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The derecho destroyed one-fourth of the trees in Iowa’s forests


Cedar Rapids in the aftermath of the Aug. 10 derecho. — Jason Smith/Little Village

The Aug. 10 derecho destroyed approximately a quarter of the trees in Iowa’s forests, according to Pete Hildreth, administrator of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation and Recreation Division.

Hildreth told the Natural Resource Commission during its Thursday meeting that the hurricane-force winds of the storm felled or irreparably damaged 724,000 acres of trees in what was the state’s 2.9 million acres of forests, Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

The Department of Natural Resources plans to sell salvage timber from derecho-destroyed trees in state parks.

The damage to the tree canopy in Cedar Rapids was even worse than the statewide loss. It’s estimated that the city lost 65 percent of its trees in the August storm. In September, Cedar Rapids announced the “ReLeaf Initiative,” a long-term project to replace damaged and missing trees. Last week, the Cedar Rapids City Council approved adding a fulltime manager position in Parks and Recreation Department to administer the program.


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