, Kansas City, Kansas


Contents

  • About this GIS Reference System
  • Navigation help
  • Township index map
  • Landowner plat directory
  • Plat maps
  • Essay about natural resources
  • Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    About this GIS Reference System

    (currently under construction.....more coming)

    This GIS Reference System was developed to help land owners and managers make decisions. Maps of land use and natural resources help describe the soils, conservation areas, critical cultural areas, critical natural areas, hydrology, and potential for wetlands.

    The primary purpose of this GIS Reference System is to help make decisions about alternative land uses and management of floodplains. The US Environmental Protection Agency provided major funding to make this possible.

    Though care was taken to use current and accurate data sources, some features may have changed since this GIS Reference System was prepared. All GIS data sources contain errors, are not detailed enough, or are not current enough. Use this GIS Reference System carefully.

    Maps for this GIS Reference System were prepared at Golden Hills RCandD and Iowa State University using GRASS GIS software. Files for this GIS Reference System were prepared using MS Publisher and PageMaker 6.0 in PDF format for use with Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat Reader software may be freely distributed with these files.

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Development and testing process

    This GIS Reference System is a preliminary draft version. This version is for demonstration and testing purposes only. It does not contain all of the maps planned for the final version.

    Also, this version does not contain detailed maps for all of Fremont County. Detailed maps are included for only about one-third of Fremont County. See the map of the study area.

    Study area in Fremont County, Iowa

    What additional maps should we include in the final version? We want your comments! Contact either Gregg Hadish (Golden Hills RC&D) at the number below or Paul Anderson (Iowa State University) at 515-294-8943. After we receive comments, we'll revise and expand this GIS Reference System.

    A diagram of the development process.

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Acrobat PDF files

    All the information for this GIS Reference System is in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. These files may be displayed using Adobe's software called Acrobat Rreader. Acrobat Acrobat may be distributed freely with these files. Acrobat is available for a variety of computer types: Macintosh, DOS, Windows, and UNIX.

    The following files and are needed to operate this GIS Reference System:

    FREMHELO.PDF
    Startup screens
    FREM2TOC.PDF
    Table of contents
    FREM1PLA.PDF
    Plat maps
    FREM1DIR.PDF
    Plat directory
    FREM1LIS.PDF
    Map lists
    T69R41LP.PDF
    Maps
    T69R41SC.PDF
    Maps
    More PDF
    map files

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Development process

    Major steps and components for this GIS Reference System:


    GIS

    GIS means Geographic Information System. GIS provides tools and methods to study and manage the land and its natural resources. Here are several definitions of GIS:

    Geographic information systems
    combine people, methods, data, and equipment to acquire, store, analyze, and communicate spatial data (Paul Anderson, Regional Landscape Analysis, 1980)
    Geographic information systems
    are computer systems capable of holding and using data describing places on the earth's surface (Jack Dangermond, Environmental Systems Research Institute, 1992)
    Geographic information systems
    are systems of hardware, software, and procedures designed to support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling, and display spatially-referenced data for solving complex planning and management problems (Michael Goodchild, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, 1991)

    GIS doesn't have to involve computers, but many systems use computer technology to provide more flexibility and detail in mapping land uses and natural resources. We've tried to make this GIS Reference System easier to use than the typical GIS system. You don't have to know how to make your own maps. Just use the maps that we've already included. It's like having an electronic atlas.

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Data sources

    Aerial photos used as background images for the GIS maps were scanned from color 35mm slides taken September 21, 1995. The original slides are located at the USDA Consolidated Farm Services Agency office in Sidney. Next, the scanned photo images were converted from color to gray scale images using Adobe PhotoShop. Then, the photo images were geometrically corrected using Blue Marble's Geographic Transformer. Finally, the corrected images were combined with GRASS/GIS maps using PhotoShop.

    Soil maps were digitized from the Soil Survey of Fremont County, Iowa, USDA Soil Conservation Service, scale 4 inches per mile, issued 1975. Most of the soil mapping field work was completed during the period 1960 to 1966. Soil map atlas sheets were scanned at Iowa State University's Soil Survey Laboratory and converted to vector Arc/Info coverages of individual sections through the help of the USDA NRCS state office in Des Moines and the US Army Corps of Engineers District Office in Rock Island. Individual sections were tiled, edited, and rasterized to GRASS/GIS format in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University.

    Township plat maps were scanned at Iowa State University from the 1995 Plat and Directory of Fremont County, Iowa, Farm and Home Publishers, Ltd., Belmond, Iowa.

    Land use, USGS topo quads, .....more to come.....

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Golden Hills RC&D

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) is a grass-roots based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the wise use and protection of natural resources for economic and social betterment of the people of southwest Iowa. Goals of the Golden Hills RCand D organization include the following:

    1. Develop economic opportunities that capitalize on the region's unique natural features and resources.
    2. Ensure the availability of quality land and water resources to satisfy the region's business, recreational, residential, and wildlife needs.
    3. Work with public agencies and private organizations on projects that protect and enhance the environment.
    4. Provide natural resource related community services that benefit the region's youth, elderly, and disadvantaged.

    The activities of Golden Hills RCandD are guided by a volunteer board of directors comprised of representatives from eight counties in southwest Iowa. The RCandD has a staff of resource professionals to carry out the organization's day-to-day operations. The primary role of the RCandD is to assemble and coordinate the technical and financial resources needed by public agencies and private groups to plan and implement projects and activities that further the goals of the organization. Golden Hills RCandD receives technical assistance and financial support from a number of public and private sources at the local, state, and national levels.

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Credits

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.

    Iowa State University — Department of Landscape Architecture

    US Environmental Protection Agency

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Navigation help

    You can quickly move to other places by using the mouse to click on words in red color. Many maps and drawings also have links to other information. The toolbar toward the top of the screen is useful also. Arrow buttons move to previous or next places. Scroll bars work well, too. The keyboard arrow keys and PageUp and PageDown keys also work.

    Some links open additional files. You can use the Window pull-down menu to change to different files that are already open. Use the magnifier buttons on the tool bar to zoom in or out. Page buttons zoom in or out quickly. Use the hand button as another way to scroll.

    Some files (for example, the landowner plat listing) have a list of bookmarks in a narrow window on the left edge of the screen. Use the mouse to click on bookmarks to quickly move to other places. These bookmarks work just like linked words in red color. The landowner plat listing also has threaded articles.

    Use the mouse to double-click on sticky notes to read additional details. Use the binoculars icon to find a name or other word. For additional navigation help, read the Help File from the Help pull-down menu supplied with Acrobat Reader software.

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Township index map

    Click on the township that contains the area you want to display.

    Townships in Fremont County study area

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Landowner plat directory

    (More coming . . .)

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Map list

    Soil interpretations

    Selected soil mapping units

    Land use

    Conservation areas

    Critical areas

    Hydrology

    Potential for constructed wetlands (water quality, erosion potential, habitat potential,...)

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Plat maps

    Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc.
    RR #2, Box 237, Oakland, Iowa 51560 Phone 712-482-3029 Fax 712-482-5590


    Essay

    The Ecological Conscience

    By Aldo Leopold

    Portrait of Aldo Leopold

    Aldo Leopold, the father of modern wildlife conservation, was born in Burlington, Iowa, worked for the US Forest Service in Arizona, and taught at the University of Wisconsin. This text from a 1947 speech reappeared in A Sand County Almanac, Leopold's famous rumination on ecology and humankind. The speech text was reprinted the Nov./Dec. 1995 issue of International Wildlife (p. 58).


    The practice of conservation must spring from a conviction of what is ethically and esthetically right; as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right only when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the community, and the community includes soil, waters, fauna, and flora, as well as people.

    It cannot be right, in the ecological sense, for a farmer to drain the last marsh, graze the last woods, or slash the last grove in his community, because in doing so he evicts a fauna, a flora, and a landscape whose membership in the community is older than his own, and is equally entitled to respect.

    It cannot be right, in the ecological sense, for a farmer to channelize his creek or pasture his steep slopes, because in doing so, he passes flood trouble to his neighbors below, just as his neighbors above him have passed it to him. In cities we do not get rid of nuisances by throwing them across the fence onto the neighbor's lawn, but in water-management we still do just that.

    It cannot be right, in the ecological sense, for the deer hunter to maintain his sport by browsing out the forest, or for the bird-hunter to maintain his by decimating the hawks and owls, or for the fisherman to maintain his by decimating the herons, kingfishers, terns, and otters. Such tactics seek to achieve one kind of conservation by destroying another, and thus they subvert the integrity and stability of the community.

    If we grant the premise that an ecological conscience is possible and needed, then its first tenet must be this: economic provocation is no longer a satisfactory excuse for unsocial land-use (or, to use somewhat stronger words, for ecological atrocities). This, however, is a negative statement. I would rather assert positively that decent land-use should be accorded social rewards proportionate to its social importance.

    I have no illusions about the speed or the accuracy with which an ecological conscience can become functional. It has required 19 centuries to define decent man-to-man conduct and the process is only half done; it may take as long to evolve a code of decency for man-to-land conduct. In such matters, we should not worry too much about anything except the direction in which we travel. The direction is clear and the first step is to throw your weight around on matters of right and wrong in land-use. Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.


    Paul Anderson's home page

    Last update: 21 November 97