So THAT is The Definition of "Wildlife Management Area"...

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Joined: 2010 Aug 28

I was in the process of scanning about the area around home, looking for a spot to place a new cache, and discovered what looked like a tiny piece of public ground called La Soya Wildlife Management Area.  This is not governed by the county, but rather by the Iowa DNR.  I looked up the location on the DNR website and spotted a contact name.  I sent an email inquiry to initiate a discussion regarding the possibility of placing a cache there.  The response I received was both cordial and instructional....

Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) are managed solely to create and maintain habitat for wildlife production and harvest. Recreational uses of WMA's are to be "wildlife dependent" activities - hunting, trapping, fishing, and wildlife observation. In other words, these are truly meant to be "wild" places for the Wildlife, and those who pursue Wildlife. This is in stark contrast with State Parks or State Recreation Areas, which have a primary purpose of "multi-use recreation". They promote uses such as camping, picnicking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding (some), geo-caching, etc. Those are the types of DNR areas that "non-wildlife related" recreation should be directed towards. I believe that many County parks and recreational areas, as well as municipal parks allow geo-caching as well. There are several reasons for the differences in these types of DNR properties, with one of the most important being the funding for the purchase, and the management, of the property. WMA’s are funded by hunters, trappers, and anglers for fish and wildlife management. Parks, Rec areas, State Forests, etc. are funded through other mechanisms, often including State general funds (tax dollars), and are meant to support a broader recreation base.

I never knew this distinction before.  If DNR property is a WMA, the purchase and maintenance is funded through sportsmen, not the general fund.  Interesting.  In the future, I'll keep that in mind when looking for a potential location.

He did offer to let me place a cache in the parking area, provided it is hidden well, and not too far away from the lot.  So, you may see a placement out there some time in the future.  With all the snow coming down today, I don't think I'll be heading out there.

Just thought you all would be interested in knowing this little tidbit...