When it is completed, the 170-acre Neste Valley Recreational Area just southwest of Decorah will have around 70 acres of monarch butterfly habitat.
That could make it a prime beekeeping area--if Winneshiek County Conservation allowed beehives on the park land. But at Tuesday's County Conservation Board meeting, the idea drew a less than enthusiastic response. Board members wanted another month to consider the idea, but board member Steve Cornelius, for instance, said he thought the idea would help beekeepers more than it would help the park. Other board members had reservations about private individuals using public land for business reasons.
A few other counties in Iowa allow beehives on public land, but many more ban such use. Winneshiek County Conservation Director Barb Schroeder said she hasn't had any requests from beekeepers yet--but she would like a written policy about how to handle such requests if they occur in the future.